Self-catering cottages in Cardigan Bay and West Wales

What excuse do you need to get a group of friends together and share some fun? The rugged cliffs and long sandy beaches make the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park a must see place for any visitor on holiday in Wales. If you want to rent a holiday cottage near the Pembrokeshire National Park then there is a great choice of Pembrokeshire self-catering in this part of Wales, with every modern convenience from electric car charging points to swimming-pools, jacuzzi and hot tubs. Short breaks, weekend and weekly rentals feature alongside ground floor bedrooms and accommodation for those with limited mobility feature in the advanced search selection. The Pembrokeshire National Park encompasses nearly all of the 180-miles of coastline and the offshore islands in this part of Wales, and is a haven for wildlife. There is a wealth of activities for the holiday visitor with pony-trekking, cycling, rock-climbing, walking, surfing, scuba diving, beach fishing, windsurfing, canoeing, and cultural tourism on offer within its boundaries. Boat trips are available from Dale, which take you around the islands and you can see the colonies of sea-birds, grey seals and porpoises, with Skomer being the largest island with over half a million breeding pairs of birds on this island alone. Or better still; try sea kayaking, where you get the best view without the noise of the boat engine to disturb the tranquillity of place.

The city of St David's is the holiest place in Wales and is the smallest city in Britain with a population of only 1800. The cathedral in its heart is hidden from prying eyes, lying as it does in a hollow, and you are almost on top of it before you realise it is there. This is due to the fact that the original monastery was trying, and failing, to avoid discovery by marauding Vikings, and the present building was raised on the same site. The interior has a rather drunken appearance due to an earthquake in 1248, so the floor slopes and the pillars lean. However, the woodcarving is excellent, and the choir is illuminated from the tower above. Large holiday cottages near St David's offer a great choice of self-catering in this lovely part of Wales, many rated 5 star by more than one visitor. Fabulous in the summer but also winter breaks with roaring real log fires, heart-stopping dramatic views and cosy hideaways. Having a pub close by can also be a welcome luxury for self-caterers in a big group, it gives you all a night off and the opportunity to experience not only the local Welsh beer but also the friendly hospitality.

The main town in this region of Wales is Haverfordwest, and there are lots of holiday houses to rent and pretty cottages to hire near Haverfordwest. However, to the southwest of Haverfordwest is the huge country house of Picton Castle, and its gardens and parkland. The castle, now a grand mansion, has been lived in by the same family for over 500 years and they still run the estate today. The gardens have recently acquired a maze, which adds to the charm and attraction of this house.

Medieval Pembroke was an important town, and the launch point for the many invasions of Ireland that went on during that period. This importance is amply demonstrated in the vast 12th century castle, the scale of which can be demonstrated by the fact that Harlech would fit into its courtyard. There are 100 steps up the spiral staircase to the top of the Keep, and from there the views are spectacular, or you can go down into the natural cave of Wogan's Cavern. The castle was the birthplace of Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, and there is an exhibition on him, his time, and his family. Self-catering rental cottages near Pembroke range from idyllic Welsh country cottages to large castles to rent in Pembrokeshire.

Large holiday houses for rent on the Pembrokeshire coast

The most popular resort town in Pembrokeshire is Tenby, a prosperous little port since the 15th century as seen in the Tudor Merchant's Hall. If you dont stay in Tenby - then try and visit for a day - the quaint harbour and beach are wonderful.

Blackmoor Farmhouse, sleeps 12 in Saundersfoot.

Large country houses to rent in Pembrokeshire near Saundersfoot with 6 bedrooms, sleeps 12, No pets, Barbecue, Ground Floor Facilities, Golf nearby, Cot Available.

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Ford Farmhouse, sleeps 10 in Tenby.

Group accommodation in Pembrokeshire near Tenby with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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Tenby was founded by Flemish merchants and their influence can be seen in various aspects of this building, which is furnished to recreate period life. The villages and farms inland in this part of Pembrokeshire, have plenty of houses and cottages to rent near Tenby, and the sea front abounds with bed and breakfasts and guesthouses, which cater for the many visitors this attractive town attracts. Milford Haven and Saundersfoot are very popular too with their harbours and beaches to visit.

There are two ferry ports in Pembrokeshire which both serve Rosslare in Ireland, Fishguard is very popular for tourism - but before you dash off to the Emerald Isle spend some time in this tranquil and beautiful corner of Wales. Holiday houses in Pembrokeshire and self-catering vacation rental homes in Pembrokeshire can be found here.

What to do in Pembrokeshire - fun holiday activities!

There's plenty to see and do in Pembrokeshire for all ages. Young children will enjoy either the outdoor Jubilee, a fantastic children's play area or the indoor Ocean Commotion. Just outside the town there's the Folly Farm Adventure Park, there's Europe's largest indoor vintage funfair and The Silent World aquarium (suitable for children of all ages). Older children will love the Oakwood Theme Park, with over 30 rides and attractions and there's also the Blue Lagoon Waterpark, quad biking, laser shooting, pitch and putt, go carts, archery facilities and the Manor House Wildlife Park in St Florence, all within easy reach of the town.

For the adults (and children, of course!) there are plenty of shops, delicatessens and food shops, as well as cafés, restaurants and pubs offering a host of different cuisines. Or perhaps you might like a short trip across the sea to the Caldy Island Monastery.

To see a town dominated by a fantastic Norman Castle, then a visit to the historic town of Pembroke - King Henry VII was born in the castle there - is a must. It is often said that a visit to Pembrokeshire cannot be considered complete without a visit to Pembroke Castle. There is no doubt that it is one of the most magnificent stone-built Norman castles in Wales and amongst one of the finest of its type in the UK. It makes a superb day out.

Pembroke itself simply oozes history, dating back as it does, well over a Millennium. It's the sort of town where you can either browse some of the numerous small craft, gift and specialist shops, pop into the museum, visit the daily indoor market, head out to the water-sports centre, follow the historic town trail, wander along the banks of the River Cleddau, or just take a picnic and do absolutely nothing!

And activities are not just limited to day time - there's plenty to see and do at night. The evening sees some fine restaurants serving dishes from around the world, there are numerous tradition pubs, or, if you are feeling really energetic, you'll find a welcome at one of the town's friendly night-clubs, where you can dance away until the early hours.

Pembroke has wonderful big self-catering accommodation for large groups to stay.

Blackmoor Farmhouse, sleeps 12 in Saundersfoot.

Large country houses to rent in Pembrokeshire near Saundersfoot with 6 bedrooms, sleeps 12, No pets, Barbecue, Ground Floor Facilities, Golf nearby, Cot Available.

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Ford Farmhouse, sleeps 10 in Tenby.

Group accommodation in Pembrokeshire near Tenby with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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The Appletree, sleeps 8 in Tenby.

Holiday house to let in Pembrokeshire near Tenby with 4 bedrooms, sleeps 8, Pet friendly, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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Hillcroft Cottage, sleeps 8 in St Davids.

Holiday house in Pembrokeshire near St Davids with 4 bedrooms, sleeps 8, Pet friendly, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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The great outdoors is one of the premier draws to Pembrokeshire. Walking is a very popular pastime in the county, attracting visitors from around the world. In particular, they come to sample part the 186 mile long Pembrokeshire Coast Path, taking in the superb bays and incredible headlands as it passes through the only coastal National Park in the UK. Given National Park status back in 1952, it joins Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons as one of the three designated Parks in Wales.

There is an enormous range of water sports on offer throughout the county -no doubt encouraged by having water on three sides of Pembrokeshire! There are numerous welcoming marinas and harbour villages along the coastline offering facilities for sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing, swimming and even diving. The passing gulf stream gives that little extra temperature to the water.

Horse riding has also become very popular over the years, and has proven to be a captivating way to explore the Pembrokeshire countryside. The stables and riding schools throughout the region can cater for whatever skill level you have reached, and are quite unfazed by the novice horse rider.

One aspect often overlooked about Pembrokeshire is the number of island off its coast. People will immediately think of Caldey Island off the coast at Tenby, but there, there are several other very well known islands.

Skomer off the south west coast for example, is not only a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest but also a Special Protection Area, an Ancient Monument and is surrounded by a Marine Nature Reserve. In fact it's quite unique! It has a huge seabird population, including 10,000 breeding pairs of Atlantic Puffins and some 128,000 breeding pairs of Guillemots, Razorbills, Manx Shearwater and more. There are also magnificent Peregrine Falcons, Common Kestrels, and Short-eared Owls. And as if not enough, the island coastline and surrounding seas are home to Harbour Porpoises, Grey Seals, Slow-worms, the mystifying Glow-worm, Common Toads, and the unique Skomer Vole. A nature-lovers delight.

Also worth mentioning is Grassholm, a small uninhabited island further west from Skomer and the third-most important site in the world for gannets - 12% of the world's population and the most western point of Wales.

While Pembrokeshire has a number of museums dotted throughout the county where visitors can learn about local history, art and technology, the Pembrokeshire Motor Museum at Keeston, between Haverfordwest and St David's is quite unique. It houses a fine collection of vintage, veteran and classic cars and an equally fine collection of model cars. However, what is unique for this museum is their auto jumble and spare parts section offering new and second hand parts for sale. The impact of the electric cars will be interesting, they may get more busy!

Lovers of theme parks will adore the Oakwood Theme Park at Canaston Bridge in Narberth. This park is home to the world-famous Megafobia, voted the best wooden roller coaster in the world for four years running. However, there are over 30 attractions, making Oakwood Theme Park one of Wales' leading tourist attractions with a listing as one of the top ten theme parks in the UK.

Also worth mentioning is Heatherton Activity Sports Park near Tenby, open all year round, including the winter, and suitable for children of all ages! There are many exciting and challenging activities to try including go-karts, a driving range, robot wars (similar to that seen on TV), a maize maze (dedicated to Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles), bumper boats, archery, a challenging 18-hole pitch and putt course, paintballing and pistol shooting and more.

And for those wanting a more relaxing time, Pembrokeshire is of course well known for the 50 or more sandy beaches between St Dogmaels in the north and Amroth in the south of the county - many of which are amongst the best in Britain with more Green Coast awards, Seaside awards or Blue Flags than you can count!

Finally, it must be mentioned that when it comes to eating out, you'll have no difficulty in finding food to your taste in Pembrokeshire. It makes no difference whether you like your food plain or prefer something a little more adventurous. With the sea on three sides, food from there is plentiful, whether traditional fish and chips, or gourmet prepared sea bass. And of course, food doesn't just stop at seafood! There's wonderful steaks, home reared Welsh lamb, fresh vegetables, delicious local and regional breads and cakes, and of course the traditional and properly made Welsh rarebit coated with locally produced cheeses.