Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was designated in 1952. It is unique in Britain as the only National Park that is predominantly coastal. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of Britain's smaller National Parks, covering approximately 240 square miles / 620 square km. around the West Coast of Wales.
Dramatic landscapes of rugged cliffs, some of the finest sandy beaches in Britain, sheltered coves and wooded estuaries are to be found here. While inland, there are towns and villages steeped in history and folklore, historical remains and beautiful countryside. This archaic part of Britain, attracts thousands of visitors to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park every year.
Some of the oldest rocks in and around Britain are to be found around the Pembrokeshire Coast, dating back to the Pre-Cambrian period, around 600 million years ago. The area was designated as a National Park, principally because of its geology.
The great variety of rock types and landforms in the area have long been of interest to geologists, there are now 50 Geological Conservation Review sites in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. In the northern section of Pembrokeshire National Park are the Preseli Hills, the source of the Preseli Blue Stones, used to create the inner circle of standing stones at Stonehenge.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park also includes several offshore islands, some of which can be visited by boat.
Caldey Island has a monastic heritage stretching back over 1,000 years - today it is home to the Cistercian Order. The island is a tranquil haven of peace for visitors, a chance to experience a day without the sound of traffic and enjoy the ambience of this unique island.
Ramsey Island is the home of an RSPB reserve, and the second largest grey seal colony in Britain. The islands of Skomer, Stokholm and Grasholm are home to colonies of Ganets, Storm Petral, Cough, Puffins and Peregrine Falcons as well as many species of rare flowers and wildlife.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail extends from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south; approximately 186 miles (299 km) in length, most of which is within the National Park. Even for experienced walkers this is quite a challenge, but brings rich rewards with spectacular seascapes and some of the best coastal scenery in Britain.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park contains an abundance of historic attractions. In the north is the Scheduled Ancient Monument Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort circa 600B.C. One of many prehistoric promontory forts in the National Park, this is a site of archaeological excavation and experimental archaeology.
The tiny historic City of St. Davids is situated on a peninsula within Pembrokeshire National Park. Pilgrims have come to this site for thousands of years to visit the shrine of St David. Today visitors come to St. Davids to see the magnificent Cathedral and the ruined Bishop's Palace.
In the south of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is magnificent Carew Castle with a history spanning some 2000 years. The nearby Tidal Mill is the only one to have been restored in Wales.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park's mild climate, delightful towns and villages, family attractions and outdoor facilities such as water skiing, surfing, diving, pony trekking and fishing make it one of Britains favourite destinations.