At last! A day fit for a walk on the beach with a Simpson-blue sky, sparkling sunshine and a brisk, bracing wind. I headed off in my car towards the picturesque resort of Tenby when, on an impulse, I decided to turn into the railway station car park at Penally where it is possible to follow a footpath across the railway tracks, through the sandy terrain at the edge of the golf course (taking care to avoid any hazards such as the odd train or straying golf ball!) I continue along the path until I find myself at (almost) the far end of Tenby’s South Beach with a breath-taking view of the beautiful, glistening Caldey Island and its bright white lighthouse gleaming in the winter sunshine.
To my left, in the distance, are the colourful and iconic cliffside buildings of Tenby town and I strode off purposefully towards them picking my way through the array of pebbles and shells littering the shore…stopping here-and-there to collect the particularly lovely ones. The beach was nursing some scars from the recent violent storms but remains exceptionally beautiful.
One of the pleasures of a walk on this particular beach is that on reaching the edge of the town (but still on the beach) is to settle at a sunny outdoor table in the shelter of the South Beach Café to enjoy a welcome cup of coffee whilst soaking up the wonderful view.
Afterwards, if you have more time and energy then continue along the beach entering Tenby through the old town walls…check out the Grand Designs conversion of the old lifeboat station and the picturesque harbour which during the summer is the starting point for boat trips to Caldey Island.
There are, of course, places-a-plenty to eat and drink and, in case you still haven’t had enough of the beach there is still the expanse of the safe and sandy North Beach to enjoy. If you happen to be here on Boxing Day you will witness a great bonfire on the beach lit to warm the brave (or foolhardy) swimmers who, in fancy dress costumes, tear down the beach and into the sea all in the name of the now well known Charity Boxing Day Swim!
My walk has set me thinking about the many gorgeous beaches in Pembrokeshire and why on different days, in different moods at different times we favour certain beaches. Having lived all my life in Pembrokeshire I realized that, for no apparent reason, one year we might select Freshwater West choosing to go there time after time. Then another year it might be Manorbier or Freshwater East that is “the chosen one”. With this in mind, I am going to consider some of my favourite Pembrokeshire beaches and what makes them preferable at certain times.