Pembrokeshire used to be known as “Little England Beyond Wales”, partly because its scenery was reminiscent of England, and partly because so many of its inhabitants spoke English rather than Welsh. The Scandinavians seemed to have liked this region and there are many towns with Danish place-names in the south of the county.
For many, this is the most scenic county in Wales. It boasts Britain’s only coastal national park – the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, an area of spectacular natural beauty that can be explored by following the 186-mile coastal cliff top path. The coastal region is also a paradise for bird watchers. Running right around the ruggedly beautiful south western tip of Wales, around St Brides Bay and up along the north-facing coastal most to Cardigan, the Park also includes quiet fishing villages, the huge cliffs at Castlemartin, sweeping golden beaches ands mall, often busy harbours.
Although not strictly on the coast, the labyrinthine Cleddau river system also lies within the Park’s boundaries and here there are delightful little villages such as Cresswell and Carew, as well as the superb sheltered harbour of Milford Haven.
Offshore there are various islands, including Grassholm, Ramsey, Skokholm and Skomer, which have changed little since they were named by Viking invaders. Many are now bird and wildlife sanctuaries of international importance. Grassholm is home to thousands of gannets, Skokholm has Manx shearwaters, Skomer has shearwaters and puffins. In addition, Ramsey harbours such species as choughs and the red-legged crow, and is also the resting place of many Welsh saints.
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