The Bay

Aberfforest is a beautiful bay on this stunning, unspoiled coastline, which forms part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The sand and slate beach is framed to the east by sheer cliffs and to the west by the Fforest stream, which flows through ancient woods to the sea. An 18th century lime kiln offers a vantage point for commanding views out to sea.

Access to the beach is limited to just a handful of local properties and ramblers on the coastal path which passes through the bay. This means that even in the height of summer, the beach is rarely busy and offers the perfect base for days spent swimming, sailing, kayaking and rock-pooling.

If getting wet doesn’t appeal, skimming competitions (with the abundant, perfectly flat and rounded slates) offer a strangely beguiling and captivating activity. Or simply sit and listen to the sound of the waves. And when you’ve worked up a mighty appetite, head back to the cottage for a roast and some time by the log fire.

Every now and then the bay plays host to inquisitive seals and dolphins which breed locally. Catching sight of these amazing creatures as their heads emerge out of the sea and survey the bay is a fantastic treat.

The Waterfall

Just a minute’s walk from Barnacle Cottage, nestled in the woods, is the waterfall, a fabulous place to explore, for adults, children and dogs alike.
A circular route follows the picturesque track to the beach and back to the cottage through ancient woodlands taking in the waterfall on the way.

Alternatively head straight in to the woods from the yard, cross the dramatic waterfall and follow the stream as it idly meanders its way to the sea. Stepping stones bridge the stream near the beach but wellies are advised to cross the head of the waterfall!

Every time you visit the woods you will discover something new or notice some novel or intriguing aspect in this ancient, natural and ever-changing landscape.

The sound of the stream flowing over the waterfall, audible from the cottage, provides a subtle and charming acoustic backdrop to a stay in Aberfforest, making it impossible not to relax and unwind completely.

The Coastal Path

In 2012 National Geographic magazine named Pembrokeshire the world’s second-best coastal destination. The year before, it ranked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path second in the world’s top 10 long-distance paths.

Other British national parks include seaside areas, but the Pembrokeshire Coast is the only truly coastal park in the system—a realm of seacoast and sky stretching along the southwestern shoreline of Wales.

The Times newspaper, in August 2011, reported the following, confirming what regular visitors already knew.

“The 186 miles of Pembrokeshire Coastal Path has been named as one of the world’s top walks, ahead of the Inca Trail and the trek to Mount Kilimanjaro. Along the path travellers can witness incredible historical sites such as 2,000-year-old forts, burial grounds from 400AD and a medieval castle or two.”

The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path passes through Aberfforest and stretches for 186 miles from Poppit to Amroth. However, don’t be put off by the length of the coastal path. Year round Coastal Bus Services allow walkers to explore further afield from Aberfforest. You can travel by bus a few miles down the coast and walk back at your own pace. There are also plenty of smaller circular walks.

Follow the path directly from the bay for fantastic scenic walks to Aberhigian, Newport Beach, Cwm-yr-Eglwys, Pwllgwaelod and around Dinas Head, to name a few! There are also a few pubs within walking distance which offer a brief respite on a longer walk, or the destination for a shorter one!

Click here to see the National Geographic article

Things to do

With the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, the Preseli Hills and the Gwaun Valley on your doorstep you are never lost for somewhere to explore.
Click here to view Pembrokeshire Coast web walks

Wildlife Watching
The Pembrokeshire National Park is also described as a haven for wildlife, so don’t forget to pack your binoculars! It is a frequent occurrence to see seals, dolphins and porpoises. There are numerous birds year round, but particularly in winter and spring, when migrating birds and other seasonal visitors such as puffins, guillemots and razorbills, are seen.
Click here to read more about the wildlife

Bikes are available for hire throughout the area.

Local Newport offers a fantastic place for sailing activities. Better still, launch your own vessel from Aberfforest and explore the stunning coastline by boat (subject to pre-arrangement and a fee)

You are welcome to fish off the rocks on the beach, or you can take day trips from Fishguard or Cardigan. Crabbing off the rocks at low tide in Newport or Lower Town, Fishguard is always a fun activity for all the family.

Adventurous Options
A plethora of action-packed trips are offered including paragliding, kayaking and mountain biking.

Sightseeing Tours
A wide range of sightseeing tours can be arranged including seal spotting, dolphin spotting and bird watching.

Horse Riding
The views in this area are truly stunning from horseback. Trekking and lessons can be organised any time by calling one of the local stables.

There is an 18-hole golf course in Newport, which happens to boast some of the best views of the local area and a lovely restaurant open to non-members.

Historical local sites
Celtic connections are strong with Pentre Ifan cromlech (a Neolithic site of chambered dolmen) and Castell Henllys (a reconstructed iron-age hill fort).

Farmers Markets
There are local farmer’s markets in both Newport and Fishguard showcasing local produce.

The Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan is a vibrant presenting and producing arts centre and has an excellent list of films, plays, concerts and live performances.

Theatr Gwaun in Fishguard has a wide variety of film and live entertainment.

Click here for a Visit Wales article on things to do in Newport