Last week, I went to Wales for the first time ever and I was yet again stunned by how beautiful the U.K is, especially the coastlines. I jumped on a midday train from London Paddington and by 5:30pm had my feet in the sand walking along Saundersfoot beach (1.5 hrs by train from Swansea) with the sea breeze washing away any excess London tension that didn’t melt away during the train journey. As you know I love getting away from city life regularly and Pembrokeshire was the perfect place for a reset with my bestie Venetia. We have already travelled to Switzerland and Sardinia together this year and are definitely in sync when it comes to an idyllic escape. It involves outdoor activity, finding yummy foodie spots, lots of walking, cake and maybe a perfect glass of wine in a beautiful setting and that’s exactly what Wales offered us- so here’s 5 things I recommend doing in Wales for your wellbeing.
Stay by the beach
When you live in a city staying by the ocean is a priority for a getaway. I find it so peaceful and healing sleeping by the sea and waking up to that endless view of blue. We stayed at St Bride’s Spa Hotel in Saundersfoot and made the most of the harbour and beach being just a 2 minute walk away by taking morning and evening walks along the beach. Take your shoes off and let your feet sink into the sand, put the world right and chat away your worries or simply walk in silence listening to the waves. Saundersfoot beach was never that busy even for a Summer’s day during the school holidays and if you are brave enough dip your feet, go for a swim or try paddle boarding.
Coast is a restaurant at the end of Saundersfoot beach so you can get there by walking along the sand. We enjoyed a glass of wine and a wonderful meal here. Improving your sense of well-being with a glass of wine is definitely something that makes sense to me if I am in a relaxed happy environment with good company. The tempura pea starter was a winner for me at Coast and don’t skip on the warm bread and truffle butter either. A healthy amount of indulgence is a must in Wales.
Get lost and meet Welsh dog walkers.
When you have no time restrictions it’s always lovely to walk to a destination if you can as you always stumble across places you might never have found and walking is just so good for the soul. Venetia and I decided to walk from Saundersfoot to Tenby which took us about 1 hour but was definitely a highlight of the two days we had in Wales as we stumbled across a cute forest pathway and a huge meadow where we met a lot of lovely doggies and their friendly Welsh owners. I recommend walking and going a little off track, take in the beautiful surroundings and don’t worry how long it takes you. When we came into Tenby it was like walking into a fairytale town with it’s coloured houses and quaint shops and mews. It could have been a Italy as we were lucky enough to have 30 degree heat and beautiful sunshine but I equally think Wales is beautiful in the rain and maybe the rain suits it better. On our second day we were blessed with rain and it just felt so right!
Eat cake at cute independent cafes.
Mine and Venetia’s days revolve around where we are going to eat and both being lovers of plant based yummy wholesome food were pleasantly surprised to find Pembrokeshire definitely had some treats for us.
The Fuchsia cafe is new to Tenby and was recommended to us by the hotel receptionist at St Bride’s Spa. Tucked away in a mews we struggled to find it at first but pottering around Tenby is a delight and everyone is so friendly so will point you in the right direction. We sat outside and enjoyed tahini, avocado and sweet chilli sourdough toast and elderflower sparkling drinks. It was delightful and I’ll certainly be making that combo of avocado, tahini and sweet chilli at home!
Narberth is a 20 minute drive from Saundersfoot where we were staying but so worth even just to eat at Plum Vanilla. It is colourful, vibrant and moroccan inspired with humous, falafel and beautiful salad bowls on the menu as well as cosy comfort food like toasties and jacket potatoes and of course cake! We shared a rose and pistachio raw cheese cake and if a mouthful of that doesn’t bring you right into the present moment then I don’t know what will. It also has a little organic farm shop/deli attached so pop in there to stock up on snacks.
Run in the rain.
Waking up to fog and rain in Wales is actually quite comforting and it didn’t stop us getting out for a morning run. We ran from St Bride’s Spa Hotel in Saundersfoot harbour to Wiseman’s Bridge and it was honestly amazing and so refreshing! There were quite a few other runners out which was such a pleasure to see and also good to follow through the bridges that run through the cliffs as I’d never seen anything like it before. I love staying active while travelling and hadn’t been out running in ages. I always feel more motivated to run in new places especially somewhere epic and exciting like the Pembrokeshire coast. I returned home feeling more inspired to run again.
Shop in Narberth
Narberth is home to cute independent antique shops, organic farm shops and we found a new zero waste shop called Happy Planet Green Store where we chatted to the owner about the important issues like the worrying state of our oceans and the changes we need to make. I bought some plastic free charcoal floss and 3 little coconut bowls for home. You can find such gems in the antique shops too and I was so tempted to buy a ladder to put plants and frames on. Even if you don’t buy anything I love wandering around towns like Narberth and going in and out of such unique little shops for inspiration.