With the fast approaching August bank holiday, it seemed appropriate to recap our last long weekend adventure – a left-side road trip in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
I am amazed by how few British actually explore their own country(ies?). They think, why would anyone explore the UK on holiday when a short flight can put them on the golden beaches of Spain? We were itching to use our camping gear on this side of the Atlantic without breaking the bank, and road trips are a great way to see a country. Cars can take you to places you couldn’t explore easily, if at all, by public transit alone. So, we headed to the west coast of Wales.
Getting there: by Rental Car
We rented a car from Heathrow, as to avoid actually driving in central London. If you decide to road trip, book your car as early as possible to get the best rates! As we decided last minute, the fees were rather high – around £100 for three days (but you can find them for 1/3 of that). I would also recommend leaving either Friday evening or very early Saturday, as the traffic is horrific on Saturday mid-morning.
As a tourist, we can rent a car in the UK with a US license, but as residents, we are only allowed to drive for one year before getting an international license. The left side of the road was easier to get used to that I thought, but staying centered in my lane (sitting on the right side of the car) was a far bigger challenge. It took some serious focus to not drift into the next lane.
Stay: in a Tent
Dale, Wales, was a quaint town on the coast we called home for the weekend. We camped at Dale Hill Farm – it had a great view of the water and at only £12 per night, it was reasonably affordable for a bank holiday.
This was our first time seeing how British people camp – and we quickly realized our tent was lacking in comparison. Next to caravans are massive luxury tents, seeming to hold several bedrooms, living room, and kitchen space. Foldaway picnic tables, literal kitchen stoves, and pantries stocked full of snacks made our humble 2-person home look a little pathetic, but for now it’s still all we need.
Things to do
We happened to be in town for the annual local Beer & Cider Festival – allowing us to enjoy the coastal town, some affordable local brews, and a couple commemorative glasses to remember our stay.
During the day we walked along the coast – starting at Marloes Sands and heading all the way to St. Anne’s Head, circling back around to our campsite. This was the first introduction to amazing coastlines, surrounded by wildflowers and stunning views. (This trip eventually inspired my South West Coast Path adventure.) We walked from our campsite, but it was quite a long day, so you could easily take a drive to Marloes or to the lighthouse at St Annes, picking up and walking as you please.
The wildflowers were my favorite – buttercups, foxgloves, Queen Anne’s lace, lining the country roads everywhere we went. Absolutely inspiring for my future garden, where I can pop out and cut as many fresh flowers as I please to adorn my kitchen table. Fields of yellow calling to be admired around every turn. Unreal views. Watch out for stinging nettle.
We loved Wales and are so excited to go back, especially to visit Snowdonia.