When I first wrote about my Top Ten Places in Pembrokeshire to photograph in 2016, I mentioned that this list changes on a regular basis as I visit new places or simply fall more in love with others and, true to my word, the list has changed, so here are my personal 10 favourite photography locations in Pembrokeshire as it stands now…
1/ Druidstone Haven
As well as being a fantastic beach nestled between Nolton and Broad Haven, it also has some of the most spectacular coastal path either side and I only discovered recently the views were on the side that heads off to Broad Haven. I also venture here quite often without the camera just to take in the beauty without having to think of composition and timings. A stunning place with extremely therapeutic qualities, just love it!
2/ Church Door Cove / Shrinkle Haven
I was completely unaware that this place existed until I saw a fabulous photo by another photographer which left me wanting to visit this place to see it for myself. The photo I had seen however was a little deceiving making the cove look huge towering over the tide-line lapping below. The phrase, ‘Is that it?’ created hysterics between my colleague and I as we were expecting something more dramatic to say the least, but I still had an instant liking for this little cove despite the killer steps you have to endure on your way back up to the cliffs’ edge.
3/ Blue Lagoon, Abereiddy
When someone mentions the Blue Lagoon it instantly transports me back in time to my weekends in Porthgain as a child visiting my grandparents and taking long walks along the coastal path with my cousin to visit this quiet, untouched part of Pembrokeshire history. Back then it was somewhat of a hidden gem amongst the coastline but is now in the limelight thanks to the popularity of ‘Coasteering’ and even diving events are now held here. If you want to see it in its peaceful and more natural glory then I would recommend you visit very early in the morning, as I have captured here; the Blue Lagoon at its quietest and most serene.
Having spent so many childhood days here, I love coming to photograph it and find year after year that nothing much changes with respect to the harbour and coastline. I like to photograph Porthgain in Black & White as I like to reflect its age and history, with colour shots sometimes looking a little ‘too modern’ for this historic village.
5/ Picton Point near Rhos
I managed to visit this place last year almost by accident when travelling back from a day out photographing Pembrokeshire and there was a little light left and we thought we would take a look what was around the area. As the sun went down we got the last glimpses of it reflecting on the waters of the river Cleddau surrounded by the most beautiful trees filled with the sound of birds settling down for the night. Having not much time to explore it fully due to lack of light we returned very early the next morning which is when I got this shot on a cold autumnal day.
6/ Stack Rocks
The natural evolution of these rocks and how they have come to be over time takes my mind elsewhere every time I visit these rocks which are situated a stone’s throw from the Green Bridge. A delight for photographers and nature lovers alike with the amount of bird life these stacks attract, they are never short of human company. Not for the faint-hearted there are some sheer drops around this area and you do have to be vigilant when taking in the beautiful scenery that you don’t stumble off an edge.
Situated near St Davids, the beach at Whitesands has quite a remarkable history, with archaeological finds over recent years. However, I am more in love with the coastal path that looks down on the beach than the beach itself. For the photographer, the coast path gives a lot more foreground to work with, as you can see in this shot where I have included the grassy dunes and fencing. Being in the north of the county I have never found this a very warm beach – with its back to the sun from the south – often retreating to the car freezing cold, but that may just say something about the times of day I go there, usually when the Sun is in its final moments or gone altogether.
8/ Broad Haven
This place will probably always be close to my heart as it is another place where I spent my youth, although back then I didn’t notice the rock pools or great sunsets.
It’s also a great place for food and the occasional shopping trip, with coastal walks to Little Haven and Druidstone Haven which lie either side.
9/ West Dale
A short walk from the village of Dale is the lovely little beach at West Dale with its red and stony sand, beautiful surrounding walks and a fantastic view of nearby Skokholm Island. It was only recently that I paid my first visit here and it didn’t disappoint. The photo featured was taken late evening which gave the beach a totally different vibe to what I had felt when I visited in the early morning.
I vividly remember crossing the pebbles which seemed so big when I was a youngster and what a relief it was to finally place your feet on the sand that was waiting on the other side. You would gladly forget the pebbles until it was time to go home and with a bit of luck someone would offer to carry you! One of Pembrokeshire’s longer beaches, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular with a campsite only a few hundred yards away which is full of people in summer and full of flood water in winter.