I've done it again, promised to share lots of new (to the blog) Pembrokeshire Beaches and instead we're revisiting one of our old favourites. I hope you'll forgive me as Barafundle Bay is a real beauty and definitely one of my favourite beaches in Pembrokeshire.
Parking for Barafundle Bay is at Stackpole Quay (postcode SA71 5LS). Parking costs £5 for the day (£2 after 2pm) and is free for National Trust Members. Close to the car park are toilets, The Boat House Tea Room and a picnic area. You can also explore Stackpole Quay itself which is a small harbour great for rock climbing and beach combing.
We travel light so we don't have too much to carry on the half mile fairly steep walk. We do however have to make sure we have snacks, water, sun tan lotion, plasters (you'll see why later!) and towels.
Once everyone was ready, we set off on the walk.
The kids stopped for their first drink on top of the steps (yes it made a lovely seat but they were taking up the whole path so I had to remind them to keep to one side and let others pass). I love the tourist feel of this picture though.
Then we were off again, reading signs on our way.
Once up the steps and hill, we reached the cliff top walk. Thankfully it's a wide walkway and very safe especially if you stick to the path.
The kids played the game of "jump over the cow-pat" on the way (have you played that one yourself yet?). The cows themselves were peacefully grazing in the next field over.
Danny and Izzy were good companions on this day out. Danny is taking things a bit more slowly post surgery so Izzy is currently the natural walking partner. They both really look out for each other.
While the older girls were already way ahead!
If you look closely you can see that the rocks have natural "lattice windows". I'd love to have a kayak to paddle around this coast.
Once we reached the brow of the hill the stunning beach and stone archway were in view.
Going down we slowed down to make sure Jo, as a stroke survivor with left side parathesis, felt steady on her feet. This meant the kids reached the beach first and immediately got settled. It reminded me of holidays in France when my sisters and I would go on ahead to the beach each morning. It would often be raining when set out but there was always glorious sunshine by the afternoon.
We were soon all back on the beach together. The kids were straight into digging the sand and building sandcastles.
Danny was straight into the snacks and I crossed my fingers that I had enough food on me to keep them well fed until home time (we had a full dinner before leaving home but kids are always hungry, aren't they? Especially in the fresh sea air!).
Our (temporary, of course) tattooed girl.
Izzy practised her beach gymnastics!
Danny always like to make something with driftwood on the beach- whether that be a den or a camp fire. On this occasion he made a t-shirt stand which also doubled as a "Scare Seagull".
We later spotted a driftwood "volleyball net" which could be double as a limbo set, so the possibilities are endless.
So much space to run around and explore.
The kids did spend some time in the sea but I didn't get many photos. There are some more photos of them paddling and swimming in our last post on Barafundle Bay.
After paddling, Isabelle was cold so we cuddled on the beach. It's not the best photo of either of us but a lovely moment to remember.
Then the kids decided to go rock climbing and beach combing.
From every point on the beach, there are stunning views all through the year.
We found lots of fair sized Spider Crabs. Look at all the barnacles and mussels living on the shell. They initially appeared dead, then we would see them move an arm and eventually they would sink back into the sand to wait until the tide returns.
There are also some caves to explore.
Oh, the bright, blue sea! I enjoyed a peaceful paddle here on the quieter part of the beach while the kids explored under rocks and in the caves.
I was Alice in my own kind of Wonderland!
More climbing! I think we all cut ourselves in one form or another on the sharp rocks (hence needing the plasters, especially with Danny taking warfarin) but we'll all do it again anyway!
When I was little I hated the green slime on the rocks- thankfully my kids are far less fussy than I was and don't mind a bit of algae.
We also found brown red beadlet anenomies looking like jelly blobs (until the tide comes in and they will "flower").
Izzy helped me find my way back to Nanny and Jo by drawing a line in the sand which I had to follow. She also left a few gaps for me to "jump over", so if you saw me hoping along Barafundle Bay- that's what I was doing!
We found lots of smaller shore crabs too.
The kids then explored the sand dunes. There was a circular walk which left and returned to the beach. They also used the body board as a sledge and went "sand sledging" down the hill.
While the kids played happily, we got the chance to chat and read in peace. My book was aptly called The Sea Shell Girl (by Linda Finlay). It was a really enjoyable afternoon.
My niece, Cerys running along the beach.
It was Danny's turn for beach gymnastics! Thankfully, we didn't stay long enough for it to come around to my turn.
Followed by a rest, of course.
We then left, while we still had enough energy left for the steps and the walk back to the car park.
Izzy made sure Danny had little rests again.
Body board rides were attempted and failed.
I love this photo, as it sums up my mum and her love for days out, the seaside and carrying a picnic.
Sorry for so many photos, but you can't help but appreciate the mix of green grass, deep blue sea and light blue sky as you walk across the cliff top. My camera was drawn to the sea side but the land locked side boasts a pretty countryside view too.
Our tribe walking back.
Whenever we go for a walk, at least one child ends up with a bag balanced on a stick, Dick Whittington style.
I'm happy to note there is a defibrillator, just in case it's ever needed.
Just before we left, we spotted a robin in the tree.
It was a beauty and very tame.
The carpark was surrounded by wild garlic, so kids picked some for tea. Sadly they forgot that the leaves are good also (they are getting too used to foraging three corner garlic this Summer!). Once home they made garlic hummus. I found it very tasty but the kids didn't agree! They're never keen on home cooked hummus though to be honest preferring the processed version, hmmm.
So off we left, with a car full of sand and smelling of wild garlic, home for tea, it was a lovely day and we will be back there soon but I promise to write about a different beach on the blog as soon as I can!
This is a video from a trip to Barafundle last year:
Which is your favourite Pembrokeshire Beach?