“ Address: Pendine / Carmarthenshire / South Wales / SA33 4NZ „
Parkdean Holidays has just been voted Best Holiday Parks in the UK for 2010, and the award is justified for it's superb sites and it's wonderful locations. I've visited four of it's 24 holiday parks now and each has it's own distinct attraction. From the tip of the UK in Scotland to the wild coasts of Cornwall, and to Wales and in particular Pendine Sands that is about a 90-mile trip from where I live. I didn't choose it for its nearness, however, but for it's amazing beach and the nearness of the site to the glorious seven-mile stretch of sands.
Location and overview.
To get to Pendine Sands Holiday Park by car is a pleasant journey through some of Wale's loveliest countryside in the South area of Carmarthenshire. By rail it's nearest stop is the popular holiday town of Tenby about 12 miles away. Tenby is also the nearest large town for shopping and has plenty of nightspots and beaches with water sports and trips by sea to plenty of areas of interest. Close by is Laugharne, the home of Dylan Thomas, one of Wale's best-loved poets. St Clears is a market town nearer to the Swansea side of Pendine and has numerous other attractions for the kids to enjoy. That's if you can get them away from the holiday park and it's glorious beach.
Pendine was made famous by the land speed trials that were held here and the days when it was a haven for sports enthusiasts. I have covered that side of Pendine before though in a general review of the area.
Nowadays the beach is still known for some very unusual events, including the world's first lawnmower race that was held here back in 2009, the last time I stayed at the camp. The beach itself is flat and very clean, though it can get rocky just around the headline near to the rocky promontory that overlooks the village. The water is safe for paddling and swimming, though the water can go out a very long way, hence the popularity of the smaller rocky bay when the tide is out. The view is spectacular though and I took three rolls of film on my last visit.
The Holiday Camp.
This runs almost the full length of the main road into Pendine and has several turnings from the main road. The camp is huge so it's best to pull up to reception and collect your map and keys before exploring. We were tempted to go straight to the beach end to get some fish and chips, but seeing the size of the park we found out where we were going to be staying first. Roads run off and have their own special area names. We were staying in the Willow complex and luckily weren't far from the beach, though being slightly elevated, we had a good view of the water at night. We stayed there in late May so took advantage of the lovely light nights.
Near to reception and the member and owner's area, there is a lively family pub, which serves nice plain food at reasonable prices, though you can have the main menu with a better choice. There is also a conservation area here with a nice little stream and bridge straddling it. Once we picked our keys up we drove slowly down the on-site roads, which are limited to 5 miles an hour. There is a lot of space to play around the caravans and children need to be safe playing. Most caravans have parking space by the caravans and these are on gravel bases. Wheelchair access to some caravans is available via ramps. Some caravans are low to the ground that aids people like myself with mild mobility problems.
Mostly caravans as far as I could see. We booked online and didn't ask for anything else so there could have been some chalets there. We did see plenty of static caravans, as there's a large ownership here.
Two of us were staying in a 4 to 6 berth caravan so we had plenty of room. My one grumble, which occurs on any caravan site, is the lack of two double beds. I pushed two singles together and managed on this. It left only a small space but since there were three bedrooms this was no problem. There were plenty of higher-priced caravans and we could have updated, but wished to stay where we were. That part of the park was close to all amenities.
All caravans have free heating, some with double-glazing and even central heating. The lounge area is large and the kitchen spacious, not that we did much cooking, but I do like my cooked breakfast on holiday. The lounge had all-round seating plus a separate table area. There was a large color television, which had freeview TV.
The inventory was complete with table settings for six people. I was pleased to see both a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket along with a first aid kit. Obviously no one wanted an accident!
Apart from the Pub, there was a child's play area, a clubhouse and an entertainment complex called 'The Venue'. I normally swim every day but the pool here was a bit on the small side so I swam in the sea. For children and occasional swimmers the pool was the right size. The club had all the normal entertainment with shows, dancing, children's activities etc. The only thing missing was outdoor courts and a fun fair, though I was glad of this. I particularly like this park for its quietness.
Just across from the Holiday Park and mentioned in the park handouts are several small takeaway and seated fish and chip shops. These are very reasonable and you can usually find something different from fish and chips. There's a good hotel on the front that does a good meal and caters for children as well.
Along the Front and out and about
Worth mentioning is the many small shops here and a few that are small supermarkets with DVD rental if the weather is bad. There's a small post Office, gift shops and some smallish restaurants. It's worth a mention that this is very much a small village and doesn't have many amenities for wet weather. That said, there is so much to see and do nearby that even the bus journey into Tenby can be fun if you don't want to drive. There is the Museum to visit and nearby are some other smaller beaches and of course the lovely castle and Dylan Thomas's boathouse, an attraction that draws many people from across the world.
I had a great time swimming in the sea, sketching on the rocks and just walking along the headland at the top of the cliffs. My friend has a debilitating illness called ME and can't always have a full day out of bed. She prefers to be quiet then so I usually find something to do and one wet day I had a surprise. Walking along the beach in a light drizzle I saw what seemed to be a few people clustered around a point on the sands. Being a bit nosy I walked up and was pleasantly surprised to see Neil Morrissey being filmed by a small camera crew. He took a break and chatted to me about his childhood near here and his business venture that unfortunately flopped. I was thrilled to meet a man I had admired so much from various TV programmes, and found him to be an absolute down-to-earth person. I didn't get an autograph but had my picture taken with him.
Another day my friend was well so we drove into Tenby and although it was misty when we started out, the sun soon burned off the sea mist and revealed the coastal outline including the vision of Caldey Island. We didn't take a boat trip as both of us had done the trip before, but I recommend it.
Other things for the adults are water sports if you're able. We did consider charting a boat as we had both previously tried White Water rafting, though it's not very exciting here. We also thought we could get nearer to the dolphins and seals that abound along this part of Carmarthen bay. It was a bit too expensive though so we went to visit some gardens nearby.
In the evenings the sunsets were striking and often I was out on the cliffs sketching the sunsets. Maybe one day I'll start a blog and share my pictures. The best part for me was just lazing and enjoying the lapping of the sea on the rocks. This is a quiet area though the coast stretches one way back towards Swansea and the lovely beaches of the Gower. On the Carmarthen bay there are beaches going up to Fishguard and Milford Haven. It's a lovely area for touring.
Prices for caravan holidays start at around £120 per 4-night break, rising to £250 in high season. Weekly prices are anything from £120 to £450 depending on the caravan and the weeks booked. I find there are usually many special offers and we paid about £150 for our six night extended break in late May, quite a bargain.
Maybe I'll see you there sometime?
©Lisa Fuller 2011.
Well, not actually (re: title) as we go there a few times through the year as my mum owns a caravan down there! We have also paid to stay before my mum had hers.
Pendine Sands holiday park is a lovely place to stay and a major benefit is that it is pretty much right next to the beach. It is literally across the road, there's also shops, takeaways, cafes and pubs oh and a little post office.
But getting back to Pendine Sands, it's a lovely big, clean spacious park, the caravan park is quite large in size and iis split into different areas, a bit like street names, but you are never to far from the clubhouse which is called The Venue. It's here you will probably head to for the nights entertainment, they have the kids activities throughout the day and the Tree Tops Grove pop along to greet the kids (or scare them!! depending if your kids like dressed up characters) they aren't in the slightest bit scary and are really cute looking... Milly, Maxi and Monti, they also come on stage in the evening to get the kids up and dancing and to join in the competitions.
The host bingo games and little quiz shows with a prize for the winner. Later on they do also have live entertainment, whether it be singers or comedians, I have yet to see a bad show and they have all been really enjoyable. The drink prices in the clubhouse can be a little pricey and that's not just the alcohol, even the soft drink's don't come cheap, but this is what I have come to expect of all caravan park clubs.
They also serve meals up until 9pm. These are good meals and the prices are ok.
In The Venue you will also find an amusement arcade and the swimming pool. The swimming pool isn't the biggest but it is nice and clean and looks out onto a patio area and when the sun shines in it's really nice.
There is a park outside of the clubhouse and they also set up a big inflatable bouncy castle shark... £1 a go but the kids love it!!
There is another club right up the top of the caravan site but this is by the Owners Select so I don't think you would notice it unless you had a reason to got here, the Owners Select is another bar which has a larged decked area to the rear. We have only been there once but the park was lovely, a nice wooden play area!
I think the best thing though is the fact that the beach is across the road, and Pendine coast has a lovely golden beach although it is owned by the MOD so you have to be aware of what you can't take with you, such as metal detectors. It is a glorious 7 mile stretch of beach and has been used for land speed records since around the 1920's! Just up from the beach there is the Museum of Speed, it has no entry fee and you can see vehicles etc here (It bores me, having been there about a million times but when I was younger I quite enjoyed it!) There's also a nice park there too, and a toilet block with outdoor showers... handy for getting rid of all the sand!! A big carpark can also be found here, which is a pay and display but I think the cost is pretty cheap.
They do sometimes open the ramp, allowing cars to park on the beach.
The beach has brilliant caves to explore and at certain times of the year, the beach can be littered with jellyfish!! My kids found them fasinating..... I found them smelly lol!!
Pendine sands is part of the Parkdean company and can be found at~~
You will then need to search for Pendine Sands... I did try putting in the whole link but it wasn't allowed.
Check this for prices and dates and photos.
I love it here, especially when the sun is shining. Another great thing about Pendine is that you are only about a 20 minute drive from Tenby which is another beautiful place with a good town centre situated behind a big castle wall, Tenby also has fantastic beaches.
As you enter Pendine from either side, you will see the caravan park ahead of you, the signs clearly post where each section of the park is and the reception is the turning with the big flags and rocks. Staff here have always been incredibly helpful.
I wouldn't choose to go anywhere else as I simply adore it here!
Pet's are welcome but you would have to check as I am not sure if that just applies to certain caravans.
I'm adding to this simply for people's reference and although this doesn't actually refer to the park it's a little tip!
Across the road from the actual caravan site there's a pub called The Beach, now the drinks here are cheaper and they welcome kids. It is also a B&B and it serves meals. The Beach is actually situated just above the actual beach and to sit outside with a drink on a warm evening is wonderful, it's such a nice relaxing place to be.
Alongside this is a little shop that rent's out movies, I have never done so, so am not sure of the actual way you go about renting a film, but I thought I would mention it!
The beach in Pendine is simply gorgeous although depending on what time of the year you go there you may see loads of washed up jellyfish ewww! But on a hot day it's lovely, there's miles of golden sand and caves to explore!
Along the front before you get to the actual beach are a few shops, where you can pick up buckets and spades etc. And across the way on the beach is a set of rocky steps which lead you to The Point cafe. The food here is cheap but that doesn't reflect the quality. The food is great and so is the bubblegum ice-cream mmm!
I think if you were to choose Pendine Sands as your holiday destination you certainly wouldn't be disappointed. You can safely leave your car in the site and have a nice time in Pendine alone, although there are so many lovely places to visit!!