Newest Review: ... 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 yo... more
Acers of Sand
Parkdean Pendine Sands Holiday Park (South Wales)
Member Name: QueenElf
Parkdean Pendine Sands Holiday Park (South Wales)
Advantages: Beautiful big beach, lots of nearby attractions. Clean, large site. 1st class accomodation.
Disadvantages: not many local buses.
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?
İLisa Fuller 2011.
Summary: Fun for everyone.
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