My first-ever solo holiday exceeded all expectations! Picture this: the sea’s endless horizon in front of me, the call of seals in the distance, the rush of my surf board (darting away from me) and the warm embrace of the sun overhead. Even a post-adventure snooze outside a Starbucks to enable my journey home, because let’s face it, I’m 40 now and can’t keep up with the kids LOL. If you’re looking for the ultimate activity holiday, combining natural beauty, outdoor thrills and self-discovery, then keep reading.
Preseli Venture Pembrokeshire
Preseli Venture offers the perfect blend of adrenaline-pumping activities and serene natural beauty, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to step out of their comfort zone and immerse themselves in the great outdoors. With its 5-star eco lodge accommodations, guided outdoor experiences and focus on sustainability, it certainly ticked all my boxes for my first solo adventure.
The Eco Lodge
From the moment I set foot in Preseli Venture’s Eco Lodge in Wales, I felt an incredible sense of welcome. It was as though I had stepped into a family gathering, complete with homemade food, beverages and a communal bench where I met my fellow adventurers for the first time.
The Lodge offers everything you need to stay entertained; a games chest, football and pool table, a large TV (the rugby was on!) and of course, a well-stocked bar.
They even sold marshmallows to toast over their evening campfires—a nice touch to bring our little community together. You’ll be glad to hear that I managed to channel the ever so tipsy Eleni and not break out in Kumbaya. I did however manage to shout ‘Bullsh*’ at the top of my voice at the excitement of winning a round of cards. LOL.
The shared rooms offer the basics. What more do you need when you’re outdoors all day! It was very clean, I had a comfy bed, somewhere to store my clothes and a tiny sink and mirror.
While it may not seem like much, that little sink is a lifesaver when you wake up with a hairdo that resembles the iconic scene from ‘There’s something about Mary’. And yes, I may be single, but this is not that type of holiday…I’m talking sea-side, salt infused hair!
Trust me, nobody in the communal breakfast setting needs to see the monstrosity that is “just-woke-up-me.” A quick splash of water, frantic hair brushing, and voila, I was human enough to be seen in public.
The absence of WiFi in the rooms encouraged a digital detox. It nudged me to spend more time in the hub, socialising and partaking in group activities.
- Shower rooms were clean, lockable, and you’ll be glad to hear – supplied with hot water.
- As most of the activities are based around water, they have a clothes line as well as a heated room
A word of caution: sneaking to the loo at 2 am is far from a silent affair, thanks to echoing halls and creaky stairs.
Pembrokeshire Sports Activities
Preseli Venture, in North Pembrokeshire, offers an exhilarating range of sports activities that promise to awaken your adventurous spirit. Their offerings include sea kayaking, surfing, coasteering, yoga and hiking.
Surfing at Newgale Beach
My very first activity of the weekend was surfing. I’d like to paint a picture of my fellow adventurers at this point… The majority of my group were very attractive, athletically gifted males.
Now, ladies, you may be reading this thinking that I was damn lucky to be fortunate enough to spend my weekend with such individuals. Just keep reading….LOL
Step 1; Get kitted out in our wetsuits. If you’ve ever put one on, you’ll know that they are tricky things at the best of times. Imagine having arms like Jason Momoa (AKA Aquaman – he feels quite relevant here) and consider how hard it would be to pull a wetsuit over that volume of muscle. I’m not going to lie; I enjoyed watching as my group wriggled their derrières whilst navigating the tight suit.
I do wonder if the surf instructor purposely gave them smaller wetsuits as a laugh. LOL
Sorry, back to the activity. We arrived at Newgale, a beautiful golden sand beach known for its ‘large surf’. Our instructor labelled the conditions as ‘dreamy,’ but let’s just say I got acquainted with the ocean – face-first. I lost count how many times waves crashed into my face and the saltwater went up my nose. Really not the look you want in front of a team of ripped rugby players.
After a series of wipeouts, I finally caught a wave that brought me triumphantly back to shore, standing upright on my board. Believe me, it had all been totally worth it, for those few magical seconds.
Next, I faced the embarrassment of changing out of a wetsuit in the middle of a car park.
Thank goodness I purchased a last minute beach kimono (even if it was bright pink and perhaps not the most subtle of choices for this situation!). It wouldn’t have been so bad but I got my foot jammed in the bottom of the wetsuit and ended up hopping around splashing mud up my legs.
Believe me, this just summed up my anything but graceful surfing experience, but I’d still do it all again in a heartbeat! Sod what I looked like anymore, let’s just roll on with the adventure.
Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk
The afternoon saw me hiking solo for 4.25 miles, starting at Abercastle Beach and ending at Abermawr Beach. A stunning coastal walk witnessing the true beauty Wales has to offer. Read about my transformational point with solo travel on my hike around the Pembrokeshire coast.
Even though my tight schedule didn’t permit me to partake in sea kayaking, I quickly learned that it’s a popular activity here. Half the guests at Preseli Venture were here solely for sea kayaking experiences, with the prospects of sighting dolphins, seals and enjoying the stunning Wales coast.
Kitted up in more gear than I thought possible, the nerves really kicked in as I faced the cliff’s edge. But the group of rugby enthusiasts became my emotional anchors, cheering me on as I conquered my fears and made the jump. Read about my full experience: Coasteering in North Pembrokeshire: A Daring Adventure with Preseli Venture
Things to Do in Pembrokeshire
Take a look at this wonderful map of Pembrokeshire. It goes a long way in showing the vast amount of things to explore in the region. I wish I had stayed for a week as a weekend was just not long enough.
Activity Weekend Tips
Prepare yourself well for your adventure. Bring:
- Hiking boots – the hike gets muddy
- Bug spray and sun lotion
- Healthy snacks (cereal bars great for your beach bag)
- Quiet shoes for those midnight loo runs. Flip flops for the shower run
- You won’t get internet in your room so if you can’t go to sleep without anything, either download something onto your phone or take a book
- Take 2 swimming costumes in case you have AM and PM activities. there’s nothing worse than putting on a wet swimsuit
- Don’t forget your water bottle. There’s lots of refilling stations spotted around. They are an eco lodge so don’t sell bottled water and you will want it for your daily adventures
- 2 Towels plus a beach poncho for changing
Try to arrive in time for the first night’s dinner at 7:30pm to meet your group.
By packing adequately and coming prepared for anything, you too can have an adventure-filled activity holiday in Wales that you won’t soon forget.
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