Pembrokeshire is stunning, and the tiny village of Porthgain is a great spot for a sunny evening bite to eat and a walk to watch the sun set over the ocean.
Fancy watching the sun go down over the ocean, with dramatic scenery, after a good meal? We've got just the place for you...
We stayed in Pembrokeshire during an extended late May Bank Holiday break and had our eyes opened to this gem of a place.
Pembrokeshire has dramatic scenery, with a jagged coastline similar to North Cornwall, or even parts of Spain. When calm, the sea is clear turquoise, and you just wouldn't believe you're in the UK.
Running low on food (and energy), shopping and cooking weren't appealing. So it was time to take the crew out for a meal.
The guys at Celtic Camping recommended The Sloop Inn in a little fishing village around the headland called Porthgain.
The jagged coastline of Pembrokeshire means that there are a lot of inlets to explore—some with beaches, some with little villages.
Porthgain is one such village, with a small harbour nestled between the cliffs.
This small little fishing village used to be a port. The cliffs and hills in the area were quarried for slate and road stone, and ships would come into Porthgain to be loaded with rocks from the quarries.
Porthgain has many ruins from that industry, which finished in the 1930s.
The Sloop Inn
The Sloop Inn sits facing a grass square in the village and faces west so that you can sit outside and enjoy the evening sun whilst the kids play on the grass.
It's far enough away from the harbour walls for your kids to play safely but close enough for you to enjoy the view.
In fact, at one point, the harbour extended up to this pub, and boats could moor alongside. Their crew could step from their boat right into the pub, which was then called 'the step inn'.
This place is very popular and can get very busy on a sunny evening.
We were fortunate to find a table outside, and despite the place being packed out, our food came very quickly. The food was good, and the portions were a good size.
If you can't get into the Sloop, Porthgain also has 'The Shed' bistro.
Coastal Paths and an Evening's Stroll
Tracing the route of the impressive coastline is the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, which of course, passes through Porthgain.
After enjoying a meal, you will be rewarded with a walk up the path to the cliff tops.
Safety Note: We're not one to go over the top on health and safety, but yes, I said 'cliff tops'. Ensure adventurous little soles stay on the path and don't run off. The path does get close to the edge of some sheer drops onto rocks and sea. Don't let anyone stand on the cliff edge, as these can be 'false edges' (nothing but a bit of soil held in place by some plants).
Taking the Right Path
As you leave the pub, most people walk up the right-hand side of the bay, as it is still bathed in sun.
At the top of the path is a large navigation marker and a stunning view. When we were there, everyone who walked up to the top said 'oh wow' or similar.
Besides the view, there's lots of wildlife, with coastal birds nesting on the cliffs.
You may even spot some porpoises or seals.
We were lucky enough to see a seal (a big male the size of him). The best time to see seals in Pembrokeshire is August and early September. This is when the pups are born along this coastline.
Walking up to the Quarry Ruins
There's an equally impressive walk on the other side of the Porthgain harbour.
This appears less popular, probably because that side of the harbour sits in the shade.
Walk past the old loading building, which would have once had hoppers protruding, full of stone from the surrounding hills, ready to fill the waiting ships. At the end of the dock are some steep steps that climb up to the top of the cliff.
The landscape is scattered with remains of the industry that closed nearly 100 years ago and gives it a character as the sun goes down.
We walked along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path a little bit further to the quarry site and watched the sunset by the remains of an old building—a great end to a fantastic day in Pembrokeshire.
We couldn't help but snap quite a few pictures. The views were stunning. Something you'd expect in a movie. A great place to take your family.