12th August 2020 by

Posted in News

Five Special and Wonderful Things about Pembrokeshire

From blowholes to glowing plankton, we explore some of Pembrokeshire’s magical discoveries.

1. St.Govan’s Chapel

Legend has it that St.Govan arrived here in the early 7th Century, where a cleft in the rocks opened up for him to hide in as he was being chased by pirates. After such a strange and miraculous event, he was compelled to spend the rest of his life here as a teacher and to preach.

In the 13th Century his followers built the tiny chapel over what they believed to be his burial place. Some people believe that St.Govan was in fact Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew, who settled in the area after Arthur died.

Whatever you believe, St.Govan’s chapel is a unique and intriguing place to be. The small chapel clings to the rocks with a view that is worth the tricky terrain.

The steep steps that lead down to the chapel also have their own legend. It is said that no-one counts the same number of steps when they go down as they do when they go up. Try it for yourself.


2. Bioluminescent Plankton

These tiny plankton emit light using a chemical called luciferin when they are disturbed by waves or movement, giving the effect of  bright twinkly lights in the water.

Commercial skipper Joanne Ayris has seen the plankton plenty of times when at sea at night. “It’s like something out of a sci-fi film. Sometimes, when taking the dinghy out in the dark, there is a torch-like light shooting out of the propeller from the plankton, or a bright blue explosion on the spray of breaking waves.”

These magical plankton are visible only at night and make for an other-worldly experience. They are common in Pembrokeshire during season (mid to late Summer).


3. Skomer Island

Skomer is a small island (3.2km x 2.4km) a few miles off the North Pembrokeshire coast, and is pretty much entirely covered in birds during the breeding season (April to July).

Skomer is home to around half of the world’s population of Manx Shearwaters and around 6000 pairs of colourful puffins. That’s 12000 puffins!

During Spring Skomer is carpeted with bluebells. A beautiful sight to behold.


4. Blowholes

Have you ever seen a huge volume of water shoot through the ground and into the air? Well in Pembrokeshire you certainly can.

Blowholes are formed when a sea cave grows landwards and upwards. When waves crash into the caves, the pressure pushes the water up through the shaft and it bursts out of the top of the blowhole, which can be near the coast or further inland. It’s crazy!

Pembrokeshire has lots of ‘active’ blowholes, including the one on Bosherston Mere, thanks to its position on the coast and regular swell.


5. Lammas Eco Village

The UK’s first planned off-grid community. The self-built eco houses have been constructed using both traditional and modern eco-friendly techniques, with recycled and natural materials.

The low-impact village relies on solar power, hydro power and wind turbines. Domestic water comes from a spring and the rest of their water is collected from rain.

The community are self-sufficient: growing and farming all of their food. Passionate about sustainability, the village is permaculture based and they also keep bees.