Coasteering In Pembrokeshire| Visit Wales

There’s nothing I like more than bundling myself into a car and heading off on an adventure.

Most of the time it involves heading to an airport.  But not this time.  Oh no, I settled into the passenger seat of the car while Mr London Mum took to the wheel and drove us from our home all the way to Pembrokeshire in Wales.

I wish I could say I was a good companion on the road, but I’m not.  After singing loudly to Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” when it cropped up on Capital Radio, the station was quickly changed by a rather unbemused Mr London Mum who decided to listen to his usual crud.

We have a rule, whoever drives gets to pick the music. Plus his “crud” is probably more likely to be considered perfectly acceptable compared to what I listen to ;).

So with his music on I decided to shut my eyes…  for pretty much the entire journey.  I was child free, and I was fully taking advantage ;).

But it did mean the four hour journey was over in a flash (for me), and as we pulled into Preseli Venture Eco Lodge we started to get a little bit more excited.

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After all this wasn’t any ordinary adventure.  We were about to experience something pretty awesome in collaboration with Visit Wales.

We had agreed to throw ourselves into the cold coastal waters surrounding Pembrokeshire, all in the name of “finding our epic.”

Yes, we were going to try out coasteering, and there was no better place than the rugged, rocky sea cliffs on the Welsh coast to try out this adrenaline sport.

Preseli Venture Eco Lodge was the perfect base for our adventure.  After turning up late in the evening, everything we could have wanted was taken care of.  Our dinner was freshly prepared and we hungrily devoured it sitting by the fire.

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A good homemade pasta bolognese hit the spot, as did the apple crumble with ice-cream that followed.

At the lodge everything is catered for.  It just takes off the pressure and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the adventure- whether that’s just the one activity or a full weekender!

And trust me, you’ll be grateful that someone has prepared your breakfast and lined your stomach before you head out to jump off cliffs (as I was to find out the next morning).

After a good nights sleep in a private double room, and one hell of a good breakfast…

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We all attentively listened to them when they arrived, and they settle my nerves immediately.  None of us had to do anything we felt was out of our comfort level.

Our group consisted of about 9 Boston University students, currently doing a “semester” in London, ourselves of course and an older lady who had just arrived as she wasn’t staying at the Lodge.  She had been booked on the activity by her husband as a Christmas present but he wimped out of doing it himself ;).

We were all kitted out in full on winter wetsuits and lifejackets before leaving the lodge and then we jumped into the mini van for a quick 5 minute drive down to the coast.

The grey day didn’t exactly make the water look inviting, but one by one we walked into the sea until we couldn’t feel the sea bed anymore.

Our life jackets pulled us up as the cold water swirled around us.  Sharp gasps were heard as cold water trickled down our backs and seeped in.

Strangely, although it starts off so unbelievably cold, in a matter of minutes you really don’t feel the cold anymore.  I’m not sure if it’s the wetsuit, the adrenaline or the aggressive doggy paddling or perhaps a combination of all three, but the cold stopped seeping in.

And there I was floating around in March in the freezing Welsh waters, quite enjoying this novel view of the coast.

We made our way over to a rocky jutting out island.  As we neared it the water picked up a current through a cave, and we had to fight against this when clinging onto the island edge.  At no point did I feel unsafe though.  Just exhilarated.

We clambered up the rocks, and one by one we jumped off a small cliff edge.

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I say it was small, but actually standing up on the edge while looking down at the swirling sea below, it really doesn’t seem all that small.

With my heart beating fast and my need to overrule my brain; which was screaming at me to not jump, I plunged into the watery abyss.

I loved it.

We swam around the island; or in my case I held on to Mr London Mum’s feet as I realised I moved quicker that way, and clambered up onto another ledge while waves crashed over our heads.

One by one we made our way to the edge again.  This time we weren’t going to jump.  We were going to slide into the water and go through a cave.

It sounds simple enough, but the waves were coming through the cave quite strong, the swell of the water splashed as we fought our way through into the darkness.

We held hands to give us more power and strength as we fought the waves to come out the other side and back into the light.

It was amazing.

Across the sea we swam again to some more cliff jumps.  Depending on the tides, one of the jumps reaches 35ft.  The day we went it was about 22ft, but still a bit too high for me to manage.  So I chickened out of that one, deciding to stick to the slightly smaller jump just below.

Down I plunged.  My body just slipped straight under the surface of the water, and finally the life jacket pulled me back up to the surface again where I gulped in the fresh air.  A big smile across my face.

Coasteering originated over 100 years ago in the UK, so there’s no better place to do this sport than right here.  And with the coast in Pembrokeshire providing a manner of ways to enjoy the sea there couldn’t be a better spot.

With caves, rock arches, vertical rock faces and even Atlantic grey seals on occasion there is so much fun to be had.  And no two adventures are the same due to the changing weather, tides and currents.

We all climbed up a big rocky sea cliff at the end of our adventure.  All of us proud of what we’d achieved.

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These anonymous people had become my companions and together we’d laughed, shrieked and helped each other throughout.

We quickly dried off (still surprisingly not cold), changed out of our wetsuits and into dry clothes and shared a hot chocolate before heading back to Preseli Lodge.  Where a ploughman’s lunch and a hearty warm soup along with freshly baked bread was awaiting us.

After our lunch we got back on the road, jealous to be leaving behind the Boston University Students who were staying on at Preseli Lodge for another night to go hiking, surfing and kayaking as well.

We couldn’t have experienced a more enjoyable and adventurous time.

Our experience was booked by Virgin Experience Days and we couldn’t have dreamt up a more thrilling date if we tried.  Sometimes as a couple we get comfortable in our home life, that we forget to do the fun things from time to time.  It was one night of freedom as just us.  And not us as parents.

Although I did say to Mr London Mum as we drove away, that I can’t wait to go on adventures like that with Little London when he’s old enough.  Just as we take our lives as a couple for granted, sometimes family life can be taken for granted as well.  A child will remember an experience like that with his parents for a lifetime.

(Disclosure: We were invited to try out a Virgin Experience Day with Visit Wales.)

thelondonmum

50 Comments

  1. I don’t quite understand what is coasteering exactly, but it sounds like a lot of fun!

    • It’s a mixture of things really. It’s exploring the coast by being at eye level really,w heather that’s in the water, climbing up on to the rocks, jumping in, swimming through caves etc. It’s basically having fun around the coast line 😉

    • It was great fun, there isn’t really an age cut off point to be fair, it just depends if you’re up for it or not. And with the life jacket even the unfit (a.k.a me) can manage it!

  2. Wow this sounds an amazing adventure! You’re definitely braver than me lol x

    • It actually wasn’t as bad as I feared, so if I can do it anyone can! 😉

    • That’s how I felt until I did it, once you get started you throw yourself in!

    • It was great fun. There are lots of different experiences with virgin experience days in wales, so I’m sure there must be one that would suit your mobility level 🙂

  3. Sounds like you had an amazing time! I’m surprised that you didn’t feel the cold, it looks freezing! I’ve jumped off a cliff once and it was so exhilarating, I’d love to try something like this 🙂

    • Oh it was, but actually once you had been in it for a couple of minutes you really couldn’t feel the cold. It was colder out of the water than in! lol.

  4. This seemed like so much fun. 🙂 I would have loved to do this before I got sick with my balance disorder. I love seeing your smile, you look so happy. 🙂 I’m a mermaid as I love being in the water, so I just know I would have loved it. 🙂 I’ve been to Pembrokeshire before and it’s so beautiful .

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    • It’s such a beautiful place isn’t it. You really would have loved it if you love the water that much.. what a frustrating disorder to have for you. I hope it’s not a forever thing and you can get back to doing the things you love before you had it. x

    • It’s great fun, it would be so amazing to go coasteering and come across the seals.. we didn’t see them out trip but that’s a reason for me to do it again! x

  5. This sounds so amazing and like something I would love, I know my daughter would love to do something like this too as she’s getting to an age now where she is nearly a teenager and wants to do everything! You look like you had so much fun x
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    • She would definitely love this then! In fact get a bunch of her friends together and go do it! She’ll love it!

    • They do loads of activities, but I chose that one for the fear factor 😉 Although I have to say it really wasn’t as bad as I feared. It was really enjoyable!

  6. i would love to do this one day. ive never done this before and am always open to trying new things 😀

  7. Introducing the adventurous rockhopper all action dynamic LondonMum!! What an exhilarating post! LondonMum in a wet suite? Well I never ha! Hope you’ve recovered? Bet LL had the Ralgex waiting?? Knowing your style of music, no wonder Mr. L drove all the way haha. Just to finish you off, we have similar adventure breaks down ‘ere … but bring ya’ own wheelchair ha (sorry.) Onwards LondonMum. ‘O.’

    • You should have seen the wetsuit struggle it was real. VERY real hahaha. x

    • It was so much fun, and it was nice to get up close to the coast line during the offseason.

  8. I’ve never even heard of coasteering in my life LOL. I guess now that I live in the UK I better make the effort to travel here as much as I can and give this awesome activity a go! The wetsuit would be an absolute must for me though – i hate cold water and I can’t imagine it being really warm in the UK 🙂

    • Definitely try it out then! It’s so much fun, and yeah I think in the UK the wetsuit would be mandatory even when it’s warm hahaha 😉

    • It was a brilliant place to stay, everything we could possibly have needed was catered for. They have a drying room for wet clothing and shoes too.

  9. Sounds like a really fun day! I’m impressed you spent that much time in Welsh waters and weren’t cold! Mustve been a mixture of the wetsuits and the adrenaline – I think this is definitely something I would do 🙂 Glad you had an enjoyable day!

    • The wetsuits did an amazing job, even after we’d finished and did a quick change into dry clothes the weather still didn’t make me feel cold!

    • Real homemade comfort food is the best! It was perfect having everything ready and prepared for straight after coasteering too.

  10. What an adventure! I would love to give something like that a try. I’ve never been to Wales. Was the water cold?

    • Yes the water was cold when we first got in. I didn’t think I’d last, but literally about 5 minutes in you warm up. The combination of constant moving and the winter wet suits definitely work well together 😉

  11. I love your perspective! It’s true that we can set too settled into home life and I agree that it’s important to push ourselves into new adventures. I had never heard of coasteering before reading this, and I have to say, it’s intriguing! Interesting that you warmed up so quickly after getting into the icy water. The cold would be the scariest part for me!

    • It was great to just do something so different with my other half. 🙂

      If you can you have to try coasteering at some point, it really is great fun! x

    • It was so much fun, not having to deal with cooking was a god send 😉

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