Many many moons ago (seriously, I think this was my third passport stamp) I left the hustle and bustle of my London dorm for a quick getaway to Wales.
We stayed for only a short weekend at the Preseli Venture Eco Lodge, where we were greeted warmly and with great enthusiasm. Located just a mile off the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, this sustainable lodge can host upwards of 40 guests at a time- all of whom are taking advantage of the spectacular location. The rooms within the lodge to trend towards the hostel type with bunk-beds to help conserve space- but glamping and camping stays are also offered.
We spent a lot of time in the cozy common area of the lodge or outside with only a fire to disrupt one of the most spectacular starry skies I’d ever seen! The food was delicious- and they were amazingly accommodating for my friend’s gluten free needs. They also had the best selection of spiked hot chocolate offered by their well-stocked bar.
While the lodge itself was lovely, much of the draw for this stay was all of the spectacular adventures just minutes away from the door! We had time to do three separate excursions, all organized by our hosts.
First, we did a half day sea kayaking adventure. This was my first time ever kayaking and though we did have a brief kayaking lesson, I was so nervous about flipping over! Statistically its got to happen to someone, right? Luckily, I was able to survive the trip without any undue soakings. I loved seeing the sheer cliff sides from the water and we even had a little bit of cave exploration during our trip. Most memorably, we were briefly followed by a curious seal. They’re much bigger up close than I would have thought- we fondly started calling the straggling kayaks of our group “seal bait”, though our new friend never got closer than a hundred feet or so.
After kayaking, we went on a hike. We had a lot of optimism for our ability to navigate this trail on our own but coming from New York, the most difficult trail you can find is often a paved road. We were provided with a map, but it was hand drawn and not to scale so often added to the confusion. Did you know that in Wales, sometimes the hike goes through random fields of cows? It was a steep learning curve that almost lead us off a very steep cliff, but we ended up having such an incredible time hiking through one of the most beautiful parks in Wales that it really kickstarted my love of hiking.
Our last and most unique excursion was a half day of coasteering. Now, for the uninitiated like myself coasteering is a bit like cliff jumping over water- except you have to swim to the cliffs first! We were kitted out in a wetsuit with a helmet and a lifejacket and brought out to the sea. There were several fantastic guides who made sure we were safe as they guided us along the coastline to different rock formations. Between the swimming and the rock climbing, by the time you got up to the cliff jumping part, you barely have time to feel scared! While I’m not a huge fan of heights – though you’d never guess that from some of my other adventures- the guides were so confident and funny that I was able to jump off each cliff. Special shout out to the guide who held my hand, looked me dead in the eyes, and asked me very seriously if I wanted him to push me off the cliff.
Throughout the trip, all of our guides and hosts were friendly and charming. It was such a gift to be able to experience the Welsh country side from such an in depth perspective. Oftentimes I feel that we just take a few pictures and move on, so I loved being able to interact with the environment in such a way. If you have the opportunity to visit, don’t miss out on this fantastic getaway!