Enjoy pirates, dragons and dark sky spectacles in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park this half term

Posted On : 31/01/2024

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s three visitor attractions will all be hosting a variety of half term fun this February, offering family-friendly experiences and a flavour of the area’s culture and heritage.

At Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, pirates of the high seas will be coming ashore just in time for the school holidays. Younger visitors will be able take part in The Pirate Trail around the Castle between Saturday 10 February and Sunday 25 February for a small fee. Those successful in locating the pillaged treasure hidden by Pembrokeshire’s most notorious pirate can expect a hearty reward for their efforts.

There will also be an opportunity to join Captain Jan Sparrow for a fun free pirate session, featuring songs, silliness, games and the chance to develop swashbuckling sword skills. Pirates Ahoy! will take place on Monday 12 February, Thursday 15 February and Monday 19 February. Sessions last roughly 30 minutes and are scheduled for 11am, 12noon and 2pm. Normal admission fees apply and there is no need to book.

Carew Castle, which was named Visitor Attraction of the Year in Visit Pembrokeshire’s Croeso Awards, will be open between 10.30am and 3.30pm during the English and Welsh half-term holidays, with Nest Tearoom serving a delectable range of homemade cakes and light refreshments during opening hours.

A mean-looking pirate with a cutlass, with Carew Castle in the background

Happy children leading last year's Dragon Parade through the streets of St Davids.
As the countdown begins for Oriel y Parc’s iconic Dragon Parade on Saturday 2 March, there will be plenty of opportunities this half term to fire up your creative side and join in with the fun.

A Dragon Hunt Trail will run in the grounds of the gallery and visitor centre between Saturday 10 February and Friday 1 March. For a small fee, children will be invited to brave the dragon’s lair and complete the challenges to find the dragon’s egg and collect a medal for their efforts.

Free drop-in Art and Craft Days will take place every day at Oriel y Parc between Saturday 10 February and Sunday 18 February (excluding Wednesday 14), offering the chance to use the centre’s art materials and space to explore your artistic talents – and perhaps even make your own dragon for the Dragon Parade.

The Wednesday Club! Cariad Craft Workshop on Wednesday 14 February presents an opportunity for younger visitors to join in with the Valentine’s Day festivities and create a felt heart to give to a loved one. The drop-in workshop will take place between 11am-3pm and costs £4 per child.

A small insect with a biofluorescent glow, perched on a leaf.
As part of the Welsh Dark Skies Week, the Park Authority has organised two events to celebrate the beauty of Pembrokeshire’s dark skies and explore their relationship with the natural world.

An unforgettable Biofluorescent Night Walk will take place at Pengelli Wood Nature Reserve on Monday 12 February between 6pm-7.30pm. Led by Reveal Nature, the walk offers an insight into the secret world of communication taking place right under our noses and the opportunity to see a variety of biofluorescent organisms.

If you’ve ever wondered what our ancestors might have thought when they gazed up at the cosmos, The Wonders of the Night Sky at Castell Henllys on Wednesday 14 February might provide you with some answers. Gather around the warmth of a roundhouse fire, while storyteller Alice Courvoisier explores various constellations and their associated tales, myths and legends from different cultural traditions. The event will take place on Wednesday 14 February, between 6.15pm-7.45pm.

Booking is essential for both Dark Skies Week events. Further information about these and events taking place at Carew Castle, Castell Henllys and Oriel y Parc can be found at https://pembrokeshirecoast.bookinglive.com/.

In addition to all this, you can also explore the National Park’s great outdoors for free on foot. For inspiration on which routes to follow, visit pembrokeshirecoast.wales/web-walks.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is also trialling an e-bike rental scheme in St Davids. E-bikes can now be hired from Oriel y Parc and used to explore the local area with the aid of an electric motor. Perfect for conquering steep hills, or cycling a little bit further than you usually would, more information about the e-bikes can be found at pembrokeshirecoast.wales/oriel-y-parc/e-bike-hire.

For those in need of additional mobility support, a range of equipment is also available to help you on your way, including mobility scooters and beach wheelchairs, some of which are available to hire now for free. For further details visit pembrokeshirecoast.wales/beach-wheelchairs.