Why it's great to holiday with the kids at a pub

21/10/2016
The Stackpole Inn near the famous Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire, Wales takes some beating when it comes to food and location.

There’s something quintessentially British about holidaying at a good old fashioned pub just a couple of miles from the beach.

But this wasn’t just any old beach, and it wasn’t just any old pub for that matter.

We were staying at the Stackpole Inn which boasts one of the UK’s best beaches – Barafundle Bay – less than a five minute drive away.

More and more people are opting for a ‘staycation’ following Brexit, and a pub break offers a great chance to get a feel for a place the way the locals see it.

This multi award-winning pub has been named as one of Alistair Sawdays’ special places to stay and it’s easy to see why.

Owners Gary and Becky Evans offer a warm welcome upon arrival and our room, just across the car park from the pub, was cosy and contemporary, with a cool Scandi country feel and a lovely luxury bathroom to wash off the sand from the beach ready for dinner.

We enjoyed a jug of Pimms in the pretty beer garden, taking in the last rays of the sun whilst the children played in the cute book area, a little hidey-hole full of books for them to read then take away in return for a donation to the British Red Cross.

It’s touches like this that make a pub experience special, including the photographs of local landmarks hanging on the walls, the notices to ‘mind your head’ under the old beams and the local ales on tap behind the bar.

Food
The food here is amazing, with a lengthy blackboard bursting with fish specials.

You could choose from pan fried fillets of seabass and seabream, grilled plaice with Welshman’s caviar (dried and toasted laver bread) and baked hake wrapped in streaky bacon.

I had a whole grilled Dover sole served with a fresh basil pesto and homemade chips. It was delicious. There were also plenty of meat options on menu too, such as Cawl (traditional Welsh broth), Preseli Gold sausages and mash, Welsh sirloin steak and rib of beef, together with very tempting desserts like sticky toffee pudding and Belgian chocolate, cranberry and pecan slice (I can vouch for the latter, it was fabulous.)

Out and about
The next morning we tucked into a hearty Welsh breakfast before heading off to Barafundle Bay.

Maintained by National Trust, you have to pay £5 to park here but then your ticket is valid at all the other NT run beaches and sights around the area for the rest of the day.

You have to walk around 10 minutes across the headland to reach Barafundle but when the bay opens up before your eyes it’s well worth the walk.

There’s a quaint archway then steps down to the beach.

It gives you such a sense of satisfaction when you walk on the golden white sand, a feeling that you’ve discovered something special, even though it’s visited by thousands every year.

The sea here is clear and calm so the children splashed happily for hours before building sandcastles and burying each other in the sand.

And the walk back to the car is rewarded with a cup of tea in The Boathouse, a pretty little tea room offering lunches and cakes at Stackpole Quay, a place where limestone was mined extensively.

Stackpole
Stackpole is steeped in history.

For 800 years, it was the site of a grand house – first owned by a Norman lord then rebuilt in the 1730s and extended a century later by the Cawdor family.

Stackpole Court itself was demolished in the 1960s because it was too expensive to maintain but its legacy lives on.

There are more than 30km of footpaths through lots of different wildlife habitats around the area from the rare birds on the cliffs to the open land of Stackpole Warren, which is said to have evidence of prehistoric life.

As we walked along the cliffs of Stackpole Head, we spotted rare Chough birds on the headlands, a real treat.

We also saw the Green Bridge of Wales, the natural rock bridge jutting out into the sea, and went to explore the famous lily ponds at Bosherston Lakes, which were built by the Cawdor family between 1780 and 1860 as the focal point of their ambitiously designed landscape.

We saw a family of swans, complete with cygnets, and lots of lovely birds and dragonflies. There are otters there too if you sit quietly for long enough.

Broadhaven beach isn’t far from here and is well worth a visit.

A family room at the Stackpole Inn, Jasons Corner, Ystangbwll costs around £100 per night. Visit www.stackpoleinn.co.uk to find out more.

• If you’re looking for a pub to stay at for your holiday, check out the Stay In A Pub website – www.stayinapub.co.uk – which lists the Stackpole Inn as one of more than 1,500 pubs where you can enjoy accommodation, food and a warm welcome throughout Britain.

There’s a good search facility, enabling you to look not just by region but for pubs that welcome children, are pet-friendly, close to beaches, or even have four poster beds.

The full article can be found http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/travel/travel-its-great-holiday-kids-12034209

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