Most of the best bits of the country are on the coast, but nowhere has more to offer than Pembrokeshire. It’s cheaper than Cornwall — the average property in Tenby costs £239,000, compared with £576,000 in Rock — and easier to reach from most parts of the country (from Bristol, it’s 30 minutes quicker to drive to Tenby than to Newquay). Its secluded coves and glorious beaches are far less crowded, too.
Carol Peett, managing director of West Wales Property Finders, reports a huge surge in prospective buyers, partly thanks to the post-referendum staycation craze, with choice properties selling for more than their asking price. Many buyers are second-homers, some with an eye on a future permanent move. All are made welcome, as long as they join in and don’t complain about getting stuck behind the occasional tractor.
On a coastline studded with gems, our favourite is Saundersfoot, a pretty village that’s emerging gleefully from the shadow of its larger neighbour, Tenby. It has a choice of Blue Flag beaches and high-class restaurants (Coast, the Stone Crab, the Mulberry), and there’s always something going on, especially since the revamp of the harbour, where locals and visitors gather for hog roasts, fireworks displays and other festivities. There’s life here all year, and incomers will earn brownie points if they join the 1,500 or more brave souls in the annual New Year’s Day swim. A detached house in a plum location can cost upwards of £600,000; you’ll pay less if you can live without the sea view.
Children’s author Eloise Williams moved here from Cardiff five years ago following her marriage to the artist Guy Manning, who has a gallery in Tenby. She uses the local wildlife and landscape as inspiration for her novels: the latest, Seaglass, is a ghost story set just up the coast in Wisemans Bridge. “I had never lived by the sea, and it’s been quite a revelation,” she says. “I used to think it was just blue, but when you live here, you see it in all seasons and all colours. It’s relaxing, and I think I feel calmer for living here.”
The couple live in a tiny rose-covered cottage with their dog, Watson Jones. “It’s like walking into an Enid Blyton novel,” says Eloise, 47. “There are dolphins and starfish, owls and woodpeckers. Saundersfoot has an interesting history and a real sense of community — everybody says hello to each other. I thought I would miss the hustle and bustle of the city, but I really don’t. I’ve relaxed into the Pembrokeshire way of life.”
Other choice locations here include Manorbier, with a surfable sandy beach and a medieval castle. It’s a favourite spot of Caspar Beck, who lives nearby with his wife and children, and is a fine example of the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps the area vibrant: he works as a photographer by day and a caterer by night, delivering Asian-inspired banquets via his website, welovecurry.net.
If you would like to live by the sea, or buy a property in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Gower, give West Wales property Finders a call on 01834 862816. We can find your perfect property for you whilst saving you time, stress, and often money too. http://www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk