You’re never far from what you need at Headland Escape. If it takes you more than five minutes to walk to the characterful village pub then your dawdling. The beach is no more than a 10-minute stroll and, thanks to a luxury spa resort a few hundred yards away, you’ll also find a top Italian restaurant, tennis courts and a menu of massage treatments on your doorstep. So, if you’ve come by car don’t expect to use it much. You may well drive it here but chances are you won’t be leaving in a hurry.
The glamping site itself comprises a small collection of yurts and an en-suite shepherd’s hut. Each yurt has its own private shower and bathroom facilities, while, inside, they feature kind-sized beds and wood-burning stoves. Kitchen huts and picnic tables help you cook and dine al fresco (if you’re not eating at Waves Restaurant next door) and there’s ample space to call your own outside each yurt. One of the real joys is the clear attention to detail, from the pot plants inside and the ready-filled baskets of logs beside the fire, to the arch of newly planted shrubs outside, growing in an arch to mirror the curvature of the canvas.
The great sand-and-shingle crescent of Lydstep Beach is the closest beach, found on the other side of a caravan park that backs much of its half-mile width. If you want somewhere quieter, you can walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to secret spots like Church Door Cove or Skrinkle Haven Beach (about 30 minutes), which reveal empty pockets of sand at low tide that, on a quiet day, you might enjoy all to yourselves. The cliff-top walking, however, is as inspiring as the beaches. Walk out on limestone Lydstep Headland (from which the glamping site takes its name) and there’s a mile-long National Trust trail you can follow, taking in views of Caldey Island and hidden caverns. On a clear day you can even see across to Lundy Island and the distant Somerset coast.
Walk far enough and you reach Manorbier, with its famous castle and surfer-friendly sands, while the popular harbour town of Tenby is four miles to the east and a great spot to go for a wider variety of dining options. Make it back by bedtime and you can enjoy star-gazing through the clear circular lantern that crowns each of the four yurts. From your bed you can spot Orion’s belt and hunt for shooting stars. Or just fall asleep after all that walking.
Walk 300 yards down the lane and you hit the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Stay on the road and go through the edge of the caravan park to Blue-Flag Lydstep Beach (half a mile), a sandy crescent backed by a pebble bank and shouldered by limestone cliffs at either end. Or turn right onto the footpath and head out along the trail around the headland, following a National Trust route that takes in Lydstep Caverns and Smugglers Caves. You can also skip the headland and head west, enjoying a cliff-top walk to quiet Church Door Cove and Sandy Skrinkle Haven Beach (one mile). It’s around three miles on this path, weaving along the clifftops, to Manorbier Beach (though to drive there it’s two miles – around five minutes). The beach is backed by Manorbier Castle (01834 871394) – the well-preserved 12th century gatehouse is well worth a visit. The crown disposed of the place in 1670 and it was derelict for some time until a local family purchased and reinvigorated it. Life-size wax figures in costume are dotted about the place and you can admire the view from the turret windows down to the surfer-friendly sands below.
To the east, it’s four miles by road to Tenby, where you can explore its many shops and cafés, with the chance to catch a ferry out to Caldey Island. And, if you don’t feel you’ve been sufficiently pampered at the glamping site, Celtic Haven Spa (01834 826998) is about 200 yards from your yurt and has a wide variety of facials, massages and treatments.
Try the Italian-inspired food at Waves Cliff-top Bar & Restaurant (part of Celtic Haven; 01834 870085) where you can dine with views across the bay (or grab takeaway pizza to enjoy down on the beach). For a good pub, walk to The Lydstep Tavern (01834 871521), a traditional Welsh bolthole in the heart of the village.