When the sun has got its hat on, there really are fewer places we'd rather spend the day than the beaches and bays of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, while as dusk descends the rarefied night sky round these parts displays the twinkling stars in utmost clarity. And at Stackpole Under the Stars, a hidden idyll of a spot just outside Pembroke, campers and glampers have an unspoiled setting to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with nature. After all, how many campsites can boast a National Park location just a stone's throw from a recognised National Nature Reserve?
While the only remaining link to the Stackpole Estate is the pair of Grade-II- listed stone gate pillars you pass through to enter the campsite, the site of the once grand Stackpole Court is just around the corner. Here, the Stackpole Estate’s landscaped grounds, now reclaimed by nature and managed by the National Trust, are abuzz with wildlife and vibrant flora and centred around the picture-perfect (not to mention, otter-residing) Bosherton Lily Ponds. It is within the grounds of the estate’s North Lodge that Stan and Laura Ridgway's welcome new addition to the Pembrokeshire camping landscape was born.
Offering the best of both worlds, Stackpole Under the Stars has space for five tent pitches alongside a smattering of glamping accommodation which includes hand-crafted yurts, safari tents, and a luxury pod. Keeping things small scale in this way ensures the tranquility of the hay meadow setting is not compromised and all plots are a respectful distance apart. It also means the crafty new wash-pod facilities and eco-friendly compost loo are never over-run. With acres of space, mown play areas and meandering grass pathways, kids can let their imaginations run riot here, with yet more adventures awaiting in the nearby Lodge Park Woods.
Stackpole's prime spot on the southern Pembroke peninsula means some of the region's finest beaches like Broadhaven South and the sand dunes and pine trees of Barafundle Bay are easily accessible. With the Pembrokeshire Coast Path a stone's throw away, you can really soak up the dramatic nature of the West Wales coastline. And just when you think you know this pocket of Pembrokeshire, it continues to reveal hidden treasures like the hermit's chapel, built into the side of a cliff at St Govan's Head. To get there, you'll have to traverse the 52 vertigo-inducing steps that lead down the cliff-face. Local lore (or tourist board propaganda as some have suggested) has it that the number is never the same on the way back up. Either way, we're sure you'll settle that argument back at camp over the nightly ritual of marshmallow-toasting over the flickering flames of the campfire.
'Dreamy Days and Starry Nights' runs the Stackpole Under the Stars tagline and we think that sums things up pretty nicely.