Caerfai Farm is one of the original pioneers of low-carbon camping. Indeed this organic, family-run dairy farm has won awards-a-plenty for its eco-initiatives, for example the landmark wind turbine you pass on your way down the lane. However, you don’t have to join the sandals and sackcloth brigade to camp here – it’s a welcome-all, traditional campsite, with the usual scattering of tents, the odd campervan, buckets & spades, wetsuits and surfboards.
There are four fields, three of which look out to sea, with the best views had by those in the “cliff field” next to the coast path. Yes, you are camping virtually on top of the Pembrokeshire coast, with the pretty little Caerfai beach just a five-minute stroll down the cliff path. There are adequate washroom facilities here, with solar heating and a fantastic little farm shop that sells some outstanding local produce including matured Caerfai Cheddar and Caerphilly cheese, all produced on the farm. So, no unnecessary food miles. The morning croissant queues are legendary, with kids and adults alike racing back across the grass clutching brown paper bags to enjoy the warm contents with their morning cuppa.
It’s an easy hop into St Davids for all the local attractions and you’re brilliantly placed to explore all the beautiful beaches that North Pembrokeshire has to offer. Do remember, though, that the views come at a price in inclement weather. Being on the edge of Wales, glorious sunshine and pancake-flat seas can often be engulfed by howling wind and lashing rain. Regulars (of which there are many) tend to opt for sturdy tents and double-check their pegs and guy-ropes!
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After specifically looking for a campsite with coastal views, I came across Caerfai Farm on Cool Camping. This site was fab, not being overcrowded at all as all campers have a pitch around the periphery of the field leaving large open space in the middle. There is access to Caerfai Bay which is just gorgeous, especially when the tide is out is is all white sand and blue sea. There are good facilities with showers, toilets and washing up areas, as well as a lovely little farm shop supplying local cheese, ice-cream, yoghurt and other organic fayres. The walk into St. David's is minimal, only taking us about 10 minutes where there is a good offering of local boozers. It is on top of a cliff, so ensure you pitch your tent well and take earplugs to block out the wind, but it is all worth it to wake up to that view.
We stayed here in May 2012. The setting is absolutely stunning, on the clifftop with views all across St Brides Bay. The fact that it is also right on the coastal path means that there are some really spectacular walks to be had without having to get in the car. St Davids is about 20 mins walk away with a few amenities including shops, pubs and cafes. Being on the top of the cliff was wonderful however does mean that the site is exposed and although the weather was generally good the wind could be quite chilly (not sure I'd fancy it in really bad weather). As reasonably novice campers the facilities were adequate but basic and prone to wildlife - I'm sure there's much worse out there and we had no real complaints. The farm shop was really useful with some lovely cheese, rolls, pastries and other bits and pieces. The only real issue we had was when it got busier at the weekend there was a large and noisy group of people who flouted the no noise after ten pm rule, although obviously this is no particular fault of this campsite.
We saw some stunning sunsets here...yes the weather was changeable (and windy- what you would expect at the top of the cliff) I felt a sense of real freedom on this site...in its windswept and unspoilt state...toilets and showers were basic but clean. I liked the way the kids could group together in the centre and play together. A real gem of a find.
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We stayed in Caerfai Farm, which is not only a working dairy farm but the only Welsh farm certified to sell raw (unpasteurised) milk. Highlights were watching the cows being milked by the automatic milking machine, walks in both directions along the stunning coastal path and playing in the beautiful beach.
The best pitches are those in the lower fields directly overlooking the bay. Bring hats, it's windy. The washing facilities are fine, there is a seemingly limitless supply of free & piping hot water, from a heat pump, solar & wind power. Watch out, some pitches are on quite a slope and the site does get full at peak times. Also as dogs are welcome on the site & the beach, both are a bit of a magnet for dogowners. There were more dogs than people on the beach at times.
We stayed at Caerfai Farm August b.hol 2010. Booked at short notice, just a week before but had no problem getting a pitch. The pitches are HUGE, plenty of room for our 8 berth, plus porch, plus windbraked seating area and our van and room to spare. There are four main fields. Three have amazing views over St.Brides Bay, the other doesn't have the views, but neither does it have the wind or the slope. Yes it's a gentle slope but nothing to get uptight about and the wind is to be expected when you're at the top of a cliff. The centre of each field is kept clear for games etc. The coastal path is reached directly from the site and Caerfai Bay is a stone's throw away. The path down to the beach is great on the way down but a heavy slog on the way back. The bay is sheltered and spotless with lots of rockpools for exploring as well as a lovely expanse of sand. Visiting the farm shop is a must before breakfast when the delicious smell of freshly baked croissants wafts over the site. The village of St Davids is within walking distance albeit back down the narrow track to the main road so beware if you have children. The toilet blocks were basic but clean and the best time to shower is in the afternoon as the showers are solar heated. The ladies loos also had swallows nesting there; the fledglings came back each night to roost on the roof lintels.
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Quite simply, one of Pembrokeshire’s finest camping spots.
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Porthclais Farm CampsitePorthclais, St Davids, Pembrokeshire SA62 6RR
A big but intimate site with 180 degree views of a cracking coastline.
4 fields, one
with storm shelter. Water standpipes within 100m of each pitch. Mens &
Ladies toilet blocks with 1 shower each. 3 additional single showers, plus 2
family showers. Dishwashing room. Laundry-room at the farm (across the lane).
If you want an adrenaline rush or just a good soaking try TYF Adventure (01437 721611) for coasteering, sea kayaking, rock climbing and plenty of other waterbound activities. Surfers should head to Whitesands beach and wannabes can take lessons with the Ma Simes crew (01437 720 433). Oriel y Parc (01437 720 392) is a national treasure, especially on damp days – art collection, kids craft days and cool café.
If it rains
Food & Drink
The farm shop is packed to the brim with delicious organic produce, including the farm’s cheese, as well as the usual camping essentials. St Davids has everything else. The Sound Café (01437 721 717) is popular with the surfey crowd and renowned for its great breakfasts and tapas evenings. And for ice-cream lovers, it doesn’t get much better than the gelato at The Bench (01437 721 778), made from Caerfai organic milk.
Just under a mile away, back near the Visitor Centre, is The Grove Hotel (01437 720341), a regency house with an atmosphere-less restaurant (only open Fri/Sat night), but a livelier snug bar that serves decent food. Also in town is the lovely Cwtch (01437 720491), serving simple, traditional dishes with a contemporary twist in cosy, relaxed surroundings. There’s also a small bar upstairs.
Train to Haverfordwest or Fishguard and buses run from Haverfordwest to St David’s (service 411), but it’s quite a walk from town if you’ve lots of gear.