Family adventure holiday in Wales

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2021: 28 Mar, 4 Apr, 30 May, 18 Jul, 25 Jul, 1 Aug, 8 Aug, 15 Aug, 22 Aug, 24 Oct
Low carbon:
The eco lodge is completely ‘No carbon’ in that no fossil fuels are used for running the lodge – except for a very small amount of gas (propane) which is used in the gas cooker hob in the lodge kitchen. All the heating and hot water is provided by the following: Ground source heat pump with hot water also provided by an array of solar panels. There are 2 arrays of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity which powers the heat pump. Electricity is also source from the grid via Ecotricity (electricity sourced from renewable energy) We reduce the lodge electricity consumption by fitting LED lights and in bathrooms and hallways the lights are on sensors. We encourage our guests to travel to Pembrokeshire, Wales by train into our local train station – we offer train station transfers (on certain popular times) for free using our minibuses. The activities we run from the lodge are all low carbon – the only fossil fuel required is to run the minibuses which take the group from the eco lodge to the nearby beach/harbour on the coast – which is carbon efficient as only one vehicle is required rather than each person in their own car. We use rainwater to wash the outdoor kit. We recycle everything including food waste.
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We are committed to promoting sustainable adventure tourism in the wilderness area of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park here in West Wales. We aim to provide the highest standards of hospitality and accommodation, whilst at the same time providing opportunities for our guests to explore Pembrokeshire in a very low impact manner.

Sophie Hurst of Preseli Venture was a key player in the inception of the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter Group in 1993 which was developed by Pembrokeshire based outdoor adventure and environmental education centres, working closely with the National Park and the National Trust, to foster commitments by those involved to an environmental code of practice to preserve the unique landscape and wildlife of this beautiful, unspoilt coastline. The aim of the Charter is to develop a sustainable management of outdoor recreation on the Pembrokeshire Coast, and due to the success in Pembrokeshire this model has been rolled out to other areas around the country.

Preseli Venture are proud to support the work of MCS, the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. We’ve teamed up with the Marine Conservation Society to raise awareness of the threats facing our coastal waters – too much is being taken out, too much thrown in and not enough protected. As part of the MCS Beachwatch Programme Preseli Venture organise quarterly beach cleans and surveys at our two local beaches of Abermawr and Aberbach, as well as the Beachwatch Big Weekend which is a co-ordinated national beach clean and survey held every year on the third weekend in September.

Preseli Venture is an accredited “Green Key” eco lodge. A global eco-label, Green Key is managed in Wales by the environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, and recognised worldwide in over 47 countries. Green Key aims to educate and encourage the tourism industry from providers to visitors to change unsustainable behaviours, to engage a greater awareness of the environment when making choices, and importantly to become more involved in the protection of their environment.

The eco lodge was built on the principles of sustainability and is extremely low carbon; we utilise renewable energy in the form of a ground source heat pump boosted with solar hot water panels to generate all our heating and hot water, photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, the lodge runs on green electricity from ‘ecotricty’, is highly insulated being built out of polystyrene formwork and uses low energy LED lighting. Certain structural features, such as traditionally crafted windows, have been designed and made by local artisans using locally sourced and sustainably managed wood. Since we are in the countryside and off mains sewerage, considerable investment has been made in a modern bio-disc sewerage system preventing pollution in the local valley and stream.

We take a range of measures in our day to day operations to reduce our impact, from maintaining paper-free administration to collecting rainwater to wash adventure kit. On a domestic and housekeeping level we use ecological cleaning products and toilet paper made from 100% recycled paper. We recycle everything possible and compost our food waste. We do not sell any plastic water bottles and instead sell our own aluminium refill water bottles. We source food from local providers wherever possible, and choose Fair-trade teas and coffees to serve to our guests.

Our employees live locally and have a minimal commute to work. We also offer accommodation onsite so that staff can live and work without unnecessary travel. We encourage use of public transport by offering our guests pick-ups and drop-offs to the local train station in our minibuses. We run our minibuses on biodiesel, recycled chip fat, and thus help our guests to further reduce the carbon footprint of their trip. We also utilise these minibuses for adventure activities meaning everyone shares transport to the adventure location. We are involved in actively lobbying and campaigning for increased access to Pembrokeshire via public transport through our associations with the North Pembrokeshire Transport Forum.

The Impacts of this Trip

At the heart of our operation at Preseli Venture is a deep seated belief in supporting our local community. For over 30 years, we’ve been committed to forming positive symbiotic relationships with local independent businesses and organisations such as the National Park and National Trust. We source local produce direct from the local producers for example, seasonally grown vegetables, locally brewed beers, ales and spirits and much more. We also work with local providers who deliver excellent quality experiences in Pembrokeshire such as boat trips and horse riding – our ‘all-inclusive’ packages integrate activities from local businesses too! We believe in honest recommendations and often send our guests to local pubs and cafés to experience the best of the local area and evenly distribute the economic benefits of tourism.

We employ passionate and talented local people. Finding employment in rural areas with largely tourism based industry is challenging and often leads to our wonderful and enthusiastic young people moving away to search for jobs. We employ a core team year-round and also offer many additional seasonal jobs and in-house training for local people who wish to be outdoor guides. It’s important to us that our guides have a deep knowledge and understanding of the local landscape, so we focus on training and employing young, enthusiastic adventurers who know the local area better than anyone.

As much as possible, we get involved in charity events and fundraising – from offering local community enterprises and charities activity vouchers to use as fund-raiser prizes to hosting and marketing charity events! In August last year, Preseli Venture played host to the Heads Up Challenge, an exhilarating full day ‘sunrise to sunset’ adventure challenge event to raise money for Place2Be a charity which supports children’s mental health, emotional resilience and well-being.

We work with local community organisation POINT in Fishguard which offers support and skills- based learning to young people. POINT brings groups of young people to learn about sustainable tourism and also demonstrate locally based career options.

We provide minibus transport from our sustainable adventure centre in Mathry to the location of our adventures. This way, harbour carparks, which are used daily by local fishermen, are not over-filled with cars – everyone arrives together in one vehicle. We also maintain partnerships with local farmers who allow us to park our minibuses on their land instead of using the carpark during peak season.

The resources and infrastructure of rural communities can be put under pressure by imbalanced seasonal tourism – small businesses often struggle to stay open and employ staff year-round. This is why we do our very best to spread out our activities, taking out smaller groups of adventures all year round rather than large groups over the high season.


6 Reviews of Family adventure holiday in Wales

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 11 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The first day of coasteering: blazing blue skies, cobalt seas and stunning cliff faces. What more could you want?!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring trainers with good grips and stock up on food in between activities - you’ll burn the calories!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, there was no damage to the environment. I often went out for walks on my own by the coastline early in the morning and chatted to many locals walking their dogs and they appreciated the eco-tourism and the money it brought in to the area.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very highly. My teenage kids enjoyed it and I enjoyed the activities and chatting to staff and other couples my own age.

Reviewed on 11 Sep 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Our week here was brilliant, we all loved the activities, coasteering, kayaking and surfing, and the instructors were great with both the adults and the children, we even all stood up while surfing! I particularly enjoyed not having to think about food for the family too...we were very well fed at every meal..the garden is also fab with lots of room for football, forty forty and also a good fire pit for roasting

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book it and enjoy!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The guides were very aware of the local environment and could also tell us lots of facts about the the animals and sea life around. They were passionate about their surroundings

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A brilliant active family holiday...

Read the operator's response here:

Hello Anna, thanks ever so much for taking the time to review your Family Adventure Week! It's wonderful to hear that you and your family enjoyed yourselves here on the Pembrokeshire coast and we'd be thrilled to have you to stay with us again for some more adventures!"

Reviewed on 30 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

My 14 year old son and I went coasteering, surfing, sea kayaking and horse riding. Because these events were supervised by qualified and friendly staff I was able to relax and enjoy taking part without worrying about my son.There were other kids around the same age and it was great to see them playing games
together rather than watching TV and playing on computers.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't underestimate how much energy you will expend doing two sessions of activity each day. Especially if you are not used to it. Although it can be
tiring it is great fun and the food is excellent.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The holiday provider is eco friendly, guests are given information on how to reduce water usage and recycle food waste etc. There is also advice
on reducing energy usage. Some of the activities on offer are delivered by others in the local community such as horse riding and I believe that the meals provided each day use local produce.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was a wonderful experience, all of the staff have an excellent approach to
customer service. They are extremely competent in their chosen areas of expertise, they encourage you to do your best and never push you to go too
far. The group activities are skilfully tailored to meet the skills and abilities of the
individuals taking part.

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Coasteering on the north coast of Wales on a sunny day. The group was really laid back, but we covered a lot of ground (water?) and saw lots of the coast.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Get used to a wetsuit! You will learn to like being in the sea - and even on miserable days, the weather is not really a problem once you are in the water.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The staff and guides were all friendly helpful locals, the accommodation and facilities were all very 'green', and there was very little waste - especially the food, seconds were encouraged :)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent - the staff could not do enough to help, and as a beginner on most activities, there was enough to do. The activities were also suitable for a range of ages and abilities. A nice common room meant that there was lots of socialising in the evenings.

Reviewed on 12 Jul 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

All the activites we did. Coasteering, kayaking, surfing and Horseriding.
Staff very friendly and helpful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Consider your fitness levels when signing up to multiple activities.
We managed everything. Needless to say kids had no problem. Parents had few stiff muscles!!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Our guides were very aware and informative of local environment and passed on knowledge. Also keeping employment in the area is important.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very, very good. We had a great time as a family and met another lovely family with children of similar ages also some lovely people there for kayaking. Very sociable. Family friendly atmosphere. Fabulous staff.

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The activities were fantastic! The guides made it so enjoyable even when you were a little bit achey from the day before!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Back hiking books and take plenty of dry clothes!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, Yes and Yes!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic! The whole family enjoyed it. Great people, great activities, great food - overall a great adventure!

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