Occupying an idyllic spot on Stackpole National Trust Estate with miles of spectacular walks starting immediately from the front door; a loop around the Stackpole National Nature Reserve in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The picturesque walk takes you through the impressive Stable Block, passing the Dairy, which now houses an exhibition of the history of the Estate, the path leads you to the Stackpole Lily Ponds, dunes of Stackpole Warren, the clifftops of Stackpole Head, Barafundle Bay, the ancient Stackpole Quay before walking over the Eight Arch Bridge and back to Cooper's Dip Holiday Cottage, the private garden is ideal for unwinding and al fresco dining to the tune of birdsong.
When to visit
Spring is when the estate truly comes alive, spot the swans pairing up on Bosherston Lakes, corvids building their nests and sap rising in woodland trees like sycamore and elder. Later into the season, you’ll be greeted with blankets of bluebells in the woods, a heightened birdsong and colonies of coastal birds on the sea cliffs. In the Summer run through leafy ancient woodland an enjoy picnics on beach. The colder months are a great time to see migrating birds; bitterns make regular visits and the robins and blue tits will feed from your hand.
About the Estate
The National Trust manages 2000 acres of the Stackpole Estate, a wonderful combination of natural and carefully designed landscape. Part of the estate was laid out in the 18th century in Romantic style with water features, bridges, grottos, an icehouse, woodland gardens, and a summer house.
The estate centred on Stackpole Court, a stately home which stood just outside Stackpole village. The Court was owned by the Lort family, but in 1698 passed by marriage to the Campbells, Thanes of Cawdor in Scotland. In the 18th century the original Court was rebuilt in Georgian style, surrounded by a walled garden and greenhouses.
The estate was used during WWII as a military training area. After the war the Campbell's returned to their Scottish estates, and the mansion was torn down in 1963, leaving the estate's beaches, parkland, and outbuildings to be administered by the National Trust for public enjoyment.
The coastal part of the estate is a picturesque mix of dramatic, rocky scenery and superb sandy beaches. The most popular beach is at Barafundle Bay, where you can often see bottlenose dolphins. Stackpole Quay is a delightful small harbour used by local fisherman and pleasure-boaters.