Pembrokeshire is home to a great range of sport and what is rapidly becoming one of the best-known, and toughest, Ironman events in the UK – Ironman Wales.
Head to the county in early September to see hundreds of competitors from around the world descend on the area, as the usually gentle-paced town of Tenby is transformed into one of the fittest places per capita on the planet.
Despite its global popularity, Ironman Wales is still a surprisingly young event, it started in September 2011. While not everyone in the town was initially enamoured with the idea of hosting an event that required more than 70 miles of road being temporarily closed off, it is fair to say that since the inaugural event the town, and wider region, has taken the sport to its heart.
Having Ironman Wales on the doorstep has inspired many locals to give triathlons a go, which leads many to joke there are more triathletes per head in this part of Wales than anywhere else in the world. Tempted to give it a whirl? Check out the Long Course weekend, which is held in July (two months before the event) and splits the three triathlon disciplines over three days. Competitors can choose between them and do as much, or as little, as necessary. Not only is it the ideal preparation for the race but it gives anyone tempted to try the main event a better idea of what it entails.
Of course, there’s far more to Pembrokeshire than just triathlons. Living on the coast means water plays an integral part in the county’s sporting profile. Do you enjoy surfing or fancy learning? There are plenty of surf-friendly beaches in Pembrokeshire to try out and several surf centres offering equipment and lessons to complete novices through to the more experienced surfer. Both Outer Reef in Pembroke and Newsurf in Haverfordwest rent out equipment for those new to the sport or who are unable, or unwilling, to lug their own equipment with them on holiday.
There are plenty of surf-friendly beaches in Pembrokeshire to try out and several surf centres offering equipment and lessons to complete novices through to the more experienced surfer
Pembrokeshire also offers plenty of opportunity for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and coasteering. Coasteering, in case you were wondering, involves exploring the coastline – climbing, swimming and jumping off rocks as you go. Unsure? Why not head to Pembrokeshire Wake Park? Based on a six-acre site near the Oakwood Theme Park, it has a 160-metre-long lake, one side of which is devoted to beginners while the other is designed for more advanced riders to practice their skills on a series of custom-made jumps and obstacles.
If this all seems a bit too energetic, and perhaps dangerous, then back on dry land there is always golf. Despite its size, Pembrokeshire manages to pack eight courses into its county boundaries. Tenby Golf Club is widely considered the birthplace of the sport in Wales and its classic links course is a championship venue well-worth a visit. Other links courses in Pembrokeshire include one at St Davids City Golf Club, which overlooks Whitesands beach, and Newport Sands, an 18-hole links course with views of Newport Bay from every hole.
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