Former Traveler intern and friend of IT Lisa Lombardi is studying abroad in London this semester, but she recently escaped away to Wales for an adventure-packed weekend.
After five weeks of living in London, this Midwestern girl was ready for a break from the glamour of metropolitan life, so I booked a weekend adventure trip with the Preseli Venture outdoors group and headed to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales. As promised, the Welsh coast wilderness was the perfect remedy for the sensory overload of big-city living.
Among the many trips and options Preseli offers (including corporate retreats and stag and hen parties) is the outdoor adventure weekend, short enough to experience without taking time off and reasonable enough in price that even I, the lowly college student, can indulge. Guests can try out two excursions, choosing between mountain biking, sea kayaking, surfing and coasteering (scaling and jumping off of sea cliffs). For the third outing of the weekend, there is a hike along the stunning coastal cliffs.
The Preseli Lodge is located in a lovely valley right by the secluded beaches of Abermawr. When I visited in February, the eco-friendly facility was already undergoing some construction for the planned upgrades to add more bedrooms and baths, and there’s even talk of adding a solar-powered hot tub for relaxing under the stars. The recently-refurbished bar and eating area was laid-back and comfortable, perfect after a long day outdoors. With one of the staff’s iPods providing some tunes, a roaring fire in the corner, and delicious, hearty food served up at every meal (I still dream about the vegetable lasagna and warm apple pie), it felt more like hanging out at a friend’s house than at a lodge in the middle of the wilderness.
One word of warning, though: The bedrooms were the one part of the lodge that did feel rustic, with creaky bunk beds and some frigid nighttime drafts. The good thing is that you’ll be passed out as soon as you hit the sheets—when Preseli calls it an “adventure weekend,” they mean business!
With Preseli taking care of food and lodging, equipment, and transportation to activity sites, there isn’t much left for the guest to worry about. Except maybe whether or not another Bailey’s-enhanced hot chocolate is going to make that morning hike feel like more than just seven miles.
Preseli Venture: +44 (0)1348 837709
Weekend Adventure Rates:
£169 January and February
£179 April onwards
Photos: Lisa Lombardi