That's what Margaret Llewellyn, Head of Visit Wales, said as she stepped out on to The Old Castle Terrace in Lawrenny. We were thrilled to welcome Margaret as she came see the site of Pembrokeshire’s newest major event, The Big Retreat Wales. Margaret declared The Old Castle Terrace as one of Wales’ greatest – yet unknown - tourism assets.
Standing on the terrace overlooking the Cleddau Estuary, South Pembrokeshire, Margaret said there were very few sites in Wales quite like the Old Castle Terrace in Lawrenny.
“I am amazed. This must be one of the most stunning spaces in the county and this could be a great asset for tourism in Wales, somewhere people would come to from all over the world to experience so many of the wonderful things our nation has to offer.
The Big Retreat Wales, a wellness inspired festival of the outdoors, activities, classes and workshops together with great music and food, is the opening event planned here for this year (May 26-29th). It is followed by Pembrokeshire Fish Week’s Opening Day which will be held here on June 24th.
Margaret Llewellyn met the events' lead organiser Amber Rich to find out more about the festivals and to hear about plans to make the Haven waterway a taxi route to bring visitors to the riverside location for the Fish Week Festival.
“Clearly the river is a perfect way to reach here and, with the Cleddau being such a beautiful stretch of water, it means the journey is every bit as wonderful as the destination,” said Margaret. She was accompanied to the site by Ted Sangster who sits with her on the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone board. “This site lies just outside the EZ, however the benefit of promoting assets such as this resonates across a county that relies so heavily on tourism,” Ted Sangster said.
During The Big Retreat Wales the Real Adventure Company will be leading Dawn Patrols and paddling the Evening Tides to allow guests to explore this idyllic waterway.
Amber also explained to the tourism chief how it is hoped more events and festivals will be developed on the site, and about plans to eventually be able to provide high quality accommodation for tourists.
“I love seeing the look on people’s faces when they first walk out of the trees onto this terrace and see the stunning views,” said Amber. “We are so pleased Margaret has seen this site and I am sure it will have the same impact on anyone else who comes here for our events.”
David Lort-Phillips, who owns and manages the site, spent the first years of his childhood living in the castle that once stood here. “This place holds a great power over anyone who comes here,” David said.
“As a boy of 8, I remember watching a committee sent from London standing on this spot, putting the final touches to plans for the new National Parks in Wales. It is a truly inspirational place.”