Pembrokeshire Tipis

UK Wales South Wales Pembrokeshire Newgale

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
Embrace your inner Hiawatha and take your tribe to Pembrokeshire’s very own western plains

Dust off your headdress and polish your moccasins, for if you go down to Simpson Cross today, you’re sure of a wig(wam) surprise… A pasture reserved for grazing horses in the winter months is transformed into a vision from the prairies of the Wild West come summer, with the addition of three rather magnificent tipis.

Drive through a field speckled with tents, campervans, and the occasional small caravan to emerge into a second field. This expanse of lush meadow is further from the road and shielded from view by a hotchpotch hedge of gorse, brambles and bracken. A carefully mown track leads you to your tipi, as the flowery field tumbles gently down into a valley. In the early morning it’s so full of swirling mists it looks like an ocean is stretching out before you.

The tipis march majestically down the hill, keeping a civilised distance from one another, their doorways facing shyly into the well-established hedgerow, sheltered from the wind and from view. Ready and waiting for your arrival, each tipi is labelled with a tag on the door of its lovingly hand-crafted kitchen structure, giving the proceedings a magical treasure-hunt feel. Inside, you’ll find everything you could possibly need for knocking up some serious culinary camping creations, all topped off with a tufty green roof. Des, the site owner, has also provided an enchantingly eclectic reading shelf in here – itself a structural marvel, with a complex kind of rope suspension system. It’s a reflection of how this place works – everything is here, everything has been considered, but guests aren’t mollycoddled. This may not be the glossy, Sunday-supplement idea of ‘glamping’ some people expect – it’s much better. Here, it’s just basic enough to give you that heady sense of camping adventure, just with much less kit…and fuss.

Outside, you’ll find a stone-encircled fire pit and a rustic but effective cast iron BBQ, replete with everything man might need in order to make fire – perfect for the armchair-Ray Mears’ among us. So wrap yourself in the cosy woven blankets, lie back, and watch the smoke from your campfire carry all your thoughts and dreams up to the powerful spirits in the starlit Pembrokeshire sky.

Now, Des doesn’t really like the idea of signs; he’s a big believer in the common sense of the camper, and who wants to be told what to do on holiday? In Des’ own words, if he were to put up a sign, it would probably say something along the lines of ‘Don’t throw stones at this sign’. Having said that, don’t be surprised to find him in the lane’s hedge on your arrival, surreptitiously adding a feathered headdress to the rider on the horse sign – it’s a thankless task, he’s yet to find a sufficiently weatherproof pen.



Campfires are allowed in fire pits and BBQs are provided, along with enough fuel for your first night. After that, logs and charcoal can be bought, when available, from Des for £3.50 and £3 respectively. The 3 tipis share one huge field – each have their own picnic bench, BBQ, fire pit and kitchen shack – complete with 2-ring gas hob, grill, running water, and all cooking/eating equipment. There is a solar-heated shower attached to the side of each shack, but you also have use of a small facilities block in the camping field with 2 toilets and a shower room with a basin. The tipis sleep 4 comfortably (double futon and two singles), or six at a pinch. Bedding can be provided on request, or just bring your own.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs, big groups, young groups – yes.


The site is just a tomahawk’s throw (not that this is recommended) away from Nolton Stables (01437 710360), which offers breathtaking beach rides up to Druidstone Haven and caters for all abilities. You can even try zorbing here, although hopefully that’s after you’ve dismounted. Folly Farm (01834 812731) near Kilgetty, is an enchanting day out for younger children, with adventure playgrounds, farm animals, and a zoo housing the only giraffe in Wales. More energetic souls will love Heatherton World of Activities (01646 652000) near Tenby, where you can try paintballing, go-karting, and shooting, to name but a few of the activities on offer, all in one day. Of course, the main attraction in these parts is the Coastal National Park and the numerous beaches and bays to be explored. Druidstone Beach is slightly tricky to reach, but is unspoilt, and there have even been rumours of sea otter sightings. Broadhaven and Newgale are popular with families – expanses of sand, cafés, and lifeguards in the summer.

Food & Drink

Put your eyesight to the test with a bit of dolphin-spotting, while you sip a pint on the terrace at the quirky Druidstone Hotel (01437 781221). If the gales are a-blowing retreat to the beautiful walled garden and play a lazy game of chess at your table, with pieces made from hand-painted pebbles. For local produce, head for the farmers’ market in Haverfordwest (01437 776168) every other Friday (9am–3pm) at Riverside Shopping. Fresh eggs are also available from the farm down the road from the campsite.

Opening Times

Easter–late Sept/early Oct (weather dependent). WITH Loads Of AVAILABILITY IN JULY AND AUGUST!!!! 2011


Pembrokeshire Tipis, Broadhaven, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire SA62 6ET

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Getting There

Follow the Haverfordwest to St David’s Road (A487). After 5 miles you reach a small village called Simpson Cross. Just before you leave Simpson Cross there is a crossroads. Take the left turning signposted Nolton Haven. After approx ½ mile, there is a horse sign, take the left turn after this, signposted Simpson Campsite. Take bus no. 411 from Haverfordwest station, hop off at Simpson Cross crossroads, take a left and stroll the ½ mile down the lane to the campsite. Des is also happy to collect cyclists or walkers from Haverfordwest station if you pre-arrange it with him.


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