Caldey Island

9 Aug

Cistercian monks, beaches and seals. What more could you ask?

To get to Caldey, take the small passenger ferry from the harbour in Tenby (Pembrokeshire). As of this week, it’s £11 for adults and £6 for children, and takes about 20 minutes. Note: no boats on Sundays.

When you’re on Caldey, you can walk up to the lighthouse at the far tip of the island and look at the seals on the rocks below, you can go and (very quietly) watch the monks’ chanting service, you can buy perfume (which used to be made by the monks, but I think is now outsourced), you can explore ancient St. Illtyd’s church and see the ogham writing there, you can loll on the beach with a picnic, you can see remains of prehistoric creatures in the tiny museum/post office … for such a small island, there’s an awful lot to do!

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2 Responses to “Caldey Island”

  1. Liz August 29, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Wow this takes me back. We used to go to Tenby for hols when I was little, do the monks still make perfume I wonder? I think I bought a bottle when I was about 14…

    • Helen August 29, 2010 at 10:23 am #

      I used to get a bottle of it for Christmas every year as a child – usually Island Gorse or Island Fern. I think it’s outsourced now because there are so few monks left. A friend of mine who had a herbal soap company used to make their soap and then they’d just slap a Caldey label on it, so I have a feeling they do the same with the perfume. Having said that, I did buy a bottle of Island Gorse for old time’s sake and it smells just the same as I remember!

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