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Asda commits to making its cheapest food ranges more widely available

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ASDA, which has its local branch in Pembroke Dock, has promised to make its cheapest food ranges more widely available following comments made by anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe.

Ms Monroe raised concerns that low-income shoppers were facing price increases because they could no longer get hold of them.

Asda said it has “taken on board” her comments it will stock its full Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in all 581 food stores and online to “provide customers on a budget with more value choices.”

Asda currently stocks 150 Smart Price and Farm Stores products in 300 stores and will introduce all 200 products in these value ranges to all food stores by March 1.

The supermarket chain says it has “already taken steps to make its value ranges more accessible by increasing the number of products available online.”

Asda has added 100 Smart Price and Farm Stores products to its website this week, increasing the total online range to 187 products, and this will rise to 200 by the end of February.

Meg Farren, Asda’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “We want to help our customers’ budgets stretch further and have taken on board the comments about the availability of our Smart Price range made by Jack Monroe.”

“We are taking steps to put our full Smart Price and Farm Stores ranges in store and online to make these products as accessible as possible.”

The UK is facing an acute cost-of-living crisis driven by rocketing energy costs and inflation peaking at a near 30 year high.

Ms Monroe, an activist and blogger on how to eat on a budget, said: “Last year the Smart Price pasta in my local Asda was 29p for 500g.”

“Today, it is unavailable, so the cheapest bag is 70p; a 141% price rise for the same product in more colourful packaging.”

“A few years ago, there were more than 400 products in the Smart Price range; today there are 87, and counting down.

Deeside based supermarket chain Iceland has pledged to freeze the price of all its £1 Iceland frozen lines until the end of the year to help shoppers cope with rising inflation costs.

Managing Director of Iceland, Richard Walker said the company operates “in some of the most deprived communities in the country” and staff are already seeing customers “struggling to make ends meet.”

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Ice cream van breathes new life into Nolton Haven – and offers change for car park

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HAVING a well-stocked ice cream van in Nolton Haven has been a great boost to the area, locals have said.

With no other option for visitors to get refreshments now that the local shop has closed, Pembrokeshire Super Whippy has stepped in to fill the void – selling the traditional ice cream favourites as well as soft drinks.

Already with one ice cream van stationed at Broad Haven owner Martin McGeown has now been keeping local and holiday markers alike happy over recent months, at Nolton Haven as well.

Draw for tourists: Pembrokeshire ice cream (Image: File)

Mary White, who lives in the area, said that she felt the ice cream van was now necessary for the success of Nolton Haven as a destination beach.

“Its great to have a lifeguard here, but if people can’t even buy a bottle of water, it’s a problem.”

“We’re much more likely to get visitors to Nolton Haven If there are facilities here for them.”
John Lee, whose family come from Nolton, and is back visiting the area said: “One of the joys of spending childhood summers in Nolton was getting an ice cream or cold drink from the shop.

“Now that the nearest shops are in Newgale or Broad Haven, it’s a valuable service that can only boost tourism.

“If this is a decision by the council then this is fantastic,” he added.

Another resident said: “To be honest the car park is a nightmare, and without the ice cream van many would be stuck. There is no signal for the card payment machine, so everyone goes to the ice cream van to ask for change for the car park meter from the Pembrokeshire Super Whippy van.

Martin McGeown told The Herald that he has been doing well in the spot, but said he’s never had to give out so much change now that the car park is chargeable.

“I always bring extra on the van, he said, otherwise it would be chaos down here in the car park.”

So why not visit Nolton Haven, located within the sweep of St Brides Bay, Nolton Haven is a small, fairly sheltered cove, facing south-west, the beach is made up of sand and shingle with rock pools and cliffs on either side.

The beach is quiet and unspoilt although in the past, like Little Haven, this was an export point for coal and a hive of activity.

The flat grassy terrace above the beach was the coal storage yard and a walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in both directions reveals remnants of old coal workings.

Beach side facilities are limited although there is a pub and a slipway allowing launching.
The beach is popular for watersports as well as swimming and boating.

The coast here is designated as the Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation in recognition of its valuable marine life.

And of course, after your visit, stop for an ice cream and support a fantastic local trader!

Tons of change for tourists: Ice cream van is keeping car park going, as there is no signal for online payments (Pic: Herald)
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Pembrokeshire camping sites named among the best in UK

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BRITISH camping has boomed in the last two years, with 4.5m Brits going camping or caravanning for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to Mintel. And new research has now revealed 10 of the best secret camping destinations Britain has to offer, with Abereiddy and Havefordwest in Pembrokeshire amongst the top locations.

To uncover the country’s hidden gems, tyre and vehicle services provider, ATS Euromaster, researched the top camping destinations social media doesn’t know about, by revealing the number of positive reviews on online camping sites with fewer than five Instagram tags.

These stunning sites won’t break the bank either, with prices starting at only £8 a night for two adults.

The highest reviewed UK locations that have flown under the social media radar are: 

 1. Wareham, Dorset

1. Trigon Farm

Wareham is a pretty riverside town, close to the South coast in Dorset, 8 miles from Poole. The thriving market town is situated where the rivers Frome and Piddle meet and offers lots to do.

Hidden gem: Trigon Farm is set in a rural field near Wareham, with views of Trigon Manor house and arable fields to the left and beyond. This is a great site for families, with great facilities. It’s also dog friendly.

Prices from: £17 per night, for a tent or trailer pitch.

2. Dorchester, Dorset

2. Dewflock Farm

A historic market town on the banks of the River Frome to the south of the Dorset Downs, Dorchester is a vibrant place ideal for sightseeing. Some of the UK’s best-preserved Roman ruins are situated moments away from the thriving high street.

Hidden gem: Dewflock Farm is a working farm where people can camp and glamp, just 5 minutes from Dorchester. It’s a great base for people to explore Dorset, including the lovely beaches nearby.

Prices from: £100 per night in a Shepherd’s Hut.

3. Winnats Pass, Peak District, Derbyshire

3. Newfold Farm

An impressive limestone gorge in the White Peak area of the Peak District, Winnats Pass is a perfect spot for camping. The limestone is full of fossils of sea creatures which lived here over 350 million years ago.

Hidden gem: Newfold Farm is a family-run campsite at the start of the Pennine Way. It’s great for hikers and cyclists. It’s also half a mile from a pub and railway station.

Prices from: £20 per night, tent pitch.

4. Truro, Cornwall

4. Callestick Camping

The only city in Cornwall, Truro is a foodie destination surrounded by beautiful gardens and rivers. The cathedral city offers a perfect blend of historic charm and modern retailers, while tranquil camping among pristine nature is never far away.

Hidden gem: Callestick Camping is a dog-friendly wild camping field with spectacular views over the Cornish countryside, and only 10 minutes’ drive from the beach.

Prices from: £17.50 per night, tent or trailer pitch

5. Abereiddy, Pembrokeshire

5. Eco Caerhys Wales

Abereiddy, a small hamlet in Wales, is a perfect place to get away from it all and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast.

Hidden gem: Eco Caerhys Camping in St Davids offers wild meadow camping at an organic farm on the Pembrokshire coastline. It’s a great place for active people, with surfing nearby.

Prices from: £30 per night, tent pitch

6. Dodd, Cumbria

6. Dodd Newlands

A fantastic place to get stunning views of Cumbria’s lovely Lake District, Dodd is just a few miles north of Keswick.

Hidden gem: Newlands Valley Campsite is close to Keswick and Derwentwater. It’s a great place for outdoorsy people, with mountain biking, boating and quad biking offered nearby.

Prices from: £23 per night, tent pitch.

7. St Austell, Cornwall

7. East Crinnis Cornwall

A striking curve of spectacular coastal scenery and an area rich in cultural heritage, St Austell is one of Cornwall’s biggest towns, boasting many gorgeous beaches.

Hidden gem: East Crinnis Camping in Heronbank is a working farm and wildlife haven half a mile from the Cornish coast with easy access to destinations like Fowey, Mevagissey and the Eden Project.

Prices from: £16 per night, tent pitch

8. Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire

8. Harefordwest three fields

Haverfordwest is the attractive and ancient county town of Pembrokeshire, steeped in history with a castle and museum, which used to be the prison governor’s house.

Hidden gem: The Three Fields Campsite is a spacious site with a private toilet, shower and firepit at each pitch, situated just 10 minutes from Haverfordwest.

Prices from: £26 per night, touring pitch

9. Skegness, Lincolnshire

9. Skegness Birchwood

Skegness is a seaside town in the East Lindsey District of Lincolnshire, offering lots of family-friendly attractions.

Hidden gem: In a countryside setting but only two miles from Skegness, Birchwood Fishing and Camping offers fishing on a large lake in the lovely Lincolnshire countryside.

Prices from: £8 per night, tent pitch

10. Chester, Cheshire

10. Kings Acre Chester

Arguably the richest city in Britain for archaeological and architectural treasures, Chester boasts the most complete city walls, the oldest racecourse and the largest Roman Amphitheatre in the UK.

Hidden gem: Kings Acre Glamping is deep in the Cheshire countryside, yet only 10 minutes’ drive from Chester. Barbecues are allowed, with firepits and professional pizza ovens available to hire.

Prices from: £25 per night, tent pitch

And for those looking to get away on a camping trip, experts at ATS Euromaster have compiled a list of five things to do to your car before setting off on a camping holiday:

  1. Check your tyre pressure and tread depth – make sure it is at the recommended depth. The legal limit is at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre.
  2. Make sure you have a spare tyre and that you know how to change it. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of the English countryside with no phone signal and a flat tyre.
  3. Check your engine oil and vehicle coolant levels and fill up if needs be.
  4. Ensure that your battery is not going to run flat while you are on your trip. If your engine seems slow to turn over or your lights are flashing, it may be running low.
  5. Check your windscreen for cracks and ensure that wiper blades are functioning properly.
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Hotel and restaurant chain announce purchase of ‘Cornstore’ in Pembroke

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WELSH company, Seren, are pleased to announce the acquisition of the ‘Cornstore’ in Pembroke.

Cornstore is in an incredible location on the quayside, with an inspiring view of the historic Pembroke Castle.

The Cornstore will house “Routescape,” Seren’s bespoke luxury travel agency. Seren also intends to grow their café venture by opening a second café at the Cornstore.

Routescape was founded in 2019 and the devoted team of travel advisors provide outstanding experiences across Great Britain, Ireland and France for guests from all around the world.

They offer an unrivalled service, giving an authentic luxury experience with a genuine feeling of place.

Moving to the Cornstore is a significant step in the growth of this fascinating young firm, providing it with a setting as inspiring as the tours it offers.

The Seren team has also been looking for its next café venture for some time and is delighted that their search has led them to the beautiful Pembrokeshire.

The Routescape team will move into their new space in August, while the Cornstore Café will undergo a renovation later in the year.

Managing Director, Neil Kedward, said: “We have been looking for a second café location for some time and the Cornstore is in an outstanding location right on the quayside in the truly historic Welsh town of Pembroke, overlooking its iconic castle.

“We hope that adding a second venue will help enable improved quality levels we are achieving in our wider café business.

“The early success of our Routescape Travel Agency and the expanding team will also be located at the Cornstore.

“Our business is growing quickly, and this location could not be a better fit for our team of Wales specialists.”

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