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The Castle and History

The original 11th century earth and timber fortification of Pembroke Castle was progressively strengthened over 150 years until being replaced by a stone structure in the 13th Century. Henry Tudor (V11) was born here whilst his mother was a guest at the castle; he went on to become the founder of a dynasty which affected the course of history far beyond the border of Wales.

At the town hall, you’ll find a regular Country Market where you can buy all sorts of local food produce and crafts or sit and have tea and cake. In the same building, the Old Court Room houses the Pembroke Museum: a display of memorabilia, historical photographs and artefacts.

A 10 minute drive to the west from Pembroke, you come to Pembroke Dock, where The South Pembrokeshire Golf Course has now been extended to a challenging 18 holes and has superb views across the Haven.

Manorbier beach is a great attraction here both for bathers and surfers.  The castle was begun in 11th century by a Norman knight and the great hall, built in the 1140s, today remains the “oldest stone building surviving at any castle in west Wales.” Many ancient stone tools have been unearthed in this area and there are various bronze and iron age remains.  It’s worth visiting the King’s Quoit cromlech which dates back to around 3000BC.

From Bosherston you can visit the amazing St Govan’s Chapel as well as Broadhaven beach, and the famous lily-ponds on the Stackpole Estate are most accessible from here. It’s worth making the time for a long walk along the wooded paths and bridges which cross the serene lakes and continue to the cliff path.

Barafundle Bay, only accessible via the Coast Path from either Bosherston or Stackpole Quay, is often voted one of the best in Britain, and indeed the world! Isolated (which means no facilities), the beach looks Caribbean at times. It’s instantly recognisable from its iconic stone walling at the top of the slope down to the beach from the Eastern side.

Carew Castle from above

The village of Lamphey has a very English feel to it with church overlooking the cricket ground.  You can visit the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace and catch an open-air performance of a Shakespeare play in the summer.

Carew castle is a bit different in that it’s situated on low-lying ground and was originally next to a crossing point of the river – a strategic position in the days when the river was navigable. There’s a great variety of events at Carew over the summer, including drama, knight schools, battle re-enactments, country fairs and concerts.

Our favourite things to do in Pembroke

  • Take part in one of the many activities at Pembroke Castle and Carew Castle and Tidal Mill
  • Have a meal at The Old Point House in Angle – charm and character plus large beer garden.  Dogs and children are welcome
  • Follow our links to see the castles’ own websites giving calendars of events.
  • Take the National Trust’s recommended circular walk from Bosherston around the Stackpole Estate, across the cliffs and down to Barafundle Bay.

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