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Pembrokeshire

The land of myth and legend

Pembrokeshire is the land of myth and legend, from St David, to King Arthur, to Stonehenge. It’s also featured strongly in The Mabinogion, the 11th century collection of Welsh folktales that inspire many names to this day.

Our beautiful county is lapped by sea on three sides, bringing together a stunning blend of dramatic seascapes with glorious countryside. It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty and home to the only coastal National Park in the UK.

From our central position, snuggled in the rolling Narberth hills, Grove is the perfect base for exploring all that Pembrokeshire has to offer.

Our local town

Narberth

Lined with colourful Edwardian and Georgian buildings, the gorgeous market town of Narberth is just a mile from Grove.

Narberth has a deserved reputation as the leading independent shopping experience in Wales, with a range of quality gift and antique shops, boutique fashion stores, art galleries, and  a lovely variety of cafes and restaurants.

The Golden Sheaf Gallery exhibits and sells local art, ironwork, textiles and ceramics. Welsh Farmhouse sells a range of gifts and top-end country fashions, while Whites Boutique is a must-visit for womenswear. The Narberth Pottery has been making ceramics with outstanding glazes for decades.

The annual Narberth food festival takes place in September and showcases why Narberth is unofficially known as the food capital of Pembrokeshire. One of our favourite places to lunch is Spanish deli, Ultracomida – look out for the chorizo in Welsh cider and ox cheeks cooked in fino.

one of britain’s National Trails

Pembrokeshire National Coast Path

186 miles long and stretching from Amroth in the south to Poppit in the north, our beautiful coast path passes 58 beaches and 14 harbours.

What makes the Pembrokeshire Coast Path so interesting is the variety of landscapes, ranging from steep limestone cliffs, undulating red sandstone bays, volcanic headlands, and flooded glacial valleys. There are also some remarkably quaint towns and villages to explore on route.

view of countryside and seaside
view of the countryside with seaside

Coastal path

Step by step

Don’t be put off by the length of the coastal path, as the entire path can be broken down into sections, so you can explore different areas at a time.
Visit Pembrokeshire have a handy tool showing popular sections of the path, the distance of each section, and some information on what you might find on the walk.

the scenery

Coastal Path

Hop onboard

The year-round Coastal Bus Services are also specially designed for walkers, allowing you to park up and travel by bus a few miles down the coast before walking back at your own pace.

two puffin birds between flowers

Coastal path

Wildlife watching

Pembrokeshire is a haven of wildlife and our coastal position means there are many opportunities to see wildlife, including migrating birds, seals and dolphins. Take a look at the resources available to help plan your wildlife adventure.

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find your fun

Things to do Out and about in Pembrokeshire

From picturesque towns and coastal walks, to the smallest city in Britain, there’s so much to do in Pembrokeshire, whatever the season and whatever the weather.

Beaches caret-down

No other county in Britain has more Blue Flag beaches or Seaside Awards than Pembrokeshire. With over 50 beaches to choose from, you’ll find the perfect one, whether you want surfing, kayaking or kite surfing, or are just looking for somewhere to relax, sunbathe, and build sandcastles. In 2012, National Geographic Magazine listed the Pembrokeshire Coastline as the second best coastal destination in the world.

Here are some of our favourite ones to visit:

Barafundle Bay

With swathes of golden sand and crystal clear waters, this pristine and isolated beach is a real favourite. Regularly listed as one of the best beaches in the UK, this small bay backed by dunes and pine trees is only accessible by a half mile walk from Stackpole Quay, which ensures that it’s always pleasant to visit.

Broad Haven South

This is a stunning, wide sandy bay, backed by large dunes. Explore the boulders and ‘island’ on the west side to discover caves and springs gushing out of the cliffs. The convoluted low cliffs on the east side have a few small caves to explore at low tide. The crystal clear stream on its east side is perfect for small children to play in.

The world famous Bosherston Lily Ponds and its network of paths can be easily explored from the head of the beach, making for the perfect day trip.

Freshwater West

This sand and rocky beach is the hunting ground of the surfer always on the lookout for that perfect wave. South-westerly facing, it has the best waves in the county but it’s only for the experienced and strong swimmers.

Behind the beach are a magnificent set of sand dunes. “Shell Cottage” in the Harry Potter films was situated at the foot of one of these dunes and the battle scene from Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood film were shot on the beach.

Tenby Harbour

A picturesque harbour built into a corner on North Beach, between the old medieval walled town and castle hill. There’s a small sandy beach tucked up under the harbour wall that’s perfect for very young children.

Tenby North
A superb, sheltered, safe, and sandy beach with the pinnacle of Goscar Rock sticking out of the sand in the middle. This is one of the most photographed views in Wales with the harbour at the western end. It’s an enclosed, east facing beach so it’s safe for young children and is a real sun trap even on windy days.

Tenby South
Tenby South is mile and a half long, dune-backed beach. There are acres of beach at low tide but still plenty of room at high tide.

Saundersfoot
A small but very popular resort with all the facilities you might need. It’s a wide, flat, and sandy beach at low tide, but there’s still plenty of space at high tide. Enjoy a stroll along the pretty harbour, or take in the stunning views from the top of the hill. This beach is brilliant at low tide for fishing in the rock pools. Children also love to fish off the catwalk on the harbour for crabs on a line, try tempting them with some cockles bought at the fishmongers on the harbour.

West Angle Bay
At the mouth of the Milford Haven Estuary, this horseshoe sandy cove is tucked right inside West Angle Bay. The beach is quite narrow at high tide but at low tide it’s revealed; a huge stretch of golden sand. The north end of the beach has rocks perfect for climbing and if you can find it, a cut through the cliffs leads to a secret beach!

The Islands caret-down

The Pembrokeshire coastline is famous for its beautiful islands. The islands are home to thousands of puffins, gannets and other sea birds, whilst dolphin, porpoise, seals and whales can be seen in their waters at different times of the year.

Ramsey

An RSPB reserve, Ramsey is on the end of the St Davids’ peninsula. At nearly 400 ft in places, the western cliffs are among the highest in Wales. They are home to Ravens, Peregrines, and Buzzards. In spring, Guillemots, Razorbills, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, and Shags come to nest too. Choughs also breed on these cliffs, seeking out deep fissures and caves in which to build their nests. From mid-July, however, the cliffs empty as the auk chicks head out to the open sea. Several hundred seal pups are born each autumn on Ramsey’s beaches and in the caves.

The southern heathlands of heather, gorse and coastal plants are the haunt of Stonechats, Meadow Pipits, Linnets, and Skylarks. The summits of Carn Ysgubor and Carn Llundain give splendid views east to the mainland, south to Skomer Island and on the clearest of days, west to Ireland.

Boat trips to and around Ramsey Island leave from St Justinian’s. Once on the island there are some spectacular yet rugged trails to explore.

Skomer 

Skomer is an island of sheltered bays and exposed headlands all painted with the graduated colours of lichen — it’s known worldwide for its wildlife. Half the world’s population of Manx shearwaters nest on the island and the Atlantic puffin colony of 6000 pairs is the largest in southern Britain. The Skomer vole, a subspecies of the bank vole, is unique to the island. Archaeological stone circles, standing stones and the remains of prehistoric houses, are also points of interest.

Skomer is a national nature reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area. Much of the island has also been designated an ancient monument. It is surrounded by a marine nature reserve and is managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

Boats leave throughout the spring and summer months from Martins Haven. As there are no refreshments available on the island, make sure you take one of our delicious packed lunches with you.

Skokholm

Skokholm is managed by the Wildlife Trust for West Wales and lies just south of Skomer. The island is roughly a mile in length and half a mile across at its widest point. It has deep bays and gullies exposing interesting underlying rock strata in a variety of red and purple hues.

Surrounded by reefs and the rich seas of the Marine Nature Reserve it shares with Skomer, this island is a wildlife spectacle. It supports an incredible diversity of wildlife, including thousands of puffins, manx shearwaters and a large population of storm petrels. In the seas around the island you can see Risso’s dolphins, harbour porpoise and Atlantic grey seals, whilst a little further out larger cetaceans can be spotted. Like Skomer, it really is an incredible place to visit.

Boats leave four times a month from Martins Haven. Otherwise you might consider a wildlife safari from Dale or an evening boat cruise from Martins Haven.

Grassholm

Grassholm is a tiny white speck of land, 11 miles from the coast. As you approach the island, you begin to understand why it’s white. It’s home to the only Gannet colony in Wales, the second largest colony in the UK. Not only are the rocks stained white with droppings, but the air is white too, with thousands of Gannets on the wing. The island is a RSPB bird sanctuary.

Boat trips around the island can be organised at Martins Haven or from St Justinians.

Caldey 

Caldey is an enchanting and tranquil island, situated just south of Tenby. It’s one of Britain’s holy islands, with Cistercian monks continuing a tradition which began there in Celtic times, back in the 6th Century. The cliffs on the south side and on neighbouring St Margaret’s island are teeming with nesting seabird colonies from May to July, but are best viewed from a boat trip around the island. You’ll also find one of Pembrokeshire’s best beaches on Caldey, The Priory beach.

Catch a boat from Tenby Harbour if the tide is in, or Castle Beach if the harbour is dry. Boats run from early April to late September all day apart from Sundays. The twenty-minute trip leaves you at the landing spot on the beautiful Priory beach, the only safe bathing spot on the island. From here it’s a short stroll to the village and Monastery.

Towns & villages caret-down

Tenby 
The picturesque town of Tenby is known as ‘Dinbych-y-Pysgod’ in Welsh, which means “little fortress of the fish.” It’s surrounded by an imposing medieval stone wall and steeped in ancient history. Tenby is one of the UK’s finest coastal resorts, with a medieval centre, a stunning harbour and three gorgeous Blue Flag soft sandy beaches.

The Tudor Merchants House, dating back to the 15th century, is the oldest furnished residence in the town. Standing on Quay Hill, between the harbour and Tudor square, it is owned and managed by the National Trust. The house is open between March and October.

Saundersfoot
Saundersfoot is a coastal village near Tenby, with a little harbour and large sandy beach. Its harbour was originally constructed for the export of high quality anthracite coal from the many mines in the area. The course of the tramway from Bonville’s Court mine bisects the village and ends at the jetty.

The tramway from Stepaside now forms a stunning sea front for you to enjoy the magnificent view out over Carmarthen Bay to Worms Head on the Gower coast.

The walk from Saundersfoot to Monkstone point and beyond at low tide is a special experience we’d highly recommend. Walking in the opposite direction will take you to Coppet Hall beach, which is very popular with beach goers and dog walkers alike. Our sister restaurant Coast, with acclaimed Head Chef, Fred Clapperton, sits right on Coppet Hall beach. The restaurant is open all year round and specialises in food that represents its incredible coastal location, and the meeting of land and sea.

St Davids 
St Davids is Britain’s smallest city in terms of both size and population. It’s the final resting place of St David (Dewi Sant), Wales’s patron saint, and the de facto ecclesiastical capital of Wales. It’s the only city in the United Kingdom to lie entirely within a National Park.

The Cathedral dates from 1181 and was built on the site of the monastery where Dewi Sant died in circa 589 AD. The cathedral was a popular pilgrimage destination throughout the middle ages and remains so to this day, attracting thousands of visitors every year from all over the world. The magnificent ruins of the medieval Bishops Palace stands next to the cathedral stands
St David’s has lots of lovely shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants, while the surrounding area has some magnificent coastline to enjoy.

Porthgain
Porthgain is a picturesque village with a small harbour located in the Coastal National Park between St Davids and Goodwick. The village originally manufactured slate which was quarried nearby before turning to brickmaking. The large brick hoppers on one side of the harbour are now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and in 1987 Porthgain was designated as a conservation area for the first time.

Today the harbour is home to local fishermen and the coastal walks north and south are popular routes. The village itself boasts a very good pub called the ‘Sloop Inn’ and a well regarded quayside bistro called ‘the Shed’. Its Harbour Lights Gallery is arguably the leading art gallery in Pembrokeshire and features original Welsh artwork.

Solva
Solva lies on the north side of St Bride’s Bay, just 5 miles from St Davids, and right on the Coastal Path. This picturesque village enjoys fabulous coastal walks to the east and west looking out at St Bride’s Bay. The half mile walk to the east takes you to the top of the Gribin with the secluded Gwadyn beach beyond.
The rocks at the entrance to Solva Harbour make it one of the most sheltered anchorages between Fishguard and Milford Haven.

Solva also has a small collection of shops and galleries and some excellent pubs. Solva Woollen Mill, located at the nearby village of Middle Mill, claims to be the oldest continuously working woollen mill in Pembrokeshire.

Newport
This pretty, small town situated at the edge of the Preseli Hills is an ideal base for some wonderful walks. Our favourite is the walk from the beach to Dinas Head. The town has a plenty of little shops, cafés and art galleries. There are also some excellent places to eat, including Llys Meddyg, The Canteen and The Golden Lion pub.

Nearby Melin Tregwynt is definitely worth a visit. This woollen mill makes and sells exclusive blankets, throws and cushions, furniture, accessories and clothing that combine authentic Welsh tradition with innovative and modern design.

Castle County caret-down

There are many castles to explore throughout Pembrokeshire.

Pembroke Castle
Pembroke Castle where Henry VII was born, is the largest and most important in the county. Its mighty great keep, lofty towers and vast cavern are sure to impress. Exhibitions and guided tours make it a real destination for visitors, whilst organised events for children during the Easter and summer holidays make it a firm favourite with families.

Carew Castle
Carew Castle is arguably one of Pembrokeshire’s finest castles set in a magnificent position right on the estuary. It was occupied from the 12th to 17th centuries, by which time it had been transformed into a magnificent Elizabethan mansion.

Picton Castle
Picton’s enchanting 13th century castle is surrounded by a spectacular 40 acre garden.

Explore the castle’s rich history, discover rare trees and plant collections from around the world. Enjoy the magnificent Rhododendrons, shady woodlands, exotic jungle garden, and colourful walled garden, alongside living willow dens, family trails and an engaging adventure playground. The wildlife is abundant and there’s plenty of space to relax and enjoy the tranquillity and take in the views.

Upton Castle
Upton Castle is a small castle, and the earliest remaining part of which is believed to date from the 12th/ 13th century. Three of the original towers survive and there is evidence of a drawbridge and port cullies entrance, while one wing contains the remnants of what was probably the great hall. The inhabited part of the castle mainly dates from the 17th and18th century with later additions of two further towers in the 19th century. Nearby the small medieval chapel also thought to date from the 13th century contains several early effigies. In the grounds of the chapel is a stone preaching cross listed by CADW as a historic monument.

Upton Castle and Gardens are several gardens in one. A walled garden and formal rose garden are surround by an arboretum of rare trees planted in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Other Castles
Other notable castles include, Cilgerran Castle which probably commands the most dramatic location perched high above the Teifi Gorge.

Manorbier Castle is a special Norman baronial residence overlooking the beach. It was once described as ‘the pleasantest place in Wales.’

Mynydd y Preseli caret-down

These rugged hills in North Pembrokeshire rise to 536 metres above sea level at Foel Cwmcerwyn and are dotted with prehistoric sites, including evidence of Neolithic settlements. Bluestone from the hills is believed to have been used to build the inner circle of Stonehenge.

The range stretches from Dinas Island, Cardigan Bay to Frenni Fach, near Crymych approximately 13 miles to the east. The ancient 8-mile track along the top of the range, known as the Golden Road, is very popular with ramblers who enjoy panoramic views across Pembrokeshire and its coastline.

Slate quarrying was once big business in the Preseli Hills and remnants of the quarries can still be seen in Rosebush. Pop into the Tafarn Sinc at Rosebush for a good pint, and plenty of Welsh charm.

Staying active caret-down

Surfing
The unspoilt, wild and beautiful beaches of the Pembrokeshire coast are the ideal location for learning to surf in Wales. For the more experienced, Freshwater West is your destination offering some of the best and most consistent surfing in Wales. There are left and right handers here most of the time. The sandy end of the beach is good for a beginner but can still hold a pretty feisty wave.

Coasteering
A mixture of rock climbing, cliff jumping and riding the surf. Experienced Coasteering guides will tailor your adventure activity to suit all including children and all cliff jumps are optional. Wales’ coastline has an abundance of water features creating a natural water park with lots of water chutes and whirlpools making this highly recommended fun for the adventurous.

Sea Kayaking
Sea kayaking is a fantastic way to enjoy the National Park, allowing access to caves, stacks and reefs along the coast, and the creeks and mudflats inland. It is a great chance to observe sea birds, seals and porpoises, estuary waders and wild fowl in an unobtrusive and sustainable way.

For the experienced sea kayaker, there are extended trips along the coast and out to the islands as well as world class play boating in the fierce tidal streams. There are also great opportunities for surf kayaking on many of Pembrokeshire’s storm beaches.

Windsurfing
Pembrokeshire has a number of beaches and areas of coastline that are perfect for all levels of windsurfing. The shape of the coast usually means that favourable conditions can be found somewhere in the county with wind and surf particularly common outside of the summer months.

Sheltered spots such as Dale are great for learning while other more challenging areas such as Newgale and Freshwater West.

Cycling and Mountain Biking Trails
Whether you are planning a cycle-touring holiday, or a short family ride, Pembrokeshire offers a huge choice of routes to suit all and is the ideal way to explore the National Park. Some areas are suitable for true off-road mountain biking, particularly the Preseli Hills and the woodlands around Canaston Bridge and Stackpole.

In any area you can plan a route that links villages, coastal views and historic sites via quiet country lanes and byways. It’s also easy and great fun to try a route involving mainly quiet roads and the occasional, short section of off-road bridleway.

Golfing
Pembrokeshire and the surrounding area have a number of first class golf courses to choose from, many of which are classic links with stunning views of the coastline to help inspire your golf.

Choose between established clubs like Tenby, the oldest links club in Wales, or brand new courses like Trefloyne. A little further you have the Nicklaus-designed modern links Machynys that regularly hosts major championships, and the well regarded Ashburnam Golf club.

Horse riding
Pembrokeshire offers plenty of opportunity for horse riding, taking you across a variety of landscapes and providing a great way of exploring the area. Whether you want to ride across open moorland, along wooded bridleways or down quiet country lanes, there’s something for everyone, all offered by the excellent selection of riding establishments operating in the county.

Sea Angling
The fishing in Pembrokeshire is some of the best to be had anywhere in Britain and as the county is surrounded on three sides by the sea, fish are never far away. The coast offers excellent fishing from rocks or beaches offering Bass, Mackerel, Wrasse, and Flatfish to name but a few.

Some of the popular marks are found on or near golden sands dotted around the county while other areas still provide the tranquillity of fishing in near isolation, where you can easily find you have a whole stretch of coast to yourself. There are also lots of opportunities for sea boat fishing where you get a chance to explore some more of the coastline and find the richest fishing areas.

Family fun caret-down

Oakwood is Wales’ only theme park with plenty of rides to keep you busy all day.  The popular After Dark evening in the school holidays is always popular with families.

The award-winning Folly Farm is more than just a farm. It’s a zoo, vintage fun fair, an adventure playground and its open all year with 50% of the attractions under cover. Star attractions are the lions, giraffes and the Penguins.

The Blue Lagoon is a brilliant indoor water park with a wave machine, flume rides and a lazy river. Regular ‘after dark’ evening sessions are great fun when all the waves, cannons and jets are on full power! Next door is the Adventure Centre, a giant countryside themed indoor play centre and indoor high ropes course.

Manor House Wildlife Zoo is Anna Ryder-Richardson’s Welsh Zoo. You can walk through enclosures and get up close to animals, like in the monkey enclosure. The newest residents include Zamba and Jambo the Rhinos.

For a monster day out, go to the Dinosaur Park near Tenby. As well as the Dinosaur trail, there are loads of rides and activities included in the admission price, including an indoor adventure playground, digging for fossils and a giant bubble ride.

Heatherton Activity Theme Park has plenty of different activities to choose from, including daring Tree Top Trails and the amazing Pirates of the Caribbean themed adventure golf course.

Historic houses and gardens caret-down

Our warm climate and a plentiful supply of water, combined with rich, fertile soils means that Pembrokeshire’s historic houses often have outstanding gardens to visit.

The National Trust’s Colby Woodland garden near Amroth is set in a tranquil secret valley. Spring brings carpets of bluebells, crocuses, and daffodils, then swathes of camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, followed by hydrangeas and the summer wildflowers. It’s a garden for all ages.

Dyffryn Fernant is a 6 acre garden in the hamlet of Llanychaer near Fishguard, and started life in 1996 as ‘complete wilderness.’ The garden now features a wide range of planting including a bog garden, ornamental grass field, ebullient colour around the house, an exotically planted courtyard and a fernary.

Critically acclaimed by Gardeners World, Gardens Illustrated and Monty Don, Dyffryn Fernant is also one of the Great Gardens of West Wales.

Grove seen past trees and grass
a bedroom at Grove

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dining room and table sets

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small pieces of delicious food

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afternoon tea set

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