Complete guide to Pembrokeshire
Picture courtesy of Fred, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Pembrokeshire is known the world over for its magnificent coastal scenery. Home to Britain’s only coastal National Park, this beautiful area of South West Wales is the perfect location for a caravan holiday. Whilst it can be a bit of a drive, once you arrive in Pembrokeshire you will not be disappointed.
Small fishing villages, truly amazing coastal walks and friendly locals, combined with plenty of places of historical significance make Pembrokeshire one of Britain’s best places to visit. British beach lovers simply cannot afford to miss out on the wonders that Pembrokeshire has to offer.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path spans the entire length of the county and offers up fantastic views that are sure to take your breath away. As well as long walks and scenic seaside towns, Pembrokeshire is also the perfect place to give coasteering or kayaking a go. Perhaps you could go dolphin spotting or search for seals too.
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Whether you're a young couple looking for an adventure, a family searching for the perfect destination to chill out and have fun, or someone who simply loves the outdoors, Pembrokeshire is most certainly the place for you.
Those of us who love taking the caravan into the most beautiful places that this fabulous country has to offer will tell you that all British National Park land is special. However, Pembrokeshire is home to Britain’s only coastal National Park, making it extra special. Awarded National Park status in 1952, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park covers 612 square kilometres from St Dogmeals in the north to Amroth in the south. However, it also includes the Preseli Hills and the Daugleddau Estuary.
The coastline is relatively untouched and still looks as stunning today as it once did thousands of years ago. The northerly landscapes are rugged, hilly and home to volcanic headlands as well as flooded glacial valleys. The south is equally picturesque with its towering limestone cliffs that end up in the sea amidst golden sandy beaches.
Picture courtesy of David Harris via Flickr Creative Commons.
The only real way to explore this vast area of outstanding natural beauty is to put your walking boots on and head to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. This path stretches 186 miles and allows you to get a great vantage point of the coast itself as well as all of the lovely local animal and plant life that exists in this exquisite part of Wales.
In fact, the Pembrokeshire coast is so amazing that National Geographic declared it the second best coastal destination in the world!
While we're on the topic of Pembrokeshire’s astounding natural beauty, let’s go into some more detail about some of our favourite walks that the region has to offer. This part of Wales really is a hiker's haven. You could explore the entire peninsula for weeks and weeks and still come across new and exciting coves and beaches. We feel a caravan holiday isn’t complete without going for a nice ramble in the fresh country air to escape the trials and tribulations of everyday life, whilst relaxing in the arms of mother nature. If this sounds like your sort of thing, then Pembrokeshire is right up your alley.
Here are five brilliant walks that the county has to offer. But bear in mind that this region is so good for walking that we struggled to keep our list down to five. You could walk anywhere along this coastline and end up breathtaken. So, in no particular order, here are five excellent routes that you can walk when you visit Pembrokeshire.
Treginnis walk (6 miles)
Located on the St Davids Peninsula, Treginnis is the most westerly settlement in Wales and is separated from Ramsey Island by Ramsey Sound. If you choose to embark on this moderate walk then you will not be disappointed. It takes you over Wales’s oldest rocks from the Precambrian era, which are volcanic in origin and covered, in places, by layers of younger sedimentary Cambrian rock.
You can enjoy this walk at all times of year. When you're looking out over the sea you can sometimes catch a glimpse of porpoises and kayakers as they navigate their way around the shallow reef known as The Bitches. The round trip begins and ends at Porthclais harbour and takes you over moderate to rugged paths which do have some rocky sections. Dogs must be kept on leads at all times and you may come across some sheep, which are often found along the coastal path.
Be sure to stop along your way and take in the magnificence of Ramsey Island. This island has two twin peaks which are the remains of a pair of long extinct volcanoes. Be warned though, the water of Ramsey Sound, which separates the island from the mainland, is known for its fierce currents.
Porthgain to Abereiddy and back (4 miles)
This slightly difficult walk takes you in a lovely circle that allows you to experience some of Pembrokeshire’s best coastal scenery before heading inland to explore the region’s industrial past. Porthgain and Abereiddy both have historical industrial significance. The former used to export road stone all over the UK, while the latter was once home to an old slate quarry.
This walk will take you past Barry Island, which is home to some stunning wildlife, but it's the breathtaking Abereiddi Blue Lagoon that steals the show and makes this walk what it is. This spectacular lagoon used to be a slate quarry and is now flooded by the sea. It has a number of ruinous old quarry buildings perched on the edge of the surrounding cliff tops and the remains of old quarry workers’ houses can also be found behind the beach.
As previously mentioned, this walk is of moderate difficulty and mainly takes you over grassy clifftop paths that are nice and level. There are some steep climbs and descents though, so be prepared for those, along with some steps, kissing gates and stiles. And, as with all coastal walks, be careful when walking near the edges of the cliffs.
Stackpole walk (6 miles)
This walk takes you through one of Wales’s richest nature reserves and some wonderful man made landscapes. For example, you get to pass the magnificent lakes that were created 200 years ago as a backdrop to Stackpole Court, which was demolished in 1963. Starting and ending at Stackpole Quay, this walk takes you past the aforementioned lakes as well as woods, beaches, dunes and cliffs, all of which are beautiful.
This is yet another walk in Pembrokeshire that is perfect for all seasons. In winter, wildfowl can be found on the lakes and come summer the breeding seabirds are back on Stockpole Head. You will also get to visit Barafundle beach, which is often quite rightly referred to as one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain. You will have to take on a rather long flight of steps to get to the beach, however, but it's well worth it. Trust us.
Taking around four hours, this is one of our favourite routes in all of Wales and we are sure that avid ramblers will come away feeling thoroughly satisfied. The range of sights and sounds, from the delightful woods to the golden sandy beaches, are what make this so great.
Lawrenny walk (3 miles)
If you head upstream from the busy port of Milford Haven then you will stumble upon a wonderful world of wooded valleys as well as some epic expanses of salt marshes and mudflats. This is a relatively short route that can be completed in under two hours and takes you over a real variety of terrains from roads and paths to narrow woodland walkways and firm upper shoreland.
The ancient oak woodland of Lawrenny is steep sided and incredibly scenic. It overlooks the main Daugleddau River and also offers views along the tidal creeks of Garron Pill and the Cresswell River. When walking through the woods you will be surrounded by delightful birds from redstarts and blue tits, to jackdaws and tawny owls.
Once you get down to the shore of Garron Pill, you'll then be presented with an array of estuary birds, from little egrets and greenshanks, to wigeons and curlews. If you are an avid birdwatcher then the Lawrenny walk is perfect for you.
Solva - The Gribin coastal walk (1 mile)
The Gribin coastal walk is the shortest out of our five and takes you up from Solva to the ridge, before you descend steeply into Gwadn. Solva itself is located at the heart of eight miles worth of unspoilt coastal scenery that stretches from Newgale to St Davids.
The route involves some steps as well as narrow paths and steep gradients - even though it is only one mile long, do not underestimate its rigours. You will also have to negotiate some stepping stones across a pretty little stream. You begin the walk at Solva Harbour before heading to Gribin Point. Once here you can explore the Iron Age fort and settlement, whilst taking in the splendid sea views.
You then make your way down the steep side of the Gribin, to get to Gwadn beach. Then, from here you simply follow the path up the valley - which is situated behind the beach - before heading through the woods back to Solva. A nice quick walk that can be completed in around 40 minutes. But we like to take it slow and enjoy the views.
There are few seaside towns with as much character as Tenby. This scenic little seaside resort is one of the most picturesque places in Britain and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. The town’s hilltop position led to it becoming an early Welsh stronghold and then in medieval times it was replaced by a Norman castle and became a walled town. Many of the walls are still present today, and they add to the mystical feel of the town.
Picture courtesy of Skellig2008 via Flickr Creative Commons.
Up until quite recently, Tenby was known as “Little England beyond Wales” and it is still rather anglicised compared to other parts of the region. Since the early 19th Century, the town has become a fashionable holiday destination for both the Welsh and the English and it’s not hard to see why tourists have come flocking in their droves.
Tenby has some brilliant restaurants, cafes and old fashioned pubs that line its cobbled and winding streets. You can go deep sea mackerel fishing from the harbour, which is a cracking day out, and you can also get paddle board lessons from the beach. If you just fancy a nice stroll whilst taking in some sea air, then you will be pleased to hear that Tenby is located nice and close to the start of the famous Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk.
Narberth is a gorgeous little market town located in the south east of Pembrokeshire, near Tenby. A stroll down the high street takes you past many multi-coloured Edwardian and Georgian buildings as well as plenty of magnificent shops. The shops are mainly independently run and sell a wide variety of items, varying from amazing cheeses and chutneys, to wine, fine art - Narberth has a thriving art scene - and antiques. It really is a shopper’s dream town and like none other in Pembrokeshire.
Picture courtesy of Ihourahane via Flickr Creative Commons.
If you love great food and drink then Narberth will keep you happy. There are a wide range of great places to eat and there are also four cracking pubs for you to try out. You may also want to visit its museum, which was recently a finalist in the Arts Fund Museum of the Year competition. Narberth Castle is also well worth a visit, and whilst not much of the castle itself remains, you will be able to learn some of the fascinating legends that are attached to it.
As well as being a fantastic town, Narberth is also near to Canaston woods, which are great for walking, cycling and horseriding. Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo is also nearby and is a great day out for the whole family with its range of tropical animals and a delightful little petting zoo with sheep, goats, pigs, horses and chickens.
If you’re heading to Pembrokeshire on your next caravan holiday then make sure you visit St Davids - the smallest city in Great Britain. Named after the patron saint of Wales, this city has a population of just over 1,600 and was awarded city status in 1995. This city does, however, date back to the 4th century when St David himself lived here.
Situated near some of the most magnificent coastline in Europe and in the heart of the National Park, St Davids offers you plenty of easy access to the Coastal Path walking route mentioned previously. If you are a fan of outdoor pursuits then you may also want to head over to TYF Adventure, who own their own outdoor gear shop in St Davids. They provide a wide range of activities for you to try your hand at from coasteering to sea kayaking and climbing.
Picture courtesy of Nigel’s Europe and Beyond via Flickr Creative Commons.
Within the city of St Davids you can visit the beautiful cathedral, which is built from local stone and is pink and grey in colour. Located in the valley below the village, the cathedral is well hidden, however, once you pass through the gatehouse it is suddenly revealed to you in all of its splendour. St Davids also has some lovely little shops as well as a cracking seasonal market on Thursdays that is in action from April to the end of September. You can also watch some sheepdog demonstrations throughout the summer, which can be quite entertaining.
St Davids also has the Oriel y Parc Gallery, which opened in 2008 and is part of the National Park visitor centre. It is host to many national treasures, including the works of former Pembrokeshire resident Graham Sutherland, and is free to enter. Finally, if you do head on down to St Davids between April and October, then you should definitely pop along to Ramsey Island. This RSPB nature reserve is one of the best places in the region for watching guillemots and razorbills.
Not to be confused with the larger Newport in South East Wales, the Pembrokeshire Newport is an attractive coastal town that offers a haven for holidaymakers. It plays host to a laid back way of life and offers you the chance to escape the rigours of modern life.
Picture courtesy of Phil O’Driscoll via Flickr Creative Commons.
The town has a number of varied little shops and it also has a weekly market that sells a range of local produce. The local restaurants offer a wide range of menus that include locally caught fish, lobster and crab. If you love a good pub then you will be pleased to know that Newport has a number to choose from including The Castle Inn, the Royal Oak and The Golden Lion.
Situated in the heart of the National Park, Newport is near to Castell Henllys, which is a reconstruction of an Iron Age hill fort that is complete with roundhouses and other buildings. It also plays host to many reenactments throughout the summer, which really bring the area to life. Newport Parrog is a great location for some outdoors activities. You can go kayaking up the stream to Newport Bridge or go down river before heading out to sea to explore the hidden cliffs and caves of Cemaes Head.
St Dogmaels is a pretty little riverside village in the north of Pembrokeshire. It signals the start - or end - of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and is home to some great pubs, cafes and restaurants. It is a place that you simply must visit. The riverside location is cracking and the whole village has a lovely, laid back air about it that is rather infectious.
St Dogmaels also has one of the only two working mills in Wales - Y Felin Water Mill. It has been completely renovated, but still has its machinery intact and is a sight to behold. dating back to the 12th century, Y Felin Water Mill is open to guided tours and also has a little tea room where you can buy some amazing homemade products direct from the mill.
St Dogmaels also has a fantastic abbey that was also founded in the 12th century. Parts of the original church still remain, however, the west and north walls of the nave are 13th century and the north doorway is from the 14th century. However, this place really is a great day out. The visitor centre has a museum which exhibits carved stones and artefacts from the abbey as well as a cafe and a nice gallery.
As well as going for a lovely walk, or strolling around one of the beautiful towns and villages listed above, Pembrokeshire also offers you the chance to visit some cracking locations. The region has something for everyone and most of these following places are a great day out for the entire family. Due to the fact that Pembrokeshire is a place that is rich with history, this list of places to go contains, not one, not two, but three castles and more.
Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, Carew
Carew Castle is set in a breathtakingly stunning location and its history spans over 2,000 years! Overlooking a 23 acre millpond, the castle began life as a Norman fort and ended up as an Elizabethan country house. The location is well worth a visit for anyone who enjoys history, but that is not all it has to offer. There is also a fun summer programme that contains a range of activities to suit everyone.
The castle is built on lands that also incorporate an impressive 11th Century Celtic cross, and the only restored tidal mill in the whole of Wales. This location is also home to a medieval bridge and a delightful picnic area. All of the attractions and sights within the grounds are linked by a one-mile circular walk that also offers you uninterrupted views of the castle.
If you do pop along for the day, you can go on a guided tour of the grounds and there is also a gift shop where you can buy yourself a souvenir to take home. There is also a nice pub and cafe nearby if you fancy a drink and a bite to eat after seeing the sights. And, if you’re lucky, there might just be a reenactment taking place on the grounds when you’re in town, so keep your eye out for that!
Folly Farm, Begelly
Starting life as a dairy farm, Folly Farm is now one of the most popular paid-for visitor attractions in the whole of Wales. Over 400,000 visitors a year head over to this splendid location that is home to over 200 different species of animal. There is so much to see and do for the whole family that it might take you a couple of days to get the most out of Folly Farm. Theme park rides and a huge indoor play area mean your kids will never get bored.
If you love penguins, and let’s face it, most people love penguins, then why not head on over to Penguin Coast, a state-of-the-art saltwater penguin enclosure which is home to 24 Humboldt penguins from Peru. You can watch these little birds waddle and swim around their lovely new home having the time of their lives!
If you want to get hands on then you can also head on over to Cwtch Corner and interact, up close, with some very cute little animals. They have a chicken incubation area and a goat milking station, so make sure you get involved. The zoo also won the Premier Family Day Out award at the Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards, and the following year it won the Best Family Day Out award at the National Tourism Awards. So this place does come very highly recommended. Even if you don’t have kids with you - we didn’t when we were there - you can still have a fantastic time. The lions made it for us. Seeing those magnificent creatures up close was magical.
Oriel y Parc Gallery
Located in St Davids is the Oriel y Parc Gallery, which really is one of the best landscape galleries in the world. The gallery displays works of art from the national collection and has exhibitions which draw their inspiration from the breathtaking landscapes that Pembrokeshire has to offer. If you are a lover of art and you are near St Davids, then it is well worth popping in to take a look around.
The gallery is situated within the visitor centre, where you can speak to staff who are very helpful and friendly. They will be able to help you make the most of your time in the area by advising you on some of the best local walks, beaches, great places to observe the local wildlife, and other nearby attractions.
The gallery also has the Discovery Room, where you can unleash your own creative side and have a go yourself. Or, why not relax and watch the resident artist at work? The venue also has a nice little cafe that is gluten-free-friendly and serves breakfasts and lunches using locally sourced produce.
Castell Henllys, Nr Newport
This brilliant location is nestled deep in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and is a unique and fun day out. This Iron Age hill fort comes complete with replica Iron Age roundhouses that are built upon the excavated remains of the original fort that dates back 2,400 years.
Castell Henllys is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is one of many prehistoric promontory forts in the area, however, it is the only one that allows you to step back in time and enter a replica roundhouse. Whilst visiting the site you can also try your hand at grinding flour and making bread in the same manner as the celts.
The site has been the subject of an ongoing excavation for more than 20 years, which has also been accompanied by an exercise in reconstruction archaeology which saw the roundhouses getting built. In fact, if you pop along in during the warmer months you might be able to see some young archeologists learning the ropes, as the site acts as a training excavation during the summer.
Colby Woodland Garden
This valley garden is a wonderful place to visit and makes for a lovely stroll in some very pretty wildlife. In spring the woodland is covered by bluebells. These are followed by vibrant rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas, and then in the summer the hydrangeas. You can take a nice walk in the woods, or take your mind off your day-to-day whilst taking in some lovely fresh air in the relaxing walled garden.
There are a number of free daily activities to take part in, including pond dipping and family games. There is also a National Trust shop in the grounds as well as plants for sale and a nice craft gallery. Colby Woodland Garden is the perfect place for getting back to nature and taking time out to do nothing but wander around and admire the beautiful local fauna.
Construction on Pembroke Castle began in 1093 and this magnificent structure is steeped in British history. And once you take a look around you can appreciate the views from the top of the castle, which are tremendous. This is thanks to the fact that it was built, with defense in mind, on a rocky promontory which overlooks Milford Haven.
Picture courtesy of Marlo Sanchez Prada via Flickr Creative Commons.
The late 12th century keep has a cylindrical tower and an unusual stone dome and is a whopping 80ft high. The main room on the second floor of the keep has two windows that are embellished externally by dog tooth moulding and a carved head.
Pembroke is also noteworthy as the only castle in Britain to be built over a natural cavern, a large cave known as the Wogan. Historically, Pembroke is important not only for its masonry but for the fact the Harri Tudur, who became Henry VII and inaugurated the Tudor line of monarchs, was born there in 1457 reputedly in the tower now known as the Henry VII Tower.
If you’re heading to Pembrokeshire in your caravan or motorhome this year then you will not be left twiddling your thumbs with nothing to do. This picturesque county has plenty to offer and if you are an outdoorsy type, like we are, then this part of the world is an endless supply of activities to do and sights to see.
Here are a selection of things that we would recommend you try out when you’re out and about in Pembrokeshire. From deep sea fishing to bushcraft, you will not be left wanting.
Buzzard Chris Bushcraft
Ever wanted to take part in a bushcraft course? Buzzard Chris Bushcraft have two camps in Pembrokeshire, both of which cater for all levels of experience. Situated in ancient woodland near Cresswell Quay and at Fir Hill Wood in Slebech Park near Haverfordwest, Buzzard Chris Bushcraft offers you the chance to explore nature and embark on a fascinating journey of learning and discovery.
You can learn how to make fires, how to identify trees and plant life and you’ll also learn how to use a knife, saw and axe while learning woodland crafts. You are also able to give bow making and archery a go, and you can learn how to track. By the end of the course not only will you be feeling at one with nature, but you’ll also be able to give the fantastic Ray Mears a run for his money.
All of the activities that Buzzard Chris Bushcraft have to offer are great fun and extremely rewarding. They have courses that are tailored for families, and prices can be found on their website here.
See the puffins on Skomer Island
Skomer Island, situated off the coast of Pembrokeshire, is the perfect place to see puffins up close. These birds are delightful to look at with their brightly coloured bills and fans of these birds will be pleased to hear that the colony on Skomer is one of the biggest in Southern Britain.
Each year around 6,000 puffins return to the island to spend the spring and summer there, arriving in late March and leaving in late July. When they first arrive in the area it takes time for the puffins to settle on the island. Initially they collect in rafts in in the surrounding sea, before they are large enough in numbers to take to the island. They then head to the cliffs to lay a single egg in their burrows and once the eggs begin to hatch you can witness these lovely birds flying to and from the sea with their beaks lined with sand eels.
However, this island has much more than just puffins. In fact, if you love nature and wildlife then you can also see colourful sea slugs and wonderful cetaceans off the coast and other brilliant bird life on the land.
Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States of America, once said: “Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” And we can think of few things more enjoyable than fishing in the sea off the Pembrokeshire coast. When out at sea, you can appreciate the magnificent landscapes from a different angle and witness their beauty in a new light.
There are many places to go sea fishing in Pembrokeshire, but we’d recommend Tenby. Operating from Tenby harbour you can jump on a boat and head out onto the sea and fish for mackerel and bass. Tenby Sea Fishing offer to take you out for 90 minutes if you're fishing for mackerel and 120 mins if you’re looking to catch some bass. You don’t need to take your own rod as they have all the gear, and you don’t need any previous experience. Just jump on board, get out in the sunshine, and enjoy yourself.
Jump off the cliffs at St Davids
Adventure specialists TYF in St Davids are responsible for coining the term coasteering, which, for the uninitiated, is the name given to the activity of jumping off of cliffs into the sea and generally being in and around the water's edge having fun. So, why not go to the home of coasteering and give it a go? As we have already stressed enough times throughout this guide, the Pembrokeshire coastline is a spectacular place to be and is the perfect place to do some extreme rockpooling.
If you do decide to go cliff jumping then please ensure you are accompanied by a trained supervisor. TYF in St Davids are a great operation and they cater for a wide range of adventurers and can take people from the age of eight upwards. All you need to do is turn up with a smile on your face and a willingness to jump in at the deep end - literally. And they will supply you with the equipment to take you out coasteering.
TYF also offer other activities including kayaking, surfing and climbing, so if you’re feeling active, there is plenty of fun to be had for you and the rest of your family.
Pubs are an inherent part of British culture. When the sun is shining and you’ve just been for a lovely walk through the countryside your day can only be made better by a trip to a beautiful beer garden to sup some ales and wine. Even when the weather is at its worst and rain is hammering down amidst gale force winds there are few places better for seeking refuge than a country pub sat near an open fire with a drink in hand.
If you're away on a caravanning holiday then you may well be on the hunt for some lovely pubs in which to have a drink and get a taste of the local atmosphere. And if you’re going on a caravanning holiday in Pembrokeshire then you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to. Here are five of our favourites.
Stackpole Inn, Stackpole
This pub is incredible pretty to look at, and has found the perfect balance of being both a genuine village local as well as a cracking place for tourists to sit down for a nice drink and a bite to eat. In fact, it was named the Best Gastropub in Wales at the 2011 Great British Pubs Awards, which really is a glowing endorsement.
This pub is still relatively young and is not yet (at the time of writing) 15-years-old, but it has all of the character and charm of an ancient ale house. The building used to be the local post office, and is now one of the most delightful pubs you will ever set foot in. With a number of Welsh beers such as Double Dragon and Reverend James on offer, you will not be disappointed with the drink selection. It is also perfectly placed for exploring the nearby coastline and it is a very popular spot for walkers and their dogs.
It has a nice beer garden, is dog friendly, and the restaurant serves up some truly terrific food with a specials board that features locally caught fresh fish. If you’re taking the caravan or motorhome anywhere near Stackpole, we advise you to head on down to the Stackpole Inn. You’ll love it.
Hope and Anchor, Tenby
This is the epitome of a traditional fisherman’s pub and dates back from the early 1800s. When you walk inside you can envisage the local fishermen of old sat around discussing their haul for the day. Maritime memorabilia decorates the walls and add to the character of this place.
With the friendly staff and brilliant selection of cask ales - which were all of a high quality and in good condition - it is easy to see why the Hope and Anchor is so popular with locals and tourists alike. Whilst the food is not going to blow your mind, it is good quality pub grub and is good value for money - which is definitely a good thing in Tenby, where eating out can be a little bit costly.
There is a little beer garden which can get a bit cramped, but if you do get a nice spot then you can sit in the sun and watch the world go by. This pub is a great place to take the family for an early evening drink and a bite to eat, and you can often end up chatting away to the friendly locals.
The Griffin Inn, Dale
The Griffin Inn is - at the time of writing - the best rated pub in Pembrokeshire on Tripadvisor. And there is a reason for this! Perfectly situated on the water’s edge this pub offers magnificent views across the bay. It has roaring log fires in the winter, and a delightful terrace on which to sit and drink beer in the summer making it perfect for all seasons. It has an extremely friendly atmosphere and the staff are all lovely and welcoming.
As well as offering quality real Welsh ales and an extensive wine menu, the Griffin Inn also serves up some cracking food to suit all tastes. With very locally sourced ingredients most of the fresh local seafood served up at the Griffin Inn is caught by the pub’s own local fisherman on the pub’s very own fishing boat Griffin Girl. They offer a vast range of simple fresh seafood dishes from mackerel to turbot, razor clams to scallops, crab to lobster and other treasures from the bay.
Fans of lovely sea views and delicious seafood must consider the Griffin Inn in Dale. It has been included in numerous articles and lists with the Guardian listing it in their top 10 pubs in Pembrokeshire and the Times listing it as number 5 in its list of best pubs by the sea.
Trewern Arms, Nevern
This 16th century hotel is extremely picturesque and is situated deep in a secluded valley on the bank of the River Nevern. If you love spending your time fishing and relaxing in the surroundings of a bygone era, then the Trewern Arms may well be the best pub on this list for you. Fishing in the River Nevern is fantastic and there are also some brilliant walks in the surrounding area.
With its original flagstone floors and stone walls, the Brew House is decorated with a wide range of bric-a-brac that has been collected over many years. The entire venue has a warm atmosphere, and the staff are very friendly. If you really want to relax, then you can head on into the Lounge Bar, which is a cosy and warm retreat that has comfortable sofas, armchairs and cottage furnishings.
The food on offer is great, with some cracking steaks to choose from as well as a number of nice fish options on the menu and they even serve up a selection of amazing looking pizzas.. All of the food is locally sourced, with the meat coming from a butcher in the nearby Newport.
Tafarn Sinc, Rosebush
Located right in the heart of the Preseli Hills, in the serenity of the Pembrokeshire National Park, is Tafarn Sinc, a corrugated iron pub that was built in the late 1870s to be used as a hotel. The hotel was, however, not a success meaning the giant tin shed ended up becoming the village local. Renovated in the 1990s, there has been no looking back.
Tafarn Sinc is the highest licenced pub in Pembrokeshire and is still alive to the happy sound of the Welsh language. They have, as they put it, ‘refused to bow to the whims of modernisation’ and the venue has managed to keep its fantastic nostalgic originality and old world charm.
Great local ales and some very authentic food, including tender steaks, boiled ham, and faggots made ‘the old farmhouse way’ make this pub a must visit if you’re in the area. We couldn’t recommend it enough.
As well as being home to some magnificent pubs that are brimming with charm and character, Pembrokeshire also has a number of first class restaurants where you can treat yourself to a cracking meal! We all know that preparing a meal in the warmth and comfort of your own caravan can be a relaxing and rewarding experience but sometimes there is nothing better than popping out for a bite to eat. So, here are some of our favourite places to eat in Pembrokeshire.
Cwitch, St Davids
One of our favourite places to eat in Pembrokeshire is Cwitch in St Davids. They serve up magnificent meals ranging from steaks to venison casserole to lovely fish dishes in the evenings, and during the day they are open for coffee and cake. They also have a nice lunch menu.
When it comes to lunch, you can get some truly excellent food at a very reasonable price. Their ploughman’s platter is crammed full and is sure to tantalise your tastebuds. The lunch menu can also be found to contain cawl - a lovely Welsh stew - and a nice selection of gourmet pizzas.
Founded in 2005, this venue was voted Welsh Restaurant of the Year by the Good Food Guide’s readers in 2012. Superb service, a top head chef and an ever changing menu, based on what the different seasons have to offer, make for a wonderful dining experience at lunch or dinner.
The Shed, Porthgain
This quayside bistro is well known in the area for serving up good food in a truly delightful setting. Being a fish and chip shop, The Shed offers good quality fish and chips, with lovely homemade tartare sauce. Eating on the quay in lovely weather, looking at the fishing boats and enjoying a spectacular sunset, most certainly will make your day.
Fish on offer include hake, monkfish, john dory, scallops, whiting, cod and haddock. All of these can be eaten with magnificent hand cut Pembrokeshire Potato Chips.
The Shed serves up incredibly fresh fish and shellfish, that is caught daily and tends to be on your plate within hours of coming out of the sea. There is usually a nice buzz inside the bistro which contrasts the sleepy nature of Porthgain. This frenetic atmosphere, combined with the setting and the incredibly fresh fish all combine to ensure The Shed has a place on our list.
The Grove, Molleston
If you’re near Narberth and you are in the mood for some top quality food then you might want to pop on down to The Grove Hotel in Molleston. The restaurant has three AA rosettes and serves up modern British food that uses locally sourced fresh ingredients. The dining experience is nice and intimate with lovely log fires throughout.
The Grove is surrounded by trees, gardens and wildflower meadows, which provide a beautiful backdrop to your meal no matter what time of year. Throughout the summer months there is a nice terrace on which you can enjoy some al fresco dining in the fresh Pembrokeshire air.
It is not cheap, however, so if you are looking for something a little bit more affordable then it might not be the best option. But if you want a truly special dining experience then it is definitely worth the money.
Cambrian Inn, Solva
Solva is a lovely waterside village on the north side of St Bride’s Bay and it is home to the Cambrian Inn. This restaurant has a relaxed lounge bar and a stylish dining room. You can enjoy a pre-meal drink in the bar before you eat or just relax in one of the chesterfields and spend the evening drinking in extreme comfort. There is also a bar menu that offers good food including the Pembrokeshire Wagyu beef burger using the finest meat reared locally.
The main dining room is just lovely, with its exposed stonework walls, original pitch pine beams and contemporary furnishings that all provide the perfect backdrop for your meal.
The food is great and caters for all tastes. The menu is diverse offering a wide range of food from gourmet burgers and pies to locally sourced fish dishes and some lovely curries, including a great vegetarian sweet potato and chickpea curry. The Cambrian Inn also has a regularly changing specials list that is always full of great locally sourced food.
Plum Vanilla Cafe, Narberth
Now this is one funky and fun establishment that’s the perfect place for a tasty yet affordable lunch. The menu is creative and they have some absolutely cracking salads that are far from boring. The Fruity Goats Cheese Salad is one that jumps off the menu and contains goats cheese balls with an omega seed crust on mini bruschettas, with mixed leaves and baked seasonal fruit. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?
They also have a range of Moroccan options including some amazing starters from Moroccan Spiced Lamb Koftas to Griddled Marinated King Prawns with Spicy Lemon Jam. But it is the main course that steals the show here with a range of tagines that are all served with homemade preserved lemon and fresh coriander couscous, homemade harissa and chermoula. If you like Moroccan food - and you should - then make sure you give this place a go.
The Plum Vanilla Cafe also offers a nice range of breakfast options as well as baguettes and jacket potatoes at lunchtime. The atmosphere is very welcoming, friendly and laid back, which makes for a very relaxed dining experience.
If you are thinking of heading to Pembrokeshire this year with your caravan or motorhome then you will want to find somewhere good to stay. There are numerous great caravan sites in the region that offer you access to the National Park as well as some of the beautiful towns and villages nearby. Here are a few sites that you might want to head to...
Redlands Touring Caravan & Camping Park, Nr Little Haven
This caravan site is a popular and peaceful option that is family friendly and has fantastic sea views. The facilities are well kept and there is plenty of open space for kids to play in. It is situated nicely for anyone who wants to explore the unspoiled natural beauty of Pembrokeshire or those who want to head on down to a nice sandy beach.
Little Haven is just a mile-and-a-half away, and it has a selection of nice pubs as well as a beachside cafe. If you wanted to visit Skomer Island then Redlands Touring Caravan & Camping Park is only a 20 minute drive away. The staff are friendly and offer a number of added extras from a small table or bench to stones and bricks so you don’t burn the grass with hot things. It is worth bearing in mind that the latest arrival time is 9pm, so make sure you get there on time if you do decide to stay here.
Tretio Caravan And Camping Park , St Davids
This lovely park offers a superb holiday opportunity and is situated just one-and-a-half miles from some of Britain’s best beaches. The site overlooks the city of St Davids and has a wide variety of facilities from free showers and clean toilets to a football/volleyball area, a nine hole pitch and putt course, and a climbing wall.
Tretio Caravan And Camping Park offers you plenty of access to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Footpath as well as the lesser known Tretio Common Nature Reserve, so it is perfectly located for ramblers and nature lovers alike. This, combined with very friendly and helpful staff, make this site a hit.
Windmill Hill caravan Park, Pembroke
This delightful, family run caravan site is set alongside a working dairy farm and is the perfect place for setting up camp if you are planning on exploring south east Pembrokeshire or visiting the magnificent Pembroke Castle. This site has plenty of good facilities including spacious and well maintained shower and washing areas.
We all know how important friendly and welcoming staff are at a caravan site, and your stay at Windmill Hill will be made all the more enjoyable thanks to the conscientious and helpful staff.