THINGS TO DO IN
SOUTH PEMBROKESHIRE

THINGS TO SEE IN
THE PEMBROKESHIRE AREA

Pembrokeshire is blessed with a myriad of activities to suit all ages and tastes as well as plenty of great cafés, restaurants, and pubs where you can refuel after a busy day. In the cottages, you will find a comprehensive list of eateries, places to visit, as well as things to do and see in South Pembrokeshire on your holiday, but here we have identified our “Top Six”.

SIGHTSEEING IN PEMBROKESHIRE

Pembrokeshire is a magnet for walkers, nature lovers, foodies, families, and sightseers. With Victorian seaside towns and atmospheric and intimate coves, there’s plenty of sightseeing opportunities and places to visit in Pembrokeshire. It’s a safe bet you’ll love it here too.

Dominating the skyline in Pembroke, the castle is the most impressive in the county and is any sightseer’s heaven in Pembrokeshire. The seat of the Tudor dynasty and birthplace of King Henry VII, the structure is an enormous oval mostly surrounded by a serene mill pond. Extensively restored in Victorian times, it is dominated by the complex gatehouse on the outside and the huge circular keep inside. A must for the history buffs.

Pembroke Castle has an extensive events calendar including concerts, seasonal festivities, such as Hallowe’en and the annual Christmas Market, as well as many educational programmes; this includes 5 indoor video rooms ideal for inclement weather. Guests with 4-legged companions, on a short lead, are welcome during the day but not at evening events.

If you ever feel the need to get away from it all, this is the place to go. Head to Tenby, park up and go to the harbour. You can buy tickets (cash only) there for the 20-minute boat trip which departs frequently throughout the day. The Cistercian monks on the island continue a tradition which began there in Celtic times. More than a thousand years of prayer and quiet living have made this remote and beautiful place a haven of tranquility and peace. The monastery, built in Italianate architectural style is stunning. There is a lovely sandy beach, village green with café, gift shop and delightful walks around the island including to the lighthouse on the south side. The best time to visit is May, June and September to get favourable weather and to avoid the crowds. Highly recommended!

Unusually built in a valley this stunning edifice, located in Britain’s smallest city, is a must view. Reputedly containing the bones of St David himself, the cathedral offers some of the best sightseeing Pembrokeshire has to offer and is one of the great historic shrines of Christendom. Nowhere in Britain is there a more ancient cathedral settlement, dating back fourteen centuries. Two pilgrimages to St David’s were the equivalent of one to Rome! 

The Cathedral is open to visitors from 10-5pm Monday to Saturday and from 1-5pm on Sundays; details of services can be found on the Cathedral’s website.

Budding architects will enjoy the magnificent fan-vaulted ceilings to be found in the side chapels.

Various events take place throughout the year along with exhibitions; there is an extensive gift shop as well as a cathedral refectory serving refreshments made with local Pembrokeshire produce.

Tenby is a delightful harbour town and resort in south-east Pembrokeshire known for its 13th-century town walls with a five arch gate and wonderful beaches: the long South Beach, North Beach and Castle Beach. The ruins of Tenby Castle are on a headland overlooking the harbour. The museum and art gallery include a 16th-century wrought-iron cannon. The Tudor Merchant’s House recreates domestic life in 1500, with a merchant’s shop and working kitchen. There are many bustling hotels, pubs, cafes and restaurants making the town a vibrant place to visit though it can get very busy during peak season. The south side of the town has stunning views of Caldey Island, just a 20-minute boat ride away and well worth a visit for a totally contrasting experience!
The delightful village of Porthgain has a variety of historical remnants from its time as a prosperous industrial harbour in the early 1900s. At one time, it exported slate from quarries a few miles south at Abereiddi, Trwynllwyd and Porthgain quarry itself. In later years the slate trade was halted, and the harbour survived by turning to brickmaking, and later to crushed roadstone. In the 1980s, Porthgain was designated as a conservation area and the industrial properties and land were purchased by local residents and the National Park Authority. The harbour is still used by local fishermen and can get very busy in the season with recreational boaters. Porthgain has the Sloop pub and the Shed, a small bistro situated by the Quay and the Harbour Lights Gallery, which is situated in the manager’s office of the old works. Porthgain Kayak Club operates trips from the harbour during the summer months.
The Preseli Mountains are found in north east Pembrokeshire, rising over 500m above sea level. Typically, they are sparsely populated rolling grassland, heath and wild moorland with sporadic tors outcropping. Foel Cwmcerwyn is the highest peak being 536m above sea level. There are some excellent walks here as well as views: on a clear day you can see as far as Snowdonia to the north and Ireland to the west. Many interesting archaeological sites can be found including the Neolithic burial chamber Pentre Ifan. The bluestones (spotted dolerites) of Stonehenge, some 2 to 4 tonnes in weight are believed to have been quarried here and transported to Wiltshire!

TOP BEACHES TO VISIT IN PEMBROKESHIRE

Beach, please! Pembrokeshire is spoilt for choice when it comes to some of the top Welsh beaches to visit.

Marloes Sands
Accessed from a Pembrokeshire Coast National Park carpark, it is definitely worth the walk to the beach. A huge sandy expanse with beautiful offshore views of the natures reserves of Skomer and Skokholm Islands; the northern end of the beach is bounded by Gateholm Island featured in the film Snow White and the Huntsman. The beach is safe for bathing but there are no facilities.
Barafundle
As one of the top and most picturesque beaches in Pembrokeshire, Barafundle Bay is part of the former Cawdor Estate. Parking is at the National Park carpark at Stackpole Quay (worth a visit in its own right) where you can find toilets. Barafundle can only be reached via the Pembrokeshire Coast path; the beautiful sandy beach is backed by extensive dunes. The sea is safe for bathing and the water is crystal clear.
Newgale
Nestled in the north east corner of St Bride’s Bay Newgale is one of the the longest beaches in Pembrokeshire, stretching for almost 2.5 miles (4km). The beach is serviced by several carparks, 2 of which have toilet facilities and the south car park has a shop and mobile food vans. The beach is popular for both bathing and watersports, and a surfing centre offering lessons and equipment hire can be found next to the Duke of Edinburgh public house.
Freshwater West
Home to the final resting place of Dobby of Harry Potter fame, as well as various scenes from Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood film (starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett), Freshwater West is one of Pembrokeshire’s top beaches and a popular surfing destination. It has a superb sweep of sand which may look inviting but there are dangerous undertows on the ebb tide and patches of quicksand at the north end of the beach. It is famous for its extensive sand dunes which are great fun for children to play in or to picnic. Parking is very limited, and the road can be congested in the high season.
Druidstone
Druidstone is very secluded surrounded on three sides by dramatic high cliffs, and is an incredibly beautiful Pembrokeshire beach to visit. The beach has no facilities and parking is extremely limited. Access is via a reasonably steep footpath, however, it is well worth the effort particularly at low tide. Watch the tide if you stray from the main beach area to make sure you don’t get cut off by the incoming sea; there are strong currents offshore, so it is not suitable for inexperienced swimmers.
Broad Haven South
This beach can be approached either via the Lily Ponds at Bosherston (only on foot) or from the clifftop National Trust carpark (with toilet facilities) above the southern end beach itself. This access is a long stretch of steep steps so unsuitable for those with limited mobility. It is unspoilt and rugged with sand dunes and caves to explore and springs which gush from the cliffs. Swimming is generally safe but beware of strong currents.

FUN FAMILY ACTIVITIES TO DO
IN PEMBROKESHIRE

Pembrokeshire has so much to offer in terms of fun family activities, whatever the weather. Here are some suggestions for you and your family to enjoy but please ask us if you have any special activity request. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll certainly try to find out for you.

Based right in Tenby harbour, the nearest coasteer is just a two-minute walk away. Further afield, they have a variety of routes all around the spectacular south Pembrokeshire coastline. The routes are world-class, full of jumps, swim-throughs, surfy play-spots and hidden gems discovered during many years of exploration by the guides. The minimum age is 8 and under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult/guardian.
 
Advance booking is essential for all trips.
A free to enter lake park, outdoor activities include both water and land-based recreational fun. On the water, visitors can enjoy sailing, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle and pedalboarding. Fishing on the bank or by boat is also available. Land activities include walking and cycling with over 14km of trails to explore and a brand-new Pump Skills Track with a wide range of bikes available to hire. Visitors can also learn the art of axe and knife throwing, how to fire a crossbow or have a go at archery. Other activities include Crazi-Bugz, six-wheeled off-road buggies for young adventurers, and a new adventure playground. Llys y Frȃn, Pembrokeshire offers a range of activities for the whole family.
Situated in beautiful wild moorland with craggy peaks, spectacular scenery and magnificent views, with ancient stone circles, wild ponies ramble in an ancient, magical land of Celtic mythology: King Arthur, The Mabinogion, Stonehenge and the Druids come to mind. The Stonehenge Bluestones originated from the hill overlooking the farm which contains a fully licensed and insured Pony Trekking Centre. The escorted riding routes follow ancient tracks across the Preselis and cater to all sizes and abilities from age 3 years and older, making it the perfect family activity to do in Pembrokeshire.
Located near Manorbier in South Pembrokeshire, Foxcombe is the longest air rifle shooting range in Wales. Take your own gun or hire one on site. Fun for all the family with experienced and qualified range officers who provide a full safety briefing. Booking recommended.
Explore the marine and bird paradise for which Pembrokeshire is renowned with one of the many trips delivered by Dale Sea Safaris. Depending on the time of year you will see puffins, guillemots, razorbills, Manx shearwaters, Atlantic grey seals, northern gannets, dolphins, and porpoises.
Advance booking is essential for all trips.

All sorts of activities for a fun-filled time including wakeboarding, ringo rides, aqua park, a bouldering wall as well as Tipi dining. Hugely popular so pre-booking is definitely required – activities are often booked up 2 weeks in advance.

The Tipi dining is open all year round with coffee and cakes served between the main dining times. Out of season opening is from Wednesday to Sunday; other times of the year it is open daily.

FAMILY DAYS OUT IN PEMBROKESHIRE

The holidays! If you’re looking for fantastic family days out near our cottages in Pembrokeshire, we’ve got a list of great things to do in the holidays and weekends. From meeting adorable baby monkeys to brand new theme park rides, there’s something for everyone!

Folly Farm is an award-winning visitor venue in Pembrokeshire, providing a great day out and entertainment for the whole family. Prebooking is essential (select a day and time on Eventbrite before purchasing tickets on the website) then get ready for a fun-packed day which includes lions, penguins, giraffes, lions, zebras, lemurs, meerkats, to name but a few. The Jolly Barn provides an opportunity to get up close to all sorts of farm animals and the indoor vintage funfair is a real hit with young and old alike.

A great day out for the family. The mission is to protect endangered species and focus on animal welfare. Animals at the park include wallabies, meerkats, ostrich, Damara zebra, lemurs, squirrel monkeys, gibbons, pygmy goats and Sumatran tigers (part of the European breeding programme). The park has free parking, picnic areas, a real food café and a shop plus an indoor hay play area, outdoor play area, wildlife trail, Wi-Fi, toilets /disabled toilets. Please note Dogs are NOT permitted in the park.

Reconstructed Iron Age roundhouses are located where they would have been 2,000 years ago. Costumed guides, representing the Demetae Tribe which lived here before, during and after the Roman invasion will bring your day to life. The village has stunning views across the countryside and there are woodland footpaths and riverside walks. There is a visitor centre, shop and café – the centre is dog friendly, but dogs are not permitted inside the café.

Photograph courtesy of PCNPA
Heatherton is an award-winning family attraction for all ages and is open all year round. Only 5 minutes from Tenby, you will find over 30 thrilling activities to choose from include climbing, jumping, zip-lining, karting, hedge maze, archery, dragon slide, indoor soft play, 3 escape rooms and much more. It’s dog friendly and even has its own dog agility course, so take along your “best friend!”. Additionally, there are several indoor and undercover activities for those wet family days out in Pembrokeshire.
A fun and relaxing day for the whole family. Clerkenhill has a farm trail with spooky woodland plus swings and slides along the way. There are plenty of play areas for the children which include giant tube channel slides, an adventure castle and a summer house. You will find lots to entertain you all including: frizbee golf, crazy golf, bouncy castle, adventure park, indoor soft play area and pedal go karts. You will also see farm animals throughout your visit.

Carew Castle has a history spanning over 2,000 years. It is set in a stunning location overlooking a 23-acre millpond. The architecture includes a Norman fortress and an Elizabethan mansion. There is also the only restored Tidal Mill in Wales, and 11th Century Celtic Cross, a Medieval Bridge and a picnic area with views over the millpond. The site includes a tearoom and visitor shop.

POPULAR INDOOR ACTIVITIES IN PEMBROKESHIRE

So where do you go when the weather puts the ‘mockers’ on your day? Well, the simple answer is, “Don’t let it!” Here’s a list of popular rainy day indoor activities in Pembrokeshire.

The heritage centre is an all-weather family attraction located just across the Cleddau Bridge in the Royal Dockyard of Pembroke Dock. The dockyard was home to the construction of 5 Royal Yachts and 260 maritime vessels; in World War II, flying boat squadrons were based here, and in recent years the Sunderland hangers were used as storage for imported fruit and potatoes, as well as being the top-secret location for the construction of the full-sized Millennium Falcon which featured in the Star Wars films. There is something here for every age and taste including a coffee shop selling drinks and snacks using Pembrokeshire produce.
The Heritage Centre now houses the Millennium Falcon Exhibition which tells the story of the building of the original iconic Star Wars star ship in the town in 1979 for the Oscar-winning film The Empire Strikes Back. There are many photographs, unique film of the construction in 1979 – not seen in public before – and a detailed sectioned model of the stages of construction of the original. Please note that the there is no full-sized Millennium Falcon at the centre as it was dismantled and sadly disposed of after filming.

Situated at the County Showground, Withybush, near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, this venue is open all year round and makes the perfect rainy day activity. Suitable for family fun or competitive racing from 8 years of age, race suits, helmets, gloves are provided with instruction from experienced staff. Booking not always necessary – suggest a phone call to check availability.

Situated on the Hakin side of Milford Haven docks, Phoenix Bowl is a 10-pin bowling alley with a fully licensed bar and café selling fast food with view across the docks and Milford Marina. There are various gaming machines and a pool table as well as a large soft-play area for the little ones. It is popular with both locals and tourists. Parking is located near the bridge at the head of the dock with Disabled parking next to the complex.

Wales’ first Indoor trampoline park, just north of Haverfordwest off the Fishguard road, it has over 100 inter-connecting trampolines with associated activities. There’s a full-service café and a large soft play area for 8 years and under.

An indoor activity to challenge your grey matter on a rainy day in Pembrokeshire, based at Heatherton World of Activities. You’ll need to work as a team to find hidden clues and solve exciting puzzles to escape before you run out of time. There are 3 escape rooms to choose from: The Captain’s Treasure Room, The Wizard’s Lair and The Tenby Asylum.

The Creative Café can be found in Haverfordwest, the county town, on the High Street. The café is family friendly and ideal for wet day entertainment. While dining you can paint or indulge in home pottery. The kids will love it!

PLACES TO EAT OUT IN PEMBROKESHIRE

Pembrokeshire is blessed with restaurants, cafes, and bars of varying prices and styles where you can grab a snack or main meal. In the main seasons, it is advisable to book ahead to ensure you can get a table. Below you will find a selection of our favourite places to eat out in Pembrokeshire, all of which are not far from the coast. We live here because we love the sea – but there are many other wonderful places to eat both inland and by the sea.

A riverside inn, with panoramic views of the Milford Haven Waterway, we highly recommend this venue run by Janet & Steve. Using Pembrokeshire produce for freshly prepared food, real ales etc can be enjoyed in a relaxing atmosphere. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome inside the pub, making it the perfect place to eat out in Pembrokeshire with your furry friend.

This newly-built restaurant, located next to Haverfordwest’s historic riverside warehouses on the banks of the River Cleddau, is a welcome addition to Pembrokeshire’s county town. Fabulously opulent floral décor is complemented by a central bar serving cocktails (Tuesday-Sunday: 11am to Midnight) and drinks to tempt every palate; an extensive wine list completes the liquid refreshment offering. An extensive range of seating areas is available to suit all ages from those dining solo, to couples and groups of varying sizes. Service is excellent, both polite and professional, and the palate is tempted with a range of superbly prepared dishes from Brunch (Tuesday-Sunday: 11am-3pm) to Evening meals (Tuesday-Saturday: 4pm-9:15pm). The premises features a retractable roof for alfresco dining in the warmer seasons. Bookings are highly recommended due to demand.

Highly rated casual harbour-side fresh seafood restaurant with indoor and outside seating that also caters for those meat or vegetarian customers. Magnificent views over the harbour can be enjoyed while dining. Booking is essential as this excellent restaurant gets booked up weeks in advance

The Blas Restaurant is located in Tŵr y Felin Hotel, St Davids, a short walk from Caerfai Bay and St Davids Cathedral. The hotel, now part of the Retreats Group, was previously a 19th century windmill; it is now owned by a former resident of St Davids who is also a leading international architect. As one of the most revered places to eat in Pembrokeshire, the restaurant is a superb fine dining experience, with the menu utilising seasonal local Pembrokeshire produce wherever possible from the surrounding countryside and coast.

A licensed dockside café-bar with a glass room and glass dining pods, Foam serves excellent food with spectacular views over the second deepest natural harbour in the world.