Nestled along the rugged coast of South West Wales, Pembrokeshire boasts a rich tapestry of history and natural beauty. While it is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and stunning coastline, the region is also home to a remarkable collection of castles. These medieval fortresses, steeped in legends and tales of chivalry, provide an enchanting glimpse into Wales’ past.
1. Pembroke Castle
We begin our journey with the magnificent Pembroke Castle, often called the birthplace of Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch. This imposing fortress, dating back to the 11th century, stands proudly on a rocky promontory overlooking the bustling town of Pembroke. Explore its labyrinthine passageways, towering walls, and grand gatehouse as you imagine the echoes of centuries past. Don’t miss the stunning views from the castle’s towers, offering sweeping vistas of the winding River Cleddau.
2. Carew Castle and Tidal Mill
Carew Castle an extraordinary site that seamlessly blends history and nature. This majestic castle, strategically positioned on the banks of the Carew River, is surrounded by a picturesque millpond. Uncover the castle’s tumultuous history through its well-preserved fortifications, Great Hall, and Norman keep. Take a leisurely stroll along the adjacent estuary, where you’ll find a fascinating tidal mill, one of Wales’s only restored tidal mills.
3. Manorbier Castle
Perched atop a cliff overlooking the idyllic Manorbier Bay, Manorbier Castle exudes elegance and romance. Its charming courtyard, crenellated walls, and impressive gatehouse are among the finest examples of a Welsh fortified manor house. Explore its atmospheric chambers, climb the tower for panoramic coastal views, and even catch a glimpse of the resident peacocks that roam the grounds. Manorbier Castle’s tranquil surroundings and captivating architecture make it a must-visit for history and nature enthusiasts alike.
4. Picton Castle and Gardens
Venturing deeper into the heart of Pembrokeshire, we discover the hidden gem of Picton Castle. Set amidst enchanting woodlands and expansive gardens, this medieval castle-turned-stately home presents a captivating fusion of architectural styles. Immerse yourself in the opulent interiors adorned with priceless art and period furniture. Afterwards, lose yourself in the meticulously manicured gardens, boasting a plethora of rare plants, tranquil lakes, and secret pathways. Don’t forget to indulge in a cream tea at the on-site café, complete with homemade scones and locally sourced produce.
5. Roch Castle
Our final stop on this castle tour takes us to the remarkable Roch Castle, a restored 12th-century stronghold transformed into an exquisite luxury hotel. Roch Castle rests high above the landscape on its volcanic, rocky outcrop, providing 360-degree views of Pembrokeshire. Meticulously restored, the castle offers five-star Visit Wales Guest Accommodation, a spectacular location and bespoke customer service. You must stay, even if it’s just once. Book your stay today.
Pembrokeshire’s castles form an integral part of its cultural heritage, offering visitors a glimpse into Wales’ medieval past. From the commanding grandeur of Pembroke Castle to the romantic and hidden charm of Roch Castle, each fortress presents a unique story waiting to be discovered.