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Review: Pembroke

City/Town/Region/Island

Wales, United Kingdom

A corner of Wales

  • By SilverTraveller pm

    50 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Sep 2012
  • Friend(s)

8 people found this review helpful

This bottom left hand corner of Wales is an area well worth visiting for a few days – and not just as a departure point for the ferry to Ireland from Fishguard or Pembroke Dock. It is not only the scenic coastline areas, the small fishing ports and the intriguing dual-language signs and notices which make it different, it is also the hospitable people who are clearly used to welcoming the visiting tourists.



The little town of Newport, just North of Fishguard, seemed to have a high street full of small hotels and B&Bs, one with a Michelin-starred restaurant and a press review in the window describing the town as ‘rivalling Rock in Cornwall’ as a fashionable holiday destination. Yet the market day stalls were simple and traditional with local foodstuffs, arts and crafts which seemed unchanged for centuries.



Based on nothing more than an internet search, we stayed at Newport’s Golden Lion pub – which proved to be an object lesson for the pubs around the country threatened with closure. Here the landlord seems to have found all the right ingredients and it was buzzing with activity – mostly locals – even on Sunday and Monday evenings. The bar staff were friendly and welcoming, the log fire was blazing, the ceili band was entertaining everyone, the restaurant had an impressive menu and the en suite guest rooms were well above the average pub accommodation.



Newport also proved to be an ideal base to explore Pembroke’s many features including the remarkable St. David’s Cathedral with its long and fascinating history – and a disconcertingly sloping floor (having been built on a swamp in the 14th century – and survived intact ever since). The Bishop’s Palace also dates from the 14th century. Because of its Cathedral, the village of St. David’s is also Britain’s smallest place with City status! This peninsula of Wales has one of the several long, golden beaches in the area which attract the surfers as well as families.



A few miles to the South East, the little port of Tenby is much more than a beach resort. It also deserves a day for exploring its narrow streets and historic buildings, including a restored Sea Captain’s House (National Trust) where you can relive life in the 17th and 18th centuries.



So it is well worth heading West on the M4 into Pembroke (but remember that when the motorway runs out, the last 50 miles or so can take more time than you might have expected!).

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • ESW
    almost 6 years ago
    Actually I'd go as far as to say it is worth visiting for a lot more than a few days - especially if you are walkers. The Coastal Path makes for excellent walking. In spring the wild flowers are at their best and it is a bit like walking through a rock garden.

    We spent several holidays in May based near Letterston, just off the A40 a few miles south of Fishguard, and felt we only just scratched the surface of what there was to do.