Castles, Culture and Gardens.
Castles are a great way to explore the history of our county and Pembrokeshire is certainly not short on choice. Here there is a long history of castle building, ranging from motte & bailey to grand palaces. Some also offering family friendly events and activities throughout the year in the height of the season. Pembrokeshire also boasts extensive gardens to admire and explore along with many cultural places of interest and fine stately homes. Here we've highlighted a few to get you started during your stay.
A huge oval medieval castle dating back nearly 1000 years, birthplace of King Henry VII. Boasting beautifully restored towers, tunnels, dungeons and battlements. Take on the challenge of climbing the 80ft high keep to take in the views over Pembroke town and surrounding millpond, then descend into a giant pre-historic cave. Open all year round, this dog-friendly castle also offers guided tours and hosts music/theatre events, outdoor cinema and an annual Christmas market. this magnificent castle is well worth a visit any time of year.
Carew Castle & Tidal Mill
The history of this castle and tidal mill spans over 2000 years. Set in the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast Notional Park, overlooking a 23 -acre millpond, this is castle is one of the most architecturally diverse in Wales. Also incorporated in this site is the only restored tidal mill in wales with a medieval bridge and picnic area all linked into a mile long circular walk suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs. This dog friendly castle is open from April - September and often hosts seasonal events and activities throughout their season.
Picton Castle & Gardens
This 13th Century Castle with award winning gardens, set in the heart of Pembrokeshire, is a magical day out for all the family. The castle itself is a unique design and is the only one of its type in mainland UK. Once inside, it's revealed not to have the inner courtyard and keep as expected but an exquisite display of 18th century interiors in a series of finely planned rooms. With 60 acres of beautiful historic gardens there is plenty to explore all year round. Picton castle is also home to The Welsh Owl Garden and Zoo housing many species of birds of pray with handling sessions during the summer. With dogs welcome, except for in the Own Garden and Zoo, these gardens are open all year round with castle opening April - October.
Where To Eat?
Take a picnic with you or why not try Maria's courtyard restaurant for lunch or an afternoon meal. The Picnic Box right next door to the restaurant offers take away hot and cold drinks along with a salads and sandwiches and of course, ice cream!
Check website for full opening times https://www.pictoncastle.co.uk/
Lamphey Bishop's Palace
Visit the extensive remains of a grand medieval palace of the Bishop's of St Davids. Although an equivalent palace was based in st Davids, the Bishops used Lamphey as a retreat to escape the burden of Church and State during the early to mid 14th Century. During the reign of Henry VIII the palace was surrendered to the crown and granted to Richard Devereux and subsequently to the Earls of Essex. It would later become home to Walter Devereux,1st Earl Of Essex as a child. During the late 17th Century the Palace was sold on where it was possibly used for farm purposes during that era.
St Davids City & Cathedral
Discover the smallest city in Britain. The 12th century Cathedral here gives St Davids' its city status and is one of wales' most iconic religious sites. Although several older cathedrals were built here at the same site before this time, due to its vulnerable location near the sea, St Davids was prone to viking attacks leaving these older structures destroyed.
In modern day, St Davids is a quaint little place full of character and is well worth a visit. This peninsula has some of the most magnificent coastal scenery in Pembrokeshire.
Stackpole Walled Gardens
The historic 6 acre walled gardens, on the Stackpole Estate, were created around the 1770's to provide the Lord Cowdor and his family with fruit and vegetables during the time they lived at the now demolished Stackpole Court. Many historic remains can still be seen here such as the forcing pits heated by the boiler house used at the time. This has now become a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as it provides a haven for several species of bat including the Greater Horseshoe.
The gardens are now leased by the National Trust to Pembrokeshire Mencap Ltd who use the gardens to provide practical skills and experience and horticultural qualifications to those adults in the area with learning disabilities.
You can visit the Cafe, gardens and shop 10-5 daily from March - October.
5 STAR HOLIDAYS IN PEMBROKESHIRE
Our family would love to welcome your family to SWALLOWTREE. Come and enjoy our unique location, superb indoor facilities and high-quality accommodation with delightful sea views. We look forward to seeing you soon.