Pembrokeshire is a coastal region in the south of Wales that has been popular for decades amongst British tourists for a bucolic seaside escape. However, it still remains fairly off the beaten path in regards to foreign tourism. This, however, is a shame as Pembrokeshire seemed to offer the beauty and mild weather of Cornwall with a fraction of the summer crowds. Some of the best places to visit in Pembrokeshire include everything from beautiful beaches to imposing castles to charming villages and everything in between.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a quiet seaside getaway and some good time lounging on the beach or are keen to embark on a longer coastal trek, Pembrokeshire really offers it all. As one of the most dramatic places to visit in all of Wales, this beautiful region has so much on offer that its sure not to disappoint any who choose to visit.
Getting To And Around Pembrokeshire
There are three main options for travellers wanting to visit Pembrokeshire from other parts of Wales or England: train, bus or car.
Getting to Pembrokeshire by Train
There are regular trains to various towns in Pembrokeshire such as Pembroke and Tenby from Swansea in Wales taking around 1.5-2 hours. You can also connect to these trains from other major cities like Cardiff.
If coming from London, there are trains to Cardiff and Swansea that leave from London Paddington Station roughly every thirty minutes and you can switch to most of the bigger towns in Pembrokeshire from either of those cities. All in, the journey time will take about 4 1/2 hours.
When travelling by train in the UK, it is advisable to book tickets in advance if you want to secure a cheaper fare as last-minute fares can be expensive. Click here to browse train schedules.
Getting to Pembrokeshire by Bus
It is possible to take the bus to get to Pembrokeshire however routes are limited and slower than the train. For example, there are direct buses from London Victoria Coach Station to Tenby, one of the biggest towns in Pembrokeshire.
They leave a few times per day, are generally less expensive than the train, and the journey will take about 6 1/2 hours. You can find connections to some towns in Pembrokeshire from Cardiff or Swansea. Click here to browse bus schedules
Getting to Pembrokeshire by Car
Like many places in rural Britain, public transport can be lacking in Pembrokeshire so if you’re not planning on spending all of your time walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, it can be incredibly useful to have your own vehicle. If you do hire a car, there are a couple of options you can take.
The first option is to hire a car locally from Pembrokeshire however there are not as many providers available here as other major cities in Wales and England. The other option is to hire a car from either Cardiff or Swansea or even London. If travelling from London, it might work out to be cheaper to take the train to Cardiff or Swansea and hire a car from there if you can get a cheap ticket in advance.
For renting a car in the UK, we recommend searching on Rentalcars.Com to find the best deals. They aggregate results from major international and local companies to ensure you don’t need to need to pay more than you have to.
It’s also worthwhile to take out an excess insurance policy with iCarHireInsurance so you don’t need to pay an excess if you have to make a claim.
Best Places To Visit In Pembrokeshire
And now without further ado, here are some of the best places to visit in Pembrokeshire. Whether you’re looking for natural scenery, charming villages, historic castles or white sand beaches, Pembrokeshire can offer it all.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
One of the highlights of visit Pembrokeshire is the sheer jaw-dropping beauty of the region, and that is expertly exemplified at the gorgeous Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. One of three national parks in Wales (the others are Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons), this park is filled with dramatic cliffside scenery, beautiful beaches, rambling moorland, lush forest and much more.
If you’re an outdoor lover and are looking for a perfect place to get out in the thick of nature, then you absolutely cannot go wrong with spending time in this incredible national park. A number of the places to visit listed in this article lie within the national park simply because it is massive and nearly all-encompassing of the entire coastal Pembrokeshire region, spanning nearly 630 square kilometres (243 square miles).
So whether you want to enjoy some of its countless wild beaches, walk in the Preseli Hills or try to visit all of these beautiful places, no time in Pembrokeshire is complete without spending time in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path
As already mentioned, one of the most appealing things about a trip to Pembrokeshire is the absolutely stunning coastal scenery. Because of this, walking part if not all of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is one of the best things to do in the region.
This trail spans a total of nearly 300 kilometres (186 miles) and the majority of it winds its way along the rugged cliffsides of the region. Beginning in the south near the town of Amroth and ending at Poppit Sands beach, the coastal path is part of the larger Wales Coast Path which winds its way completely around the coast of Wales.
The trail is quite well marked and there are a number of smaller, circular day hikes you could do on it as well of varying difficulty. For instance, the circular route around St. Anne’s Head is a great option for a day hike, presents you with beautiful scenery and you might even spot some wild horses!
Stackpole Nature Reserve
If you haven’t seen enough of beautiful nature yet, then make sure to head to the beautiful Stackpole Nature Reserve. Upheld by the National Trust, this natural area is another fantastic place for a day in the great outdoors and taking in the beautiful scenery, flora and fauna of South Wales.
Known for being home to such wildlife as sea otters, various birds, over 30 species of butterflies and the larges colony of horseshoe bats in Wales, you can also take in beautiful flora in this area, as well. Full of beautiful beaches, pleasant woodland areas, lily ponds and more, Stackpole is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Pembrokeshire.
Pembrokeshire isn’t all just stunning natural areas and trekking (though these are certainly highlights of visiting the region), there are also countless lovely towns and villages to visit in the regions and one of those villages is the lovely town of Pembroke.
Though the town itself can be worth wandering through and exploring, the main highlight of Pembroke is undeniably Pembroke castle, which is absolutely one of the best places to visit in the region. Known to be the birthplace of Henry Tudor (who would later become King Henry VII), this impressive medieval fortification was first built by the Normans in 1093.
If you love old castles or simply want to learn about Medieval history, a visit to Pembroke and Pembroke castle is a can’t-miss in Pembrokeshire.
A lovely, historic seaside village in the region, St Davids can be one of the best places to visit in Pembrokeshire as it holds the title of the “Smallest City in the UK.” While it may just seem like a tiny village, the fact that there is a proper cathedral is what constitutes it as a city.
Much like Pembroke, the main appeal of St David’s for the majority of visits isn’t the village itself but rather the impressive St David’s Cathedral, which is absolutely worth taking in. The monastic community where the cathedral today stands was founded in the year 589 CE, however, the first cathedral wasn’t built until 1123 and was consecrated in 1131.
The cathedral itself is impressive and worth visiting, but the town is equally charming and a perfect place to wander through and enjoy as it’s filled with inviting cafes and cool shops.
The town of Tenby is also a great place to visit and is considered one of the best towns in Pembrokeshire to base yourself in. The town itself is a popular summer resort destination due to its picturesque seaside location, great restaurants, and two lovely beaches.
As one of the most popular places to visit in Pembrokeshire, Tenby is absolutely charming and worth exploring in its own right. Home to some beautiful beaches, an interesting walled landscape and lots of interesting places to explore, Tenby is sure to impress all who visit.
The town is also s jumping-off point to visit the monastic site at Caldey Island, which is home to a community of Trappist monks. Ferries to the island leave from Tenby Harbour where a flock of boats leave regularly for a small fee.
Carew Castle & Tidal Mill
Located not too far from Tenby lies Carew Castle another fascinating historic site to visit in Pembrokeshire. This medieval fortification was originally built in 1270 by Nicholas de Carew and the castle was inhabited by this family for centuries after.
Located just west of the castle lies the Carew Tidal Mill, the only fully restored mill of its kind in Wales. The mill was built in 1801 and used tidal technology to mill corn. It was fully restored in the 1970s and now it houses a museum.
So if you want to learn a bit about two completely different eras of history in one small town, then you need to make sure to visit Carew Castle and Tidal Mill.
If you’re a fan of Arthurian legend and would like to visit a mythical birthplace (much like Tintagel in Cornwall), then you can’t miss Carmarthen, famous as it is believed to be the birthplace of Merlin. This Arthurian mystic was said to have been born in a cave just outside the town limits and if you’re at all interested in this legend, then you must visit this charming village.
There is also a lot of Roman history in Carmarthen, however, the village does have a contemporary vibe and it is very much worth exploring in its own right. After taking in the historic sites, stroll through its streets and browse the many shops and cafes to be found here.
If you happen to be visiting Pembrokeshire in the summertime, you would be remiss if you didn’t take the time to visit one of the region’s beautiful beaches. Marloes Sands, for instance, is one of the best beaches in Pembrokeshire, located a bit north of St Anne’s Head and the village of Dale.
If you’re interested in a beautiful beach and some Hollywood history, then head to Freshwater East which was used as a filming location for Shell Cottage in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Alternatively, you could most your way to Whitesands Bay Beach just outside of St Davids. This is another lovely beach to spend a lazy day at and one of the nicest places in Pembrokeshire. There is also a cafe and a campsite here.
Where To Eat In Pembrokeshire
The popular notion that food in Britain is nothing but organ meat cooked into pies and bland, mushy peas should be really be cast aside, especially since the quality of food even in rural areas can really be top-notch, and Pembrokeshire is no exception. There are a lot of great places to eat in Pembrokeshire with many restaurants serving delicious local produce and inventive seafood dishes.
If you’re looking for a good pub lunch, head to the Rising Sun Inn in Pelcomb Bridge near the town of Haverfordwest. This place serves daily local seafood specials, traditional pub fare, and has some great beers on tap all at an affordable price. Make sure to book ahead for dinner in peak season, as it is a popular spot for families.
If you’ve based yourself in Tenby, there are a couple of great lunch and dinner options there. If you want a really good Italian pizza, look no further than Top Joe’s. They also have a great wine list.
Where To Stay In Pembrokeshire
As Pembrokeshire is a fairly popular seaside destination with UK tourists, there are a number of accommodation options available in the region. Most towns will have a number of B&B’s and guesthouses which can be a comfortable and affordable option. While there aren’t really any big-name hotels in Pembrokeshire, there are definitely smaller, locally run hotels in the bigger towns if that’s what you’re after.
Because of the popularity of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, there are a number of hostels in the towns along the trail that offer affordable dorm beds, some private rooms, and most will have a campsite as well. If you’re looking for some specific places to stay, here are a few possible options.
Coach Guest House – Located in Tenby, this guest house is well located close to the coast and major attractions. They offer a range of private rooms suitable for couples and families with modern amenities and a great breakfast included daily. Click here to check their availability
The Park Hotel – Also located in Tenby, this hotel is perfect if you want to stay a little more in nature and close to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path but still be within walking distance of the main town. Rooms are classically decorated with some offering sea views and all having access to a swimming pool. Breakfast is also included daily. Click here to check their availability
Beachcomber B&B – If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in Pembrokeshire, then you can’t go wrong with this swish bed and breakfast. Located in the centre of Tenby, they have a range of plush rooms available, a helpful and accommodating staff and a wonderful breakfast included each morning. Click here to see their availability
Private Rental – There are a lot of choices in Pembrokeshire such as this amazing luxury modern apartment. Click here to see the private rentals in Pembrokeshire!
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other for hotels in Pembrokeshire.
Pembrokeshire is truly an underrated destination when it comes to international tourism. While it is certainly no secret in the UK, it still has a wonderful undiscovered atmosphere to it which can make it difficult to find the best places to visit in Pembrokeshire.
Couple beautiful beaches and breathtaking scenery with postcard-perfect villages and friendly locals — Pembrokeshire is certainly one of the best places to visit in western Britain.
Before setting off on your Pembrokeshire trip make sure you have a valid travel insurance policy. We personally used World Nomads for our Pembrokeshire trip as we do for all our trips. Click here to get a quote from World Nomads!
Have you been to Pembrokeshire? Where do you think are some of the best places to visit in Pembrokeshire? Let us know in the comments!