Milford Waterfront is the place to be
48 hours in Milford Haven
Originally a whaling settlement in the 18th century and now a crucial place for the UK’s energy sector, Milford Haven’s bustling port sits on the attractive shores of Wales’ largest estuary and one of the deepest natural harbours in the world.
But not only big ships navigate these waters – it’s a popular destination for pleasure-boaters and yachters (and boat-watchers!) who seek out its pleasant and sheltered marina, making it a hub of activity for anything that floats.
Have a leisurely start to your trip…
Wander down to the waterfront for a cooked breakfast and coffee looking out across the boats and spend the morning exploring all the marina has to offer. There are all kinds of shops to keep you entertained – Sugar Loaf Delicatessen and Bakery, environmentally friendly fashion at CUB3D, art supplies for your holiday at In House Crafts (who also do craft workshops for kids), art galleries, ice cream parlours, bars, restaurants, cafés, you name it! For local and Welsh produce make sure you stop in Trwffl, where, if you’re lucky, chocolatier Sandra will let you try some of her handmade goodies. We love the dark chocolate and sea salt truffles, the flavours go beautifully together and their gooey inside is to die for!
Stop for lunch at Martha’s Vineyard for unbeatable views over the marina. The first-floor restaurant benefits from an elevated perspective, and has a lovely covered terrace with heaters for chillier days, sides that can be pulled back in the sunshine, and plenty of indoor restaurant seating. The decking gets heaps of afternoon sun, so go and sit with a pint of prawns and soak up the rays while listening to the sound of boat masts clicking and water gently lapping beneath you. Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect vantage point to watch fishing boats and yachts come in and out and witness the daily hustle and bustle of the harbour.
After you’ve had your fill of sunshine and boat watching, pop over to the Waterfront Gallery in the dockside’s Grade II Listed Old Sail Loft building where whaling ships were serviced in the 18th century. One of Pembrokeshire’s premier art galleries stocked full of the most gorgeous originals and prints by local artists, the Waterfront Gallery is a not-for-profit organisation whose proceeds support the development of arts and crafts in Pembrokeshire.
Wrap up your time on the waterfront with a nose around the Milford Haven Museum to learn about the maritime history of this important harbour and dockside, from the Bronze age all the way to today and the crucial role it plays in supporting the world’s energy demands.
In the afternoon…
Test your sea-legs and head to the coast for your own taste of being on a boat. Trips leave from Martin’s Haven with Pembrokeshire Islands Boat Trips, where you can choose from various routes, speeds and trip types. Try the Skomer Island and Grassholm route to seek out some of Pembrokeshire’s most exciting bird life – you can often see shearwaters, gannets, guillemots, razorbills, and of course our famous Puffins! You might even catch some porpoises and seals too.
After having the wind in your hair all afternoon…
You deserve an indulgent evening meal, so head back into Milford Haven to visit Foam Restaurant on the waterfront. Unlike the other marina eateries, Foam’s fabulous and expansive sea views face away from the bobbing boats and into the haven waterway itself, with views that stretch for miles up the estuary or out to sea. The restaurant has an indoor and outdoor bar (with cocktails on tap!) and maintains a smart yet coastal vibe. The highlight is their ‘glass room’, which has a retractable roof for dry days and glass walls that slide all the way open for those beautiful summer moments. If you’re feeling swish, you can book one of their private, air-conditioned solar domes for a truly unique experience. All tables face the haven with uninterrupted views, and you can book for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
For those wanting plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, head to The Green Genie and Madisons. These two restaurants have different menus but are connected to each other to allow groups with mixed dietary requirements to all have ample menu choices, as veggies and vegans can order from The Green Genie’s entirely plant-based list. The spaces are cosy and chic, with a homely but classy living room vibe that takes you straight back to the 1930s, and you can sip a cocktail in this small and intimate setting while looking out at the boats. Perfection!
After your meal, why not pop into the Torch Theatre to round off the day with a cultural fix. This highly successful professional theatre hosts regular productions by both their own company and touring shows, as well as live music, comedy and film screenings.
On your second day…
Strike out for the coast and hop on the bus (number 315) to visit the beautiful Marloes Sands, a long golden beach with interesting rock features and pristine waters. Take a stroll around the peninsular on the coast path for views that sweep across south Pembrokeshire as well as north into St Brides Bay, before stopping for a tasty lunch at Runwayskiln. Offering quality food, there are two and three course lunch options, cakes, snacks and beverages available, including a selection of local beers and ciders. For bird and wildlife watchers, the nearby Marloes Mere is a must – it’s an area of wetland protected by the National Trust, where rare plants, animals and birds thrive and can be spotted from the birdwatch shelter.
An alternative circular walk from Marloes is around the Dale peninsular, taking in St Ann’s Head, Watwick and Westdale beaches, before stopping for a pint “on the wall” in Dale (you’ll know what we mean when you get there) from the Griffin Inn or the Yacht Club. The Griffin Inn is a popular choice for drinkers and diners alike, serving real ales and fresh seafood in a traditional pub setting just metres from the sea.
If you’re after a different area to explore, drive north towards Broad Haven and Little Haven. At low tide, the two bays are connected, forming a mile-long expanse of beautiful sand. There are plenty of food and drink choices in both places, but we recommend you head to Little Haven to pick up a fresh crab sandwich at Lobster and Môr and have a look in their tank for the freshest of fresh live seafood. We also love The Castle for dinner – it’s the perfect place to enjoy a pub meal listening to the sound of waves breaking a stone’s throw from your table in the beer garden. For more of a fine-dining experience, head further up the coast to the Haven Brasserie at Nolton for excellent food beside a beautiful sandy beach.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our ’48 hours in…’ series – There’s Pembroke packed with Tudor history, Fishguard the location of the last invasion of Britain and The Preseli Hills for the perfect getaway from it all break.