Independent shops and plenty of tasty food

48 hours in Narberth

It’s hard to say whether it’s the multicoloured Georgian and Edwardian houses on the high street, the characterful clock tower, or the friendly shopfronts with their busy displays spilling out onto the pavements that first charms visitors to this quaint little market town in the heart of eastern Pembrokeshire.

With its well-deserved reputation as a shopper’s heaven, Narberth’s buzzing high street is renown in Pembrokeshire and wider Wales as a perfect year-round destination. Proudly independent, you’ll find an eclectic mix of unique and high-quality offerings in its many lovely shops, eateries and galleries. Notable events throughout the year draw in many visitors and might influence when you come… Don’t miss Narberth Food Festival held annually on the last weekend of September, the summer Carnival that brings colour and costume to the July streets, or the Big Plant Sale in the springtime which raises money for influential local charity Span Arts.

High street heaven…

Spend a relaxed day perusing the shops and boutiques at your leisure, taking in the artistic and culinary capability of Narberth’s local community. The morning sees the high street come to life, so enjoy the hubbub of daily life commencing in this vibrant town. Grab a coffee, some artisan bread and local preserves from Fforc Welsh Deli to create your own breakfast for that all-important kick-start to your day.

Narberth Food Festival takes over the town in September

There are all kinds of shops to explore – if you’re after something special to show for your time in Pembrokeshire, you’ll definitely find it here. It’s hard to pick out favourites, but we love the Golden Sheaf Gallery, where you can find all kinds of quality items and goodies from handmade toiletries to Welsh jewellery, handbags, clothes and homeware. Head on up the plush carpeted staircase to the first floor gallery, where you’ll find originals and prints from local artists, including big Pembrokeshire names such as John Knapp Fisher, Jackie Morris and Chris Neale, art supplies to equip your holiday, and beautiful books to take home. The shop’s six rooms spill out into the old clock tower, so be sure to cross the road and have a look inside this historic town centrepiece.

After you’ve had your fill of the high street’s shops, wander away from the noise of the road and back in time up a hidden alleyway to The Malthouse, a stunning period building filled from floor to ceiling with antiques and vintage curiosities. The perfect setting for the historical treasures it holds, enjoy The Malthouse’s airy attic, exposed beams and wooden floorboards from centuries ago as you browse the many trinkets in this wonderful store. The cool interior is a lovely break from the sunny streets, but once you’re done inside, spend some time in its idyllic walled garden where you can sit with a picnic or simply soak in the tranquillity, listen to the hum of bees and smell the perfume of flowers in this little haven tucked away in the town centre. The gardens are managed by L&J Nursery next door, from which you can purchase potted plants and succulents.

The Golden Sheaf Gallery

Narberth is the food capital of Pembrokeshire, and it won’t take you long to see why! There are plenty of options for your own picnic lunch, but we love Ultracomida Delicatessen. Purchase award-winning and mouth-wateringly good Spanish, Welsh, (and some French) cheeses cut fresh from the wheel by friendly and knowledgeable staff, along with cured meats, olives, wines and more. It’s a challenge not to leave with a bag full! Also serving authentic tapas dishes and coffees at lunchtime from a cosy room out the back, Ultracomida is an essential pitstop for a day in Narberth.

If meat and dairy aren’t your thing, Plum Vanilla Café is a firm favourite among locals and visitors alike, serving healthy and nutritious dishes to suit every diet. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, expect wholefoods, salads, soups, and plenty of delicious vegetarian and vegan options including deserts. Its bohemian, colourful interior and quirky décor give it a cheerful and vibrant atmosphere.

Welsh and Spanish cheese heaven in Ultracomida

In the afternoon…

Get your daily dose of culture from Oriel Q art gallery, and learn about the town’s fascinating history at the Narberth Museum, whose interactive exhibits and changing collections are suitable for all ages.

Make your way to Fire and Ice for an artisan Gelato or Sorbet – there is something delicious to tickle everyone’s tastebuds, as well as some adult-only options! We love the Rasberry Prosecco Sorbet, and other alcoholic flavours include Grapefruit G&T and Cider… Truly a must-try, these flavours have won many awards over the years. This lovely little business also stocks a staggering number of Welsh Gins (over 100 types!) and an excellent selection of local ciders, ales, and other Welsh spirits which are a perfect way to take a bit of Pembrokeshire home with you.

Finish the day…

For dinner there are plenty of options in the town centre. Top Joe’s does excellent pizza, you can get all kinds of local seafood from Mad Tom’s, head to Peppercorn Grill for a meaty option, or to The Angel for a quality pub meal in its smart bar or cosy fireside nook. If you’re after fine-dining, The Fernery Restaurant at the Grove of Narberth is a 3AA Rosette, award-winning restaurant that offers 5 or 8 course tasting menus in an idyllic, countryside setting.

Later on, you can choose from a good selection of real ales at the cosy Dingle Pub, grab a pint from The Dragon or The Eagle, then head to the Queen’s Hall for some of the best live music and comedy gigs in Pembrokeshire.

Fine dining at The Fernery at Grove of Narberth

The next day…

With the Preseli mountains and the coast only a short drive away, Narberth is a great starting point for many Pembrokeshire adventures. But you don’t even need to go that far! Enjoy a morning walk from the town itself or take a five-minute drive to get yourself to the Daugleddau estuary – one of Pembrokeshire’s best kept secrets! – and enter the National Park’s tranquil and protected shores that lack the busyness of the coast. Explore Canaston and Minwear Woods on foot, passing the historic Blackpool Mill nestled in old broadleaf forest, and make your way along the estuary keeping your eyes peeled for bird life.

Another fabulous walk in the vicinity is to the ruins of Llawhaden Castle. Set atop a hill amongst rolling countryside, you can climb up the stairway on the south side for gorgeous views from the battlements.

Llawhaden Castle

After midday…

The local winemakers at Cwm Deri Vineyard will be happy to host you for wine tasting. Have a nose around the vineyard and learn about the processes of growing and brewing, before sitting down to lunch in their restaurant, with a little glass of your favourite choice.

Perhaps take an amble around the beautiful Picton Castle Gardens nearby, which are expertly kept to provide delightful year-round displays of colour. This is a superb half day’s activity – the gardens are extensive, and on wet-weather days you can take a guided tour around the castle, which dates back to the 13th century and has played host to HRH the Queen for lunch!

A special way to finish…

Finally, after a busy day, relax and unwind with a meal at Slebech Park Estate, a Georgian Mansion situated right on the banks of the estuary. Catch the last light of sunset reflecting on the water, which, at high tide, laps at the banks just meters from the restaurant. A perfect end to a stay in Narberth!

Picton Castle

It’s not a coastal honeypot, but the Pembrokeshire hub of Narberth makes up for that with a busy arts scene, great shops and its annual food festival

Chris Moss, The Guardian