The Castlemartin peninsula is south-west of Pembroke and takes in some remote communities such as Merrion, Rhoscrowther and Angle.
Castlemartin peninsula has a long history of military activity. A large part of the Castlemartin peninsula was taken over by the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) tank range in the late 1930s and further developed during the Cold War period. Today Castlemartin is the only UK Army range available for armoured units for direct-fire live gunnery exercises.
Castlemartin Pound, in the centre of the village, was fitted out with ‘pill-boxes’ during WW2 and used as a machine gun emplacement.
On the medieval castle mound at Castle Farm (privately owned) are the remains of a WW2 Royal Observer Corps post.
The Field Studies Centre at Orielton is an elegant Georgian mansion set in 48 hectares of its own grounds and offers leisure and professional training courses covering virtually every aspect of learning about the countryside, its wildlife and the environment.
The surf is a big draw at Freshwater West beach but it’s only for the experienced surfers due to the strong rip currents and of course, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes in this beautifully wild beach.
The south coast from St Govan’s to Stack Rocks is part of ‘Range East’, the MOD Castlemartin tank firing ranges that are frequently open to the public. The coastline is dramatic and the limestone cliffs are hugely popular with climbers.
The cliff-top coast path is flat and level and is the only section open to cyclists but it’s also good for wheelchairs and pushchairs but can be a bit bumpy. Points of interest to look out for are the chasms of Stennis Ford and Huntsmans Leap, the sea stacks at Stack Rocks and the rock arch at The Green Bridge of Wales.
Range West is rarely opened. There are one or two guided walks through Range West run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park plus climbers are allowed in if they’ve attended one of the annual briefing sessions and have notified Merrion Camp when and where they’re going.
At the far west of the ranges is Freshwater West beach, a fantastic, long, wide, wild, dune-backed beach. The beach was used as a location for the battle scenes in Robin Hood and of course the resting place of Dobby, the house elf from Harry Potter.
Food and drink
At Freshwater West beach, you’ll find Cafe Mor run by Jonathan Williams. His passion is to celebrate the produce of Pembrokeshire and Wales in a unique and inspiring way, combining seashore foraged ingredients with fresh local seafood. Seriously tasty food.
Two pubs can be found in Angle along with Wavecrest a cafe overlooking West Angle bay.
There are a few small campsites and caravan sites on the peninsula plus quite a few self-catering cottages in the surrounding villages. The nearest hotel would be in Pembroke. Search for accommodation