Neyland is a small town on the northern shore of the Milford Haven Waterway a few miles east of Milford Haven. The town grew up around the railway.
Neyland is served by bus service number 356 connecting the town to Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock
The original insignificant village of Neyland, sometimes rendered as `Nayland`, had in 1851, fewer than 200 inhabitants. The village, on the northern bank of Milford Haven, once had a Salt Refinery and a Shipyard and in the mid nineteenth century consisted of cottages, two chapels and two public houses.
Most of the buildings were levelled by the Railway Company between 1855/1856. Once the railway opened, an entirely new Neyland grew up, near to the all important railway. The choice of Neyland as the terminus of the railway was entirely that of Isambard Kingdom Brunel). It is therefore highly appropriate that he is regarded as the founder of Neyland Town.
The opening of the railway was followed by a complete transformation of the Eastern part of Llanstadwell Parish. It was a period of tremendous growth. New houses sprang up for the railway workers, a Steamship service commenced in August 1856 to Waterford, and later to Cork in Ireland, operated by Messrs. Ford & Jackson.
A huge pontoon, designed by Brunel was launched in the spring of 1857 to facilitate the transport of passengers and livestock to and from Ireland. In 1858, a Steamship route from Neyland to Portugal and Brazil was inaugurated.
Neyland was a true railway boomtown. The population of Llanstadwell Parish increased dramatically to one thousand and forty five people in 1861 and an impressive hotel, the South Wales Hotel, opened in 1858. The Picton Castle and Lawrenny Estates, which chiefly comprised Neyland, granted numerous leases for house building. Four new chapels and shops were added and new services and conveniences appeared. Neyland acquired an importance and status, which the inhabitants of the sleepy little village could never have dreamed of.
This golden age lasted for about 50 years.
The railway line closed in 1964 and has since become The Brunel Cycleway, which follows the route of an old railway line to Johnston and continues on a more winding but still off-road route all the way to Haverfordwest.
Where the railway terminus once stood, a marina has been developed. There are also boat trips that take you up river as well as out to see the offshore islands.
Food and drink
There’s a bar, restaurant and chandlery at the Marina. Away from the marina there are several pubs in the town as well as a small shop and several takeaways.
The nearest hotels to Neyland will be in Milford Haven or just outside Burton. The Ferry Inn at Llanstadwell provides accommodation as well as meals or there are one or two B&Bs in the vicinity including Neyland Court. The nearest camp sites, touring caravan sites or holiday parks would be further afield.