Pembroke is a charming walled town which dates back over 900 years and is famous for its Norman Castle. Pembroke Castle is one of the most complete Norman castles in the UK. It was the birthplace of Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty.
Pembroke town is a textbook medieval fortified town with a central main street heading east from the castle gates and a moat or castle pond extending round much of the town. The old town walls are remarkably intact complete with defensive towers such as Barnards Tower, an impressive three-storied tower with a fore building over its entrance.
Pembroke is well connected with bus services to Milford Haven and Haverfordwest. There is also a railway station in the town.
Pembroke’s history is entwined with that of its magnificent Norman castle, birthplace of Henry VII and the subject of a bitter siege by Cromwell during the Civil Wars.
The town and castle stand on a limestone ridge, along which runs the busy Main Street.
Pembroke was once enclosed by a fortified wall – much of which is still standing – beyond which was a natural moat. Trading vessels which used Pembroke Quay brought prosperity to the town, and merchants built fine Georgian houses in the Main Street.
There’s an interesting walk round the outside of the castle pond and the inside, below the ramparts of the castle. It’s suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs. In fact The Coast Path follows the route round Castle Pond before heading off to Pembroke Dock in one direction and out to Angle in the other.
Pembroke Castle is the reason why most people visit this corner of Pembrokeshire. It’s a fantastic medieval relic with endless rooms, spiral stone staircases, passages, battlements and turrets that will occupy you for hours. It affords fine views of the town and surrounding countryside and waterway, especially from the top of The Great Tower. Below the castle, down a narrow spiral staircase is The Wogan, a large natural cavern.
Food and drink
Along Pembroke’s Main Street are numerous fine old buildings where you’ll find a variety of shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants. There are also delis, supermarket, takeaways and other facilities of a small town.
There are a few hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs in and around Pembroke and adjoining villages. There are a few camp sites and touring caravan sites in the surrounding countryside but the nearest static caravan parks would be in Manorbier or Angle. There are plenty of self catering cottages in nearby villages.