The great thing about the towns and villages of Pembrokeshire is the myriad of independent retailers that dominate high streets, favoured over big brands and chains that tend to be found in most places. This adds a sense of community and individuality to each town. In Narberth you can enjoy quaint cafes and unique boutiques full of work by local artists and home wares that you won’t find anywhere else.
A charming little market town and the County town of Ceredigion, Cardigan is one of the best preserved urban communities in the three counties. The local authorities have retained the best features, such as the old Guildhall and the medieval castle and quays.
Lower Fishguard, or Lower Town to the locals, is where the River Gwaun meets the sea, hence the Welsh name Abergwaun (mouth of the Gwaun), after flowing through the picturesque Gwaun Valley, a popular beauty spot.
Legacies of Haverfordwest’s Georgian and Victorian heritage are visible all over the town, although it has changed almost beyond recognition over the last half century. Most of the architectural evidence is now well above eye-level.
Once one of the country’s biggest fishing ports, Milford Haven has become a major oil port in the last 55 years since the first refinery was built on the northern shore of the waterway.
Almost seeming in a time-warp, the little market town of Narberth has carved a special niche for itself as a unique commercial community of small, select and unusual shops which have preserved its old-world charm and set it apart from the frenetic world of supermarkets and out-of-town shopping.
Situated in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park the town slopes gently down to the shore and has a family friendly beach, boating and fishing facilities and a golf club enjoying the finest views of coast and country anywhere.
Pembroke is perhaps best-known as the birthplace of Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII after his victory over Richard III at Bosworth Field in 1485. The massive castle where Henry was born is also one of Britain’s better-known ancient monuments, painted by Turner and visited by thousands of visitors every year.
Until the establishment of the Royal Naval Dockyard there in 1814, Pembroke Dock was a small fishing village called Paterchurch. The arrival of the Dockyard and the development of an Army Garrison there triggered a rapid expansion programme and, like Milford Haven, the streets were laid out in a grid-iron pattern of parallel lines with back lanes to service the houses.
With its golden sands, wooded ciffs and large hotels and guest houses, Saundersfoot would be the last place to imagine could have been an industrial town. Yet this attractive and popular seaside resort in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park had its origins in some pretty grimy industries.
Britain’s smallest city both in terms of size and population, St Davids is nevertheless an important religious centre, and has been for almost a millennium. Birthplace of St David, Patron Saint of Wales, it was historically a place of pilgrimage from the time of the Crusades and it was said that two pilgrimages there were worth one to Rome.
The tall Victorian and Georgian villas which serve as a backcloth to its busy harbour, are pastel-shaded witnesses to Tenby's status as a fashionable watering place for the well to do and later the bucket and spade brigade, who have boosted its economy for the last century or so.