Lesser Known Favourites
They might not have the fame of Tenby, but here are some of our favourite towns and villages in Pembrokeshire to visit while staying at Bluestone.
Cardigan is the County town of Ceredigion, filled with historic features including the medieval castle and quays. Its imposing 19th-century Guildhall dominates the main street of this charming market town full of vibrant shops.
You’ll certainly hear the Welsh language spoken in the streets and a highlight of the year is Barley Saturday, when magnificent horses are paraded through the streets in an annual pageant celebrating the countryside.
Cardigan also has a modern arts centre with a two-screen cinema, a flourishing theatre and shops specialising in locally-produced, high-quality foods and crafts.
Fishguard is best-known for its ferry links to Ireland but it originally grew from the fishing hamlet in the deep valley to the north of the town. This is Lower Fishguard, or Lower Town to the locals, and is where the River Gwaun meets the sea, after flowing through the picturesque Gwaun Valley, a popular beauty spot.
The main town developed over the centuries around the parish church of St Mary’s, where the road to the north begins its steep, meandering descent into Lower Town. One of Fishguard’s claims to fame is that in 1954, the coastal town was a location for the film ‘Moby Dick’, featuring Gregory Peck, Leo Genn, Glenys Johns, while other famous stars including Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole and Welsh comedy actor Ryan Davies, visited the old port at Lower Town in 1975 for scenes for the film of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Under Milk Wood’.
Haverfordwest is the busy county town of Pembrokeshire with plenty of modern shops and facilities – but the old Norman castle and historic churches still dominate the skyline. Its quaint riverfront is lined with quays and warehouses hark back to its days as one of the most important river ports in Wales when exotic imports flowed into the town.
Today, the riverside shopping centre sits underneath the lofty Norman castle, while fantastic views await those approaching from the east as they cross the crest near the Golf Club. Milford Haven Once one of the country’s biggest fishing ports, today fashion boutiques and fine dining, high-octane watersports and culture are anchored alongside international maritime trade at Milford Haven.
Much more than an industrial port – Milford Haven’s vibrant waterfront area is now a foodie Mecca with excellent shopping, dining, galleries and cultural attractions. Try Milford Haven Museum, given the Hidden Gem Award by Visit Wales in 2016, and delve into the town’s fascinating history.
The little market town of Narberth has carved a special niche for itself as a unique community of small, select and unusual shops which have preserved its old-world charm. Clustered in its High Street and in the quaint alleys branching off it, Narberth has reinvented itself in such a way that shoppers flock there from all over South Wales.
Visitors to the town should also hear Welsh spoken in the streets and the shops, for Narberth - with its ruined medieval castle - lies on the Landsker Line, the invisible border between the Anglicised south of the county and the Welshery in the north.
There is always something going on in the Queen’s Hall, and the lively and enterprising business folk and populace are forever staging festivals, carnivals, concerts and other attractions to entertain and maintain the interest of the thousands of people who shop there throughout the year.
The seaside town of Newport (not to be confused with the city!) is a place steeped in history. Newport slopes gently down to the shore and has a family-friendly beach, boating and fishing facilities and a golf club enjoying fabulous views of coast and country. With a permanent population of a little more than a thousand people, it is a tranquil place, lying west of a mystic mountain called Carningli (Rock of Angels).
The old port area of Parrog contains much historic interest for visitors, including some of the old quay walls and two former lime kilns. Saundersfoot With its golden sands and wooded cliffs, Saundersfoot is a typical dreamy Pembrokeshire seaside town. Its old harbour is a sheltered tidal marina, with the boats bobbing at their moorings, with regular fishing trips to fish for tope and blue shark in Carmarthen Bay harking back to a bygone era. It has a fast-growing reputation as a foodie resort with plenty of gastro delights to be found in the town – but not much beats sitting on its famous beach with an ice cream on a sunny day!