15 Best Things to do in Pembrokeshire, Wales (UK)

Are you wondering what are the best things to do in Pembrokeshire? I have been to Pembrokeshire with my friends and we stayed in Pembroke Apartments for my birthday weekend celebration. My friends and I went around the county to see various beautiful places and experience some of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire.

Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire is even included as one of our 37 Best Places to Visit in the UK Recommended by Travel Bloggers. I would like to share with you this article to discuss this scenic county in Wales.

Pembrokeshire is a beautiful seaside county in the southwest of Wales. With its sandy beaches, coastal landscape, and historical tourist spots, this holiday destination attracts millions of tourists per year. 

Almost a third of the county is part of the Pembrokeshire National Park, the only national park in the UK established because of its coastline. There are beaches, boat trips, adventure parks, and castles that are absolutely amazing for family holidays. Recreational and professional scuba divers also flock to the area because of the many shipwrecks found in its waters, with thousands more shipwrecks that remain undiscovered.

Best things to do in Pembroke: Road trip with my friends and I around Pembrokeshire Wales
Best things to do in Pembroke: Road trip with my friends and I around Pembrokeshire Wales

Best Things to do in Pembrokeshire

1. Pembroke Castle

Ever wondered about that beautiful castle featured in the 2016 film adaptation of the bestseller novel by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You? That’s the Pembroke Castle, a fortified castle at the very heart of Pembroke town. The striking medieval architecture on a rocky promontory provided the exterior film shot for the massive Traynor estate.

But more than providing a stunning backdrop for the story of Lou and Will, the Pembroke Castle has seen its fair share of history. The castle was originally built in 1093 by Arnulf of Montgomery. It was later sold to William Marshall, who is deemed to be the greatest knight of England, having served under five kings and becoming the first earl of Pembroke.

Pembroke Castle in Pembroke town
Best things to do in Pembrokeshire: Visit Pembroke Castle in Pembroke town

The Pembroke Castle served as a wall defence structure during the Norman invasion of Wales. The Pembroke Great Keep has an inner ward with a fighting platform, while the outer ward has a twin-tower gatehouse. Another striking feature of the castle is its thick walls that could easily defend against enemy attacks.

Additionally, Harri Tudor (Welsch name), who would later be crowned King Henry VII of England, was born in this castle. King Henry VII was the first monarch of the House of Tudor, who ruled England from 1495 to 1603.

Nowadays, the castle is open to visitors who want to explore the different dungeons, towers, caverns and rare artefacts in the castle. Aside from its colourful war and royal history, Pembroke Castle also boasts an amazing view from the top of the tower.

For more information about the castle and its schedule, visit the Pembroke Castle website.

2. Skomer Island

Skomer Island is the perfect venue for you to enjoy the wildlife. This beautiful island a mile off the coast of Pembrokeshire is a haven for various wildlife such as puffins, shearwaters, rabbits, razorbills, galls, dolphins, seals and many more. 

Puffin at the Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire Wales
Best Things to Do in Pembrokeshire: Puffin at the Skomer Island
Photo credit: Anna of Would Be Traveller

With around 730 acres, Skomer Island is the largest island in Pembrokeshire. Because of the various important animal habitats found on the island, it is a natural nature reserve and a Special Protection Area. It is now managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

Skomer Island is home to almost 10,000 breeding pairs of puffins on the island and about 310,000 Manx shearwaters. Island visitors can have the chance to also see the Skomer vole, a type of bank vole endemic to the island, and other amazing creatures in their natural habitat. 

For more information about Skomer Island and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, check here.

3. Barafundle Bay Beach

Considered one of the best beaches in the UK, Barafundle Bay Beach boasts a wide stretch of postcard-perfect beaches. Located near Stackpole Quay, Barafundle Bay Beach is part of the Stackpole estate and is managed by the National Trust. You can become a member of the National Trust here.

It used to be a privately-owned area by the Cawdor family. Although now open to the public, the beach is only accessible via 15 to 20 minutes of hiking from the Stackpole Quay or the nearby Broad Haven South. 

Barafundle Beach in Pembrokeshire Wales UK
Best things to do in Pembrokeshire: Enjoy the Barafundle Beach

Barafundle Bay is just one of the many breathtaking beaches to be found along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. The first National Trail in Wales, the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path takes walkers on a 186-mile hike of the most stunning coastal landscape in the UK.

Some of the lovely beaches in Pembrokeshire are:

  • Amroth Beach
  • Freshwater West and Freshwater East Beach
  • Broad Haven South
  • Marloes Sand Beach
  • Dale Beach
  • Whitesand Beach
  • North Tenby, South Tenby, and Tenby Castle Beach
  • Saundersfoot Beach
  • Poppit Sand Beach
  • Newgale Sand Beach
  • Coppet Hall Beach
  • Lydstep Beach

4. Dobby’s Grave

This is one of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire for Potterheads, one of the saddest death in the Harry Potter movie franchise is that of the house elf Dobby. That’s probably why fans have flocked to the filming location for Dobby’s grave for the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. It is the spot where Harry Potter, instead of magically conjuring up a burial site, physically dug a grave for the beloved house elf.

Dobby’s Grave can be found on Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire. One then must walk a few miles to the dune part of the beach. The grave is more of a fan-made pilgrimage, with fans leaving tributes. There are rocks of different colours left by fans, with written tributes such as “Here lies Dobby, a free elf.” And of course, it wouldn’t be a Dobby memorial without the socks – the utmost symbol of Dobby’s freedom. 

5. Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo

Nestled north of Saundersfoot and Tenby is the Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, a 120-acre adventure park where visitors can have the chance to get up close to over 200 different kinds of farm and zoo animals. There are also about 17 fun rides and eight adventure parks that are great things to do in Pembrokeshire for the kids and the kids at heart.

Originally a dairy farm, owner and founder Glyndŵr Williams expanded the farm to accommodate visitors after noticing people stopping by their farm to view their animals. Nowadays, there are different areas for visitors to explore such as the farmyard, Jolly Barn, a zoo, funfair ground, and a Penguin Coast. There are also different activities and events planned out for different occasions such as Halloween and Christmas.

Annually, the adventure park attracts about half a million visitors. The park has been recognized as a winner of the Best Day Out in Wales for the years 2005, 2010, and 2015 by the Wales Tourist Board. Additionally, it has been voted as the 10th best zoo in the world in the 2017 TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards.

For more information about the Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, visit their website.

6. Oakwood Theme Park

For fun rides and thrill seekers, the Oakwood Theme Park is one of the perfect things to do in Pembrokeshire with families and friends. Located at Canaston Bridge in Narbeth, this 35-year-old theme park boasts of being the largest theme park in Wales.

One of the most famous ride attractions of the park is the Megafobia, an 85-foot-tall wooden twister-style roller coaster, which has been consistently recognized as one of the top wooden roller coasters by the Golden Ticket Awards. Another popular ride is Speed: No Limit, a 115-foot-tall Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter roller coaster, which is also one of the steepest roller coaster drops. There are also Vertigo, Bounced, and Drenched park rides, as well as kid-friendly rides.

For more information about Oakwood Theme Park, check out its website.

7. St. David’s Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace

Tucked away in the smallest city in England, St. David’s Cathedral and the nearby ruined Bishop’s Palace is a long-standing testament to the enduring religious faith of the community. One of the most significant sites in the history of Christianity in the British Isles, and one of the earlier. St. David’s Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace are a treasure trove of religious history.

Founded in 589 by Saint David, with the monastery being built around the 6th century, St. David’s Cathedral has survived numerous ransacks by Norse raiders and Vikings before being managed by the Normans in the 11th century. It houses rare artefacts of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, as well as former bishops such as the Abraham Stone, a stone grave with Celtic symbols dedicated to Bishop Abraham.

Nearby, the Bishop’s Palace ruins used to serve as the residence of the bishops during those times. It saw several reconstructions, with much of the work being credited to Bishop Gower. It later fell into ruins and was further damaged because of the Civil War. Today, visitors can still see what has remained of this stunning architectural masterpiece.

For more information about St. David’s Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace, check here.

8. Caldey Island

Can you imagine a place with almost zero crime rate? The small pastoral island of Caldey, located near Tenby, is a remote village with a population of only 40 residents, most of which are monks living in the monastery. The idyllic island enjoys its peace and solitude, and the only known crime ever committed on the island was not even perpetuated by a resident but by an island visitor.

Despite its laid-back surrounding and the remoteness of the island, about 3,000 tourists visit the island every year. Caldey Island is popular for its homemade chocolates, shortbread and the famed Caldey Island perfume, among other products produced by the Cistercian monks.

Some of the popular landmarks of the island are the historic buildings of the Caldey Abbey, a Celtic monastery built in 1910; and the Caldey Lighthouse, built in 1828.

9. Tenby

Tenby is a harbour town in Pembrokeshire, situated on the west side of Carmarthen Bay. It is a favourite among holiday visitors because of its stunning beaches, historic sites and Victorian architecture.

Tenby Wales
Best Things to Do in Pembrokeshire: Visit Tenby town

Known for its Grade I listed defensive walls, the Tenby town walls are considered to be one of the most important surviving medieval walls. Built during the 13th century, the rubble stone walls were constructed with four gates: Carmethan gate, South Gate, Quay Gate, and Five Arches Gate. Of the four, only the Five Arches gate remains and is now a tourist attraction. There was also a Tenby Castle, which has now fallen into ruins but remains to be a popular historic tourist site.

Medieval wall in Tenby Wales
Best Things to Do in Pembrokeshire: Visit the medieval wall in Tenby

Another historical destination in Tenby is St. Catherine’s Fort. It stands on St. Catherine’s Island and was built in 1859 as a precautionary defence fort against the army of Napoleon III of France. It was reopened for public visitors in 2017. 

Tenby is also home to popular beaches and is recognized as one of the cleanest vacation destinations in England. Visitors can choose from the five beaches in the area, namely: North Beach, which is considered to be the most photographed beach in the UK; Harbour Beach; Castle Beach; South Beach, a two-kilometre stretch of golden sand; and Penally Beach.

10. Carew Castle and Tidal Mill

Nestled near the 23-acre Millpond, Carew Castle is a magnificent stone castle with a 2,000-year history of knights, kingmakers, and the Civil War. It is owned by the Carew family for almost 900 years. It was originally constructed as a Norman fortress by Gerald de Windsor to serve as the centre of Norman rule in South Pembrokeshire and was later fashioned to be an Elizabethan mansion, with huge windows facing the Millpond.

Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire Wales
Best Things to do in Pembrokeshire: Visit Carew Castle

Now in ruins, the castle is a popular family destination for picnics and outdoor activities. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the bat population in the area. There is also a guided tour of the castle.

Nearby, there is also the Carew Tidal Mill. Built in the 19th century, the Carew Tidal Mill is the only restored tidal Mill in Wales and only one of five in the whole of England. Here, visitors can take a tour that will teach them about how tidal mill works, and see some of the old machinery.

11. Blue Lagoon

Tucked away in Abereiddy beach on the northern side of the Pembrokeshire Coast is a picturesque landscape called Blue Lagoon. Despite its name, it’s not a natural lagoon; rather, it is what’s left of a 19th-century St. Bride’s slate quarry. After its closure in 1910, fishermen blasted the channel connecting the quarry to the sea; thus, flooding the former mine and forming a lagoon-like body of water.

Nowadays, the spot is a popular destination for kayaking, swimming, and coasteering. Visitors can also hike to the cliffside to see the remains of the old quarry, such as old towers, foreman’s house, and cottages. The view from the top is also a must-see for visitors, with a picture-perfect view of the coastline.

12. Cilgerran Castle

Another amazing castle ruin in Pembrokeshire is the Cilgerran Castle. Located in Cilgerran, near Cardigan, this 13th-century castle was built by Gerald de Windsor on top of a rocky promontory above the River Teifi.

Cilgerran Castle in Pembrokeshire Wales
Best things to do in Pembrokeshire: Visit Cilgerran Castle

The castle has been witness to several historical takeovers, with only two large round towers remaining from the original castle. Today, it is managed by the National Trust and is open for the public to explore.

To know more about the castle, Join and become a member of the National Trust.

13. Castell Henllys Iron Age Village

For anyone curious about what it is like to live during the Iron Ages, then the Castell Henllys is the perfect destination. Situated on the northern side of Pembrokeshire in the Nevern parish, this archaeological site is a hillfort built during the Iron Ages. It is also the only Iron Age village in England.

Aside from the archaeological excavation being done in the area, prehistoric roundhouses were also reconstructed to further give archaeological insights. These roundhouses were built as replicas of how they would have looked during those times. As a result, it has also become a tourist attraction for anyone who wants a prehistoric immersion tour. Additionally, the 30-acre woodland has Iron Age villagers representing the Demetae tribe, who lived in the area.

For more information, check here.

14. Pembrokeshire Lighthouses

As a coastal region, Pembrokeshire has a history deeply rooted in the sea. In turn, there have been millions of ships that have sailed along its coast, and its lighthouses tell a thousand tales. Here are the lighthouses found in Pembrokeshire.

Caldey Lighthouse in Pembrokeshire
Best things to do in Pembrokeshire: Visit the Caldey Lighthouse
  • Caldey Lighthouse. This limestone tower at Caldey Island is the last Trinity lighthouse powered by gas.
  • St. Ann’s Head lighthouse. Originally built in 1714, this lighthouse stands as a gateway to Milford Haven waterway, one of the deepest harbours in the world.
  • Skokholm Lighthouse. This lighthouse provides guidance for ships crossing the Milford Haven and Bristol Channel. It stands on Skokholm Island, which is also the site of the first bird observatory in the United Kingdom.
  • Smalls Lighthouse. Originally built in 1776, the lighthouse stands on remote basalt and dolerite rocks called The Smalls, 12 miles off the Pembrokeshire mainland on the west of Marloes Peninsula and Grassholm. It is the site for the local tragedy story of two lightkeepers Thomas Howell and Thomas Griffith, which became the inspiration for the 2016 Chris Crow film The Lighthouse, starring Mark Lewis Jones and Michael Jibson; as well as the 2019 Robert Egger film, also called The Lighthouse, starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.
  • South Bishop Lighthouse. Standing on South Bishop Island or Emsger, this granite lighthouse has special bird perches to avoid seabirds crashing into it.
  • Strumble Head Lighthouse. Located on Ynys Meicel, on the south of Cardigan Bay, the 55-foot-tower was built in 1908.
  • Watwick Point Beacon. This pinkish-white lighthouse serves as a leading light for ships moving in and out of Milford Haven.
  • West Blockhouse Point Beacons. The West Blockhouse Point Beacons consist of three leading lights on the west side of Milford Haven.

15. Green Bridge of Wales

The Green Bridge of Wales is one of the most stunning natural wonders in Pembrokeshire.

Green Bridge of Wales in Pembrokeshire
Best Things to Do in Pembrokeshire: Visit the Green Bridge of Wales

This rock arch was naturally formed over time as a result of erosion of the middle part of the carboniferous limestone. The name Green Bridge came from the vegetation atop the rock. About 80 feet in height and 66 feet in width, this popular tourist attraction is located about half an hour away from Tenby. Visitors can also enjoy the view of the coastline from the viewing platform.

About a few minutes away, visitors will also enjoy exploring the Elegug Stack or Stack Rocks. The two limestone rocks are also popular attractions due to their dramatic formations.

For more information about Pembrokeshire and Pembrokeshire National Park, check here.

Map of Best Things to Do in Pembrokeshire, Wales

How to use this Google Map:

Click on the left SQUARE icon next to the title to see the various things to do and point of interest in this itinerary. You can see more information about the different attractions when you click the icons, as well as show and hide each day of the itinerary and the driving routes. You can also import this itinerary map to your own Google Maps account by clicking the STAR icon next to the title. Then go to your own Google maps app, head over to the SAVED tab and scroll down and press the MAPS icon.
Best Things to Do in Pembrokeshire Wales UK pin
15 Best Things to do in Pembrokeshire, Wales (UK)

I hope that helped to find out the best things to do in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Have you been to Pembrokeshire? Let me know what’s your favourite places to visit in Pembrokeshire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

Travel Blog

Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas and travel guides for travellers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.

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