Looking for a great family day out? Love your history? Pembrokeshire has a long history of castle building, everything from early motte and bailey castles to grand bishop’s fortified palaces. So if you’re looking for a great day out whilst enjoying a holiday at a Pembrokeshire holiday park, here are our top picks of castles to visit in Pembrokeshire.
1. Pembroke Castle
Pembroke SA71 4LA, Wales
To explore a castle that looks like it’s appeared in several Robin Hood feature films, then head to Pembroke Castle.
The site of this medieval castle in Pembroke, Wales, dates back originally to 1093, when a fort was built beside the Pembroke River during the Norman invasion of Wales.
A century later, the castle was given by Richard I to William Marshal, who became one of the most powerful men in 12th-century Britain. He rebuilt Pembroke, turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle in stone, creating most of the structure that remains today.
The castle is open to the public and included in the admission price is a free guided tour, which runs daily. There are exhibition rooms which include replica models of Pembroke Castle throughout the different centuries demonstrating how the Castle was constructed and developed into what you can see today.
Find out more here
2. Manorbier Castle
Manorbier SA70 7SY, Wales
Perched upon the cliffs in South Wales, near Tenby, the ruins of this Norman Castle stand proudly over beautiful Manorbier Beach. Steeped in history, this Norman gem has fairy-tale turrets, a great hall, chapel, landscaped gardens and best of all – dungeons!
Founded in the late 11th century by the Anglo-Norman de Barry family, this medieval castle is a rectangular enclosure castle. It’s quite small but there is plenty to see and explore and as it’s just a short walk to the beach, you can easily spend the whole day here. (Your entrance ticket can be used all day, so you can visit the beach and then pop back for an ice cream!)
Parking is in the public car park a short walk down the hill.
Find out more here
3. Carew Castle
Castle Lane, Carew SA70 8SL, Wales
Winning Best Visitor Attraction in the Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards in 2018. This castle in Pembrokeshire offers a great day out.
The site of Carew Castle dates back to the Iron Age, just before Medieval Times but much of what remains of Carew Castle today was the work of Sir Nicholas de Carew who lived in the 12th Century. It was abandoned in 1686. All that remains is a ruin but the Castle is now a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its bat population and several locally or regionally rare species of plants.
Check out the 11th century Celtic cross and the Medieval bridge, enjoy a walk around the millpond and take some refreshments from the visitor centre and shop.
Find out more here
4. Cilgerran Castle
Dating back to the 13th Century, Cilgerran is a little gem of castle in Pembrokeshire, great for a family visit. It’s a ruined castle thought to have been originally built around 1110–1115.
This castle in Pembrokeshire stands out with its two great round towers that rise high above the deep gorge of the River Teifi and the fast-flowing stream of the Plysog. Head to the top of the towers for spectacular views of the river.
There’s an entrance cost to the castle and parking is in the town of Cilgerran nearby. It’s a great day out whilst on a Pembrokeshire self-catering holiday.
5. Picton Castle
A cross between a medieval castle and fortified manor house. Picton was built in the 13th century by Sir John Wogan and is still inhabited by his descendants. It sits in forty acres of some of the most beautiful woodland gardens and grounds in West Wales. It offers an interesting day out for all the family.
You can take a guided tour here, learning about the 800 years of history, with inspiring family stories. Explore the woodland and lakeside walks, which have strategically placed benches to sit and enjoy the views and the birdsong.
This attraction is great for kids as there is an adventure playground, a Jungle Walkway and a maze.
Which will be your favourite castle in Pembrokeshire? Let us know! If you’re looking for holiday accommodation nearby then check out our Pembrokeshire Holiday Cottages, cosy holiday homes on a stunning holiday park at Amroth Castle.