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Despite being the town the county is named after, Pembroke is often overlooked when people plan their Pembrokeshire holiday. But, with all our recommendations, you’ll find that Pembroke is a great place to while away a few hours exploring.


Pembroke at a glance

What's Pembroke like?

Pembroke is a small residential town in South Pembrokeshire, about 15 miles from Tenby. Its biggest claim to fame is its imposing castle which is one of the key strongholds in Pembrokeshire – a county that has an abundance of castles. The magnificent Norman fortress presides over the town from high on a crest at one end of the Main Street and is surrounded by water on two other sides. Main Street is the heart of the town and has a few mediaeval houses, though most are more modern, say a mere 100-200 years old. Pembroke also boasts a large Mill Pond, which has some stunning views of the castle.

But with Pembroke, you get a two-for-one deal with the adjacent town of Pembroke Dock brushing up against it. Pembroke Dock is less picturesque than Pembroke, as it was built as a naval port around 200 years ago. But it has some great hidden highlights, including an unexpected connection with a famous George Lucas film!

Both town sit on the south side of the Milford Haven Waterway, with opportunities to enjoy the waterway from land or afloat.

A day out in Pembroke is perfect for everyone

What to do in Pembroke

The classic activity in Pembroke is to visit the stunning castle, birthplace of Henry VII (father of Henry VIII of six wives fame and grandfather of Elizabeth I). But there are also a growing number of independent shops to browse around dotted all the way to the end of Main Street, some seemingly tucked into people’s front rooms. And some fantastic places to stop for a drink or a bite to eat. If you’re feeling more energetic there are a few options for watersports as well, from a leisurely row on the Mill Pond to learning how to sail competitively with PPSA at Llanion Cove.

We love Pembroke’s unspoilt charm – it’s a great place to avoid crowds of tourists you get in other Pembrokeshire towns such as Tenby and St David’s.

Explore Pembroke’s imposing Castle

Pembroke Castle is a ‘motte and bailey’ style fort with an enormous keep and extensive curtain walls. It’s a brilliant place to explore with lots of towers, inner buildings and rooms hidden up and down winding stairs to discover. Some buildings have interactive audio visual displays or more traditional ‘museum’ displays to tell you more about the castle over its long history.


As well as the largest keep in the country (it really is vast!) Pembroke Castle also extends underground to the famous huge Wogan Cavern, which isn’t actually a dungeon. It was used to unload goods brought by sea.

You may need to book your tickets online first – check out the latest information on their website (https://www NULL.pembrokecastle There’s almost always plenty of availability, so it’s a good option as a last minute day out if you’ve got bored of our spectacular Pembrokeshire beaches (if that’s even possible). But for the best experience, plan a trip to coincide with one of their many activity days – learn to be a knight, follow one of their seasonal trails, or perhaps even abseil down the keep if you’re brave enough!


Pembroke Castle is also home to Rock the Castle, an annual mini music festival that’s a popular night out or three. Be quick though, tickets usually sell out very quickly.

Take a boat trip on Pembroke Millpond

Paddle West have made their home on South Quay, just underneath the Castle walls. It’s the perfect location to hire a row boat or a kayak to view the Castle from the water.

Browse the independent shops along Pembroke, Main Street

Pembroke is finding itself a growing haven for local artists and craftsmen, for food producers and for some delightful independent shops. Skip the tourist shops near the Castle and head deep into Pembroke for some gems.

Wisebuys Delicatessen

Don’t be put off by its unprepossessing name, Wisebuys is actually a good old-fashioned greengrocer & deli that is stuffed to the gunnels with all sorts of deliciousness. Alongside local and more exotic fruit and veg, you’ll find an excellent selection of cheeses, pates and cold cuts. But explore further into the back and you’ll discover their extensive range of local beers, ciders, gins, rums, whiskies… all sorts of treasures. If you can resist, then you’re doing better than me!


Jabberwocky is another shop that is full of surprises, with almost anything you can think of handcrafted by the owner: jewellery, lamps, wineglasses, plaques. And each is unique, made with local driftwood, beach glass and sand from our fabulous beaches. A great place to find a special souvenir of your trip.
(And why “Jabberwocky”? Because the film used Pembroke Castle & a local quarry as filming locations.)

Long Meadows Bakery

Long Meadows is a tiny bakery & café on Main Street in Pembroke. Limited opening hours to make sure that everything is super-fresh from the oven, but very much worth getting your timing right.

East Gate Gallery

East Gate Gallery is almost at the end of Main Street. At the front is a tiny gallery packed full of treasures from a wide variety of local artists. At the back is an even tinier ceramics studio where the artist-in-residence, Mena, runs courses.

Eastgate gallery

Why should I visit Pembroke Dock?

Pembroke Dock was built as a naval dockyard, though it’s long past its heyday. Over the years it has been a key defensive site from the Napoleonic era through to WWII. It’s also been a small but important ship building site – all but one Royal yachts was built here. But perhaps the most exciting vessel to have been built in Pembroke Dock is the life-sized model of the Millenium Falcon for The Empire Strikes Back. Even more excitingly: there’s a new exhibition opening in April 2022.

Pembroke Dock is a great place to visit to learn about naval history but its hidden secret is that you can find some amazing views of the Milford Haven Waterway.

What to do in Pembroke Dock

Eating out in Pembroke

Eating out in Pembroke can be a bit hit and miss… but we have you covered with a list of our favourite, tried and tested (and tested, and tested) restaurants, cafes and takeaways. Here’s our list of the best of the best:

Cwtch, the best café in Pembroke Dock according to us

Cwtch café is a tiny but perfectly formed art gallery, music venue and cafe on Dimond Street in Pembroke Dock (the main street of PD). It’s one of our favourite places for a fresh homemade lunch full of flavour and good ingredients with a specials board that changes regularly – we love their satay halloumi salad and their bacon butty is pretty darned good too! 

It’s also a brilliant place to take the family, including the dog, for a warm up after a wild or wet outdoor adventure, complete with homemade cake and an absolutely extraordinary selection of hot chocolate flavours to try out.

The owners, Mike & Keo, also host intimate music gigs in the evenings every month or so. And when we say ‘intimate’, we mean it: the front row is within touching distance of the musicians. The kitchen is closed for gigs but coffee, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are available.

The only drawback is that Cwtch is usually only open Monday to Friday, daytime only, but we love it so much that we think it’s well worth scheduling your trip to Pembroke around a visit.


Food at Williams serves the best Sunday brunch in Pembroke

You’ll find Food at Williams a dozen or so buildings past the turning on Pembroke Main Street in a glass fronted building complete with Victorian ironwork sign that gives it its name.

Food at Williams is another restaurant that bases its menu on high quality local ingredients, with meat from nearby farms, seasonal veg and a good range of local beers and ciders.

Inside is simple and comfortable with tables & chairs for meals, or snuggle into one of their sofas for a tea & cake break. They have a lovely courtyard to the rear that’s dog friendly & smoke free.

Food at Williams is great any day of the week, but it’s our favourite on a Sunday when they serve their all-day brunch. Choose from traditional Welsh breakfast, or perhaps enjoy one of their alternative offerings, like eggy bread, bacon & syrup.

Enjoy the best fish & chips in Pembroke at Rowlies

Rowlies Fish & Chips in Pembroke is our favourite when we can’t be bothered to cook. We think they have by far the best fish & chips in Pembroke & the Dock.

The beautifully renovated brick building is the first on the right on Main Street after the turning down to the Millpond. Either sit in with the whole family (it’s dog friendly) or collect a takeaway to eat back at the farm or overlooking a beach.

 Order in advance by telephone on 01646 686172. Closed Sundays


The Hope Inn, Pembroke is a great real ale & cider pub with a quirky, individual style

Quirky pub with a busy schedule of events, including mini cinema. Good selection of ales & ciders, including local brews. They also do a mean homemade scotch egg. Dog friendly, and a beer garden.


Ferry Inn, Pembroke Dock

Fantastic location right on the haven. Can be quite breezy, so wrap up well even if it’s sunny & warm elsewhere (or head there in a heatwave if you need to cool down)

Pepe’s Pizza

Homemade wood fired pizza made to order overlooking the castle

Get to know & love Pembroke at home with our exclusive colouring in pages