Pembroke Castle, Wales
A backdrop for romance stories
Have you ever watched a movie or read a book about a place or location and thought to yourself, I want to go there some day? Well, that sums up me and Pembroke Castle Wales. A few months ago, I watched the movie version of the bestselling romantic novel “Me before You” (I warn you, it will make you cry), which was filmed at Pembroke Castle and the surrounding village.
The first thing I notice about Pembroke Castle when we drove up was that it stands beside the Pembroke river, which creates a natural defence around part of the perimeter. Pembroke’s thick walls and towers stand on its landward side facing the town. Depending on the weather and time of day the reflection on the water makes the castle look even grander.
When you enter through the arch of the Gatehouse, the first thing you notice is the ‘Great map’ painted on the grounds in the ‘Outer Ward’ and the Dungeon Tower behind it. I am distracted by this and don’t take in straight away the defence walls and the other surround towers. I head over to the map of the grounds to find my bearings and to work out where I want to explore first.
As you explore inside the castle, you will notice that most of the rooms are circular and that some of them are made into exhibition rooms. These portray life as it would have been through the many years of interesting twists and turns in the Castle’s history. From the ladies of the house taking care of Henry VII to the many battles that were held within Pembroke. I think they are a great addition to the castle, as it is an interesting way of keeping both adults and kids informed without just reading a sign on the wall.
After exploring the inside, climb up the walls and take in the stunning views across the fields and Pembroke town especially from the tower. Be careful, though, as it can get slippy when wet walking along the walls.
Next, I head over to the Wogan Cavern underneath the Great Hall to read about the amazing history behind it. It is the only castle in Britain to be built over a natural cavern, a large cave known as Wogan. This cave has been used as a place of safety for over 12,000 years.
Pembroke Castle is a medieval castle that has a long and fascinating history and played a leading role in shaping the history of Britain. One of the most important points in the history timeline of the castle was the birth of Henry VII. They believe he was born within the tower that is known as ‘Henry VII Tower’ (Funny enough) and today there is an exhibition in the tower showing this.
Built in 1093 by Arnulf de Montgomery the castle was originally made of Timber and was established as a Norman Fort. The castle resisted many Welsh attacks and sieges over years. However, after the middle ages, lots of interior of the castle was destroyed.
A century later the castle was given to William Marshal who rebuilt it into an impressive Norman stone castle. He further strengthened and enlarged it, so much so that most of the structure that remains today.
Today, Pembroke castle is owned by a private trust and relies on the income received from visitors. The castle arranges various activities inside the castle and within the gardens to raise awareness and educate visitors on the castle. Which I think is an added bonus for both adults and children.
How to get there & Location
Pembroke Castle in located in the town of Pembroke, West Wales.
You will definitely need two days to visit the castle if you are coming from London. As it is roughly about a 4-5hr drive one way.
If you are driving, there is car parking available next to the castle and it is free on the weekends.
Link to the castle website that tells you how to get there by various transport methods.
There is not much shelter available and the British weather can be unpredictable so take an umbrella or coat, especially if you want to walk around the walls.
You are allowed to bring your dog into the grounds of the castles as long as it is on lead.
If you have the time, go for a walk around the outside of the castles which should only about 15-20 minutes at the most. You can get some really nice photos of the castle on the outside of the river.
Children under the age of 16 are not allowed into the castle unless accompanied by an adult
Check out the Great Map of Wales, situated in the centre of the castle. Apparently, it is Britain’s largest piece of artwork. You can discover the location of hundreds of castles, cathedrals and famous Welsh landmarks on the great map of Wales.
Would I recommend it?
I love anything to do with history especially castles and palaces, I always look at them and wonder what it was like to live in one back in their day. Not only this but they are a great day out learning about history, whilst at the same time escaping for a little while transporting yourself back in time with your surroundings.
Every historical building definitely has its own fascinating history story about how they have come about and why they are still standing today. Pembroke Castle is definitely no exception, it holds its own in the castle stakes and with its serene architecture and long history, the stunning Pembroke Castle is a true wonder of Wales and worth a visit by both young and old.
Price: 6.60 Euro’s per adult for entrance to the castle and gardens
Type: Half Day
Duration; 2-3 Hrs depending on what you see
For any additional information or booking enquiries, you can visit Pembroke Castle home site
Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
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