A backdrop for romance stories Pembroke Castle Wales

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.

Inside the grounds of Pembroke Castle, Wales

The castle

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.

The view of the Pembroke Castle from the car-park, Wales

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.

The towers at the Great Gatehouse, Pembroke Castle Wales

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.

An exhibition on etiquette & manners during the 12th century

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.

Walking along the walls of Pembroke Castle, Wales

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.

The entrance of Wogan Cavern, Pembroke Castle Wales

History

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.

The birthing room of Henry VII, Pembroke Castle Wales

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.

Chancery & Great Hall, Pembroke Castle Wales

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.

Overlooking the outer fields, Pembroke Castle Wales

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.

The view from St Anne’s Baston, Pembroke Castle Wales

Tips

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.

A view across Pembroke river of the castle, Wales

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.

Overlooking the Great Map, Pembroke Castle 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.

The outer castle walls, Pembroke Castle Wales

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.

A selfie outside Pembroke Castle, Wales

Additional Info

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.

I am always happy to help 🙂

If you like it feel free to Pinterest 

 

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54 Comments

  1. Can you believe I’ve lived in the UK all my life and still haven’t visited Wales? This must change as I love this castle I’d love to go explore. I also had no idea that Me before You was filmed here, so now I’m going to have to go watch again.

    1. I can definitely believe that 🙂 You should definitely go there, it is one of my favourite places to visit. So green and beautiful and full of history. If I see a castle in a movie, I always look it up and see if it is real 🙂

  2. I’m a little biased (half welsh), but Wales is awesome and it doesn’t always rain! Pembroke Castle is really beautiful, I’ve been a couple of times and the history of it is remarkable! I never knew you could bring your dog in if it was on a lead, guess i’ll be coming back and taking my dog!

    1. I love Wales, I think it is a beautiful place and go up there all the time. A lot of national trust properties allow you to take your dog in the grounds of castles these days too.

  3. I love visiting old Castles and this one looks very Nice. i have never been to Wales before, I should try to visit this country as soon as possible. And plan a visit to Pembroke Castle at the same time. The exhibits there looks quite cool. Great article, made me want to visit Wales 🙂

    1. I love Castles and Palaces too, I love wondering around in them and exploring. Wales has lots of castles and there is also a lot near Pembroke castle, like Carew Castle.

  4. I wondered which castle was in that film!! I watched it on a plane with tears streaming down my face!!! It looks amazing and so the type of place I love to visit. I will be trying to fit that in some time soon 🙂

    1. I have watched that movie more than once and I have cried every single time, even though I know what is going to happen 🙂 If you have the time you should definitely try and visit, as there is a lot to do there.

  5. Oh, so this is where the movie was shot! I want to go there too. I’ve been dreaming of visiting a castle for such a long time.

    The views are stunning. I have to put this in my places to visit!

    1. One of the first things I do when I see a castle in a movie is look it up and see where it is. This is a bit of distance for me to travel from London, so I went over a long weekend.

    1. I love Wales too, it is one of my favourite places to visit. I never realised that how many castles were there until I went to the first time. You should definitely go

    1. I am a big fan of castles and palaces as well and I definitely recommend this one. However, if you are in London you will definitely need to do this over a weekend because it is pretty far.

  6. What a beautiful place! It’s amazing what a film can do to promote tourism! I bet you guys were not the only ones to visit this castle because of the movie!

  7. If it’s one thing the UK does right, it’s castles! Pembroke Castle looks great and I love the human life exhibitions (so much better than reading text)! I’m happy to hear that it’s owned by a private trust. Sounds like history is in good hands!

    1. I think we are definitely spoilt for choice in the UK with Castles and palaces. I love visiting them and exploring. I am to glad about it being owned privately and taken care off 🙂

  8. I watched Me before you a few days back only and I can relate to the castle from your photographs. I haven’t been to a castle and would definitely love to visit Wales to have that sort of an experience. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I am a huge fan of castles and of the movie. We are definitely spoilt for choice here in the UK in regards to Palaces and castles. I even live in the grounds of a castle that Henry VIII owned. Btw I hope you like the movie 🙂

  9. I only visited Wales for the first time about 8 years ago (no idea why it took so long!) We tend to go by train and have started in Cardiff but really need to explore it more – I am determined to get a picture at the train station of the town with the really really long name in the next few months. Must try to check out this castle too! And love that huge map!!! 😍

    1. I would definitely be interested to know the town you are talking about with the long name. Even time I see the welsh sayings and words they look like a big jumble of words. You would definitely like this castle and the area that it is in, as there is also other castles here.

  10. I’ve never visited a castle but have always wanted to. Pembroke Castle sounds like the perfect place to start! It looks beautiful and I love how you got the entire grounds all to yourself. I still have to watch that movie but I don’t wanna cry lol

    1. We are spoilt for choice here in the UK and if you ever come over let me know, I will be happy to give you suggestions. I warn you now that you will need a box of tissues.

  11. I love castles! I never got to go to the UK yet, but when I do, castles are high on my priority list of places to see! This is a nice write up, and looks like you can really walk around and see a lot of the castle, both inside and out which is cool. I’ll also have to check that movie out that you mentioned. I’m a sucker for romance movies lol.

    1. It is one of the best romantic movies ever, I have cried literally every time I have watched it. Definitely, let me know if you are ever in London and I will be happy to show you castles.

  12. I live in the Rhondda Valleys (just outside of Cardiff!) and one of my main travel goals this year is to explore more of my own country. You’ve totally inspired me to add Pembroke Castle to my list of places to visit! Not sure if I’m allowed to say this or whether it’d be considered biased, but we definitely have the best castles in the world 😉 I had no idea Me Before You was filmed here though! Which is bizarre because normally we cling onto anything in popular culture and make sure EVERYONE knows we were involved with it. Doctor Who, Dobby’s resting place, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Tom Jones…all ours haha. Thank you so much for writing this and inspiring more people to visit the other side of the bridge. Even if our weather is absolutely atrocious!

    1. Are you kidding? I love Wales it is one of my favourite places to visit, especially for castles and hiking. I am definitely Wales number 1 aussie fan. I don’t think yo u are biased as I have been to lots of amazing castles in Wales. My problem is finding time to write about them 🙂

  13. You are right – the castle does look so romantic. It’s something that you wouldn’t expect to be real. I would imagine this something you would only read in books or see in movies. This is my kind of place to visit, love the old medieval architecture!

    1. I just love the castles and palaces and this was a great place to visit. Wales has a lot of castles and the great map in the middle of the castles has them all.

  14. The castle is absolutely beautiful. When I watched the movie, I thought I should have visited but now that I am reading your post, the place in the movie is not actually where it said it is LOL. But both castles are clearly gorgeous. Next time I am in England, I want to get out of London and see all these amazing estates.

  15. Some very good friends of ours live around the corner from Pembroke castle so I absolutely love that place. Same thing happened to me re. Costa Rica – we watched the film Endless Summer and thought ‘we’ve got to go there!’

  16. What an interesting place. I have never been to a European castle but I have seen many massive forts in my country India. I particularly found the painting on the etiquettes and manners during the 12th century. It reflects on the lifestyle of that era.

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