On the river Pembroke Castles History Wales UK

A Backdrop for Romance Stories Pembroke Castle Wales

Pembroke Castle played a very important part in British history, as it was the birthplace of Henry VII. I had wanted to visit the castle since watching it in the movie “Me Before You” based on a book. I automatically fell in love with the Castle and started looking up where it was and how I could get there. As the filming location was Pembroke Castle, Wales and the surrounding village.

Visting inside Pembroke Castle Wales
New World Map Pembroke Castle Wales

About Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is located on the Pembroke river, which created a natural defence around part of the perimeter. Its 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.

As you enter through the arch of the Gatehouse, the first thing you notice is the ‘Great map’ painted on the grounds. It is in the ‘Outer Ward’, the Dungeon Tower behind it and The Great Tower. I am distracted by this and don’t notice the defence walls and the other surrounding towers.  

I head over to the map of the grounds to find my bearings and to work out where I want to explore first. What I did not realise until later (my own doing of course) is that there are FREE guided tours that are included in your entrance ticket. 

In front of Pembroke Castle Wales UK History

As you explore 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 Castle.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.

History of Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle Wales is a medieval castle that has a long and fascinating history. It played a leading role in shaping the history of Britain. One of the most important points in the historical 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’ (Funnily enough) and today there is an exhibition in the tower showing this.

Read More –  A Palace fit for a King, Hampton Court Palace England

 wax dummies of 3 women and a baby in Henry VII birthing room
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 the years. However, after the middle ages, lots of the 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 remains today.

Today, Pembroke castle Wales 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.

stairs leading down to Wogan Cavern
The entrance of Wogan Cavern, Pembroke Castle Wales

Wogan Cavern

Head over to the Wogan Cavern underneath the Great Hall to read about the amazing history behind how the caves have been used as a place of safety for over 12,000 years. It is the only castle in Britain to be built over a natural cavern.

Over the years various artefacts have been found left in the Wogan Cavern, like stone tools from the cave dwellers during the Ice Age and Roman coins found in and near the castle. When you are on the opposite side of the Pembroke river, you can see the cave underneath the castle deep inside the rock. 

The Great Tower (or Keep)

Dominating the grounds of Pembroke Castle at twenty-five metres high and sixteen metres in diameter is the cylindrical Great Tower. The entrance was located on the first floor and access to the five levels was via a wooden staircase, which is not there now. 

Instead, when you walk into the tower, you will find a giant hollow area that feels a little creepy when you are inside. If you look up though, you will be able to see where the rooms that contain fireplaces and windows. It is definitely worth exploring. If you watch “Me before You” movie, this is where Will takes his caregiver Lou to see the castle from his favourite spot.

⇒ Another great medieval castle you can explore in England is Bodiam Castle.

The Great Tower or Keep Pembroke Castle Wales UK History
The Great Tower or Keep Pembroke Castle Wales

How to get there & Location

Pembroke Castle Wales is located in the town of Pembroke, West Wales. It is a roughly 3hr drive from Cardiff and 4-5hr drive from central London, depending on traffic. Other ways that you can get to Pembroke Castle are via Train, Bus and Ferry.


Driving is the most convenient and easiest way to get to Pembroke Castle Wales especially if you are driving up from central London. The drive is pretty straightforward and once you are on the M4 and you get closer there will be signposts to help direct you to Pembroke town. 

Postcode: If you do decide to drive the postcode is SA71 4LA

Hire Car

Alternatively, if you don’t own a car you can hire car for the day, especially if there is a group of you or if you have a family. There are numerous companies in and around London where you can hire a car.

If, you are worried about getting lost it should not be a problem, as most car hire places do Sav Nav hire too. Please be aware that the M4 has tolls on it and the other options but will take longer.

By Train

Catching a Train is another option and they leave from either London Paddington or Euston Station to Pembroke Dock Station. Then it is only a 15minute walk to Pembroke Castle.

Overlooking Town from the Tower Pembroke Castles History Wales UK

Where I Stayed

If you are coming from London this is definitely a weekend trip. We stayed at the Lord Nelson Hotel, located in Milford Haven along the seafront overlooking the harbour. It was only about 20mins away from Pembroke Castle across the bridge. 

Additional Information and Pricing

  • Price Castle & Gardens –  £6.00 Per Adult, £5.00 Per Child ( (5-15) and £5.00 Senior (65+)
  • Type – Half Day
  • Duration – 3-4 Hrs depending on what you see and do
  • Car Park – Is available and it is FREE depending on the day. Check the machine when there.
  • Guided tour – Are included in your entrance ticket and are run daily 

Top 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 opposite side 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.
  • During the Summer Holidays every Wednesday evening, there is an outdoor theatre, cinema and music!

Would I recommend Pembroke Castle Wales?

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 the 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 story about how they have come about and why they are still standing today. Pembroke Castle Wales 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.


overlooking the lake to Pembroke castle

Other historical places in England

Are you going to visit any other historical places while in London? Then head to my history page for some inspiration or read the helpful articles on the following attractions in England.

Thank you for reading this article Backdrop for Romance Stories Pembroke Castle Wales. I hope it helped you to decide what to do while in Wales. It is truly a beautiful castle and definitely a great all-year-round attraction.

  Looking to discover other parts of England, please feel free to head to my United Kingdom Page


Pembroke Castle Wales History UK

Have you been to Pembroke Castle Wales or other Castles or Palaces in the UK? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

Looking for other fun things to do while in WalesUK then how about the below

Disclaimer:I paid to visit Pembroke Castle Wales and all views are my own and based on my own experience.

“This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you if you click on one of the product links, we may earn a commission.”  For further details, you can view our Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions or contact me directly. 

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54 thoughts on “A Backdrop for Romance Stories Pembroke Castle Wales

  1. Samantha Sparrow says:

    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.

    • melbtravel says:

      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. Emma | Luxurybackpacking says:

    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!

    • melbtravel says:

      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. Torgeir Lindland says:

    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 🙂

    • melbtravel says:

      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. Erica Coffman says:

    This place is gorgeous! European castles are always so stunning. Me Before You (both the book and movie) made me cry like a baby haha!

    • melbtravel says:

      It really was a beautiful castle to visit though it was smaller than I thought. Wales definitely has some stunning castles in the surrounding areas.

  5. Clare says:

    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 🙂

    • melbtravel says:

      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.

  6. Jen says:

    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!

    • melbtravel says:

      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.

  7. Kristine says:

    I love Wales and its many amazing castles! Pembroke Castle looks enchanting. Like taken out of a fairytale. I hope I get to visit one day!

    • melbtravel says:

      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

  8. Abby says:

    I never knew the movie was filmed here. I so want to visit this castle now. Beautiful pictures as always.

  9. Ha Truong says:

    I really love visiting castle and Pembroke Castle looks beautiful! I love all your pictures 🙂 Pinning it for future resource when I get there.

    • melbtravel says:

      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.

  10. Jurga says:

    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!

  11. Em says:

    What a beautiful place to visit! I’m fan of history and castle 😊 I’ll add that place for when I go visit the Uk

  12. Katharina says:

    When we visited Wales we went to Caernarfon castle but I really want to visit Pembroke castle too. You have really done it justice in this post.

  13. Suzanne says:

    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!

    • melbtravel says:

      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 🙂

  14. FS Page says:

    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.

    • melbtravel says:

      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 🙂

  15. Tracy McConnachie Collins says:

    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!!! 😍

    • melbtravel says:

      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.

  16. Ivy says:

    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

    • melbtravel says:

      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.

  17. Sylvanmist says:

    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.

    • melbtravel says:

      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.

  18. Rhiannon says:

    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!

    • melbtravel says:

      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 🙂

  19. Global Girl Travels says:

    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!

    • melbtravel says:

      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.

  20. Anita says:

    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.

    • melbtravel says:

      Both castles? The one is my post is the same as the one in the movie. This is a 5hr drive out of London, so you will definitely need to go for a weekend.

  21. Alex says:

    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!’

    • melbtravel says:

      I agree it is a beautiful area for sure. I not seen the movie Endless Summer, I think I might have to check it out. I would love to visit Costa Rica.

  22. Abhinav Singh says:

    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.

  23. Agness of Fit Travelling says:

    Wow! This castle is truly romantic and picturesque! Your post is so inspirational!

  24. Sandra says:

    Would love to visit castle this is my many great grandfathers castle my line is the bowen line

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