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The Pembrokeshire Tourism Blog

Visit Legendary North Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Friday, September 22, 2017
As the Year of Legends in Wales heads towards the final quarter, we thought we’d take a tour around Pembrokeshire looking at some of the myths, legends and legendary places in the county! There’s so much to see and do here, we’re going to take one area at a time kicking off with North Pembrokeshire.

We’ll cover food, drink, places to stay and things to do, helping you plan a legendary day out or holiday. When it comes to things to do in the north of the county, the choices are endless!

One of our most legendary spots to visit is the Chapel of St Non, located on the coast near St Davids. It is said that the Patron Saint of Wales, St David, was born here, and whilst the ruins cannot be accurately dated they are unusual as they indicate the chapel was built aligning north to south rather than the more usual east to west. Near to the site is a holy well, said to have sprung up on the birth of St David, and it is regarded as one of the most sacred wells in Wales.

Keeping with the historical theme, the Last Invasion Tapestry on display in Fishguard depicts the events of the last ever invasion of mainland Britain in 1797. The tapestry is 100 feet long, and was designed and sewn by around 80 local women as part of the Invasion Bicentenary celebrations. It took four years to complete, and is similar in style the Bayeux tapestry.

Of course, there are many myths and legends associated with the Preseli Hills in North Pembrokeshire, not least that they are the resting place of King Arthur! The area is full of prehistoric remains from cairns dating back to the Bronze Age to remains of Iron Age hill forts. The views are spectacular and on clear days you can see for miles.

Make the most of the hills by enjoying a guided walk with Discover Walking Pembrokeshire, and learn or refresh some map reading skills at the same time.

Whilst out and about exploring, it’s always good to stop for some refreshments and as you’d expect there’s plenty of choice here too! If you’d like to try some legendary fish and chips then The Shed at Porthgain is a great spot to choose. With fresh local fish being the main emphasis of the menu, you can enjoy your lunch overlooking the harbour surrounded by various buildings and features that are testament to the industrial heritage of the area.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to sample locally reared Welsh Black Beef, or Ramsey Island Lamb and Venison head over to St Davids Kitchen. Very much a family run business (the owners can trace their roots in St Davids back to at least 215 years ago), local produce and supporting local producers is a key element of the offer, enabling the creation of some very tempting menu choices!

Heading slightly further south, you will find Wolfscastle. This village situated at the northern end of the Treffgarne Gorge is said to be the place where the last wild wolf in Wales was slain, and also where a local medium prophesied the arrival of the railway after having experiencing a vision in the 18th Century; it is said she saw a line of carts moving at high speed through the centre of Treffgarne Gorge, with the front cart on fire, heralding the coming of the as yet un-invented steam locomotive.

A rather more relaxed ambience can be found in the Allt yr Afon restaurant of the Wolfscastle Hotel, the restaurant having been awarded two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence. Again local produce features heavily on the menu, and dinner can be enjoyed in the peaceful surroundings of the Victorian dining room.

Of course, if you’d like a refreshment stop of the liquid variety, North Pembrokeshire has a great selection of pubs serving local beers, with the buildings themselves steeped in history. The Ffynnone Arms in Newchapel is an 18th Century roadside inn where you can find a range of real ales and bottled beers, some of the latter including gluten free varieties.

For a real journey back in time, head to the Dyffryn Arms in Pontfaen, better known as “Bessie’s”. Here you may well be served by the namesake landlady herself, your pint being poured from a jug and handed to you through a serving hatch in the wall.

Heading back to Fishguard, a trip to the Royal Oak will bring you to the location where the invading French soldiers surrendered to the Pembroke Yeomanry in 1798 after being rounded up by the local pitchfork wielding womenfolk led by the legendary Jemima Nicholas. To this day, the Pembroke Yeomanry have the enviable honour of being the only regiment within the British Army to have been awarded a battle honour won on British soil. These days you can enjoy a quiet pint of local ale at the Royal Oak and if you stop in on a Tuesday, you can listen to various local musicians play as part of the regular Folk Night event.

To make the most of your explorations of North Pembrokeshire, extend your visit with an overnight stay. Treginnis Holiday Cottages offers a choice of two locations to stay, one in St Davids, the other outside the city away from bright lights making it an ideal spot for experiencing the Dark Skies above Pembrokeshire. If star gazing and seeking out the planets are your thing, Ty Mortimer is the ideal cottage for you. The Treginnis peninsula has a walking route that will take you over the oldest rocks in Wales, laid down during the Pre-Cambrian era some 600 million years ago.

If you prefer the sound of the breeze in the trees to the sound of the sea, then Priskilly Forest is a perfect location for you to stay. Set in 400 acres, much of given over to ancient woodland, you will also find a golf course and bluebell woodland walk (spring time definitely the best season for that bit!). The accommodation today is set in a Georgian mansion, although there are records of a dwelling on the site as far back as 1326 noted in the Black Book of St Davids.

These are just a few of the locations in North Pembrokeshire where legends, myths and legendary characters can be found! Keep an eye out for our next tour when we’ll be heading to the East of the county and unearthing more of Pembrokeshire’s colourful history!

Discover Walking Pembrokeshire

Last Invasion Tapestry
The Shed Porthgain
St Davids Kitchen
Allt yr Afon
Treginnis Cottages
Priskilly Forest

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