Manorbier is a small historic village in a picturesque setting on the South Pembrokeshire coast in Wales.
Parking is available at Manorbier’s beach car park and from here a track alongside a softly flowing stream leads down to a splendid sandy beach.
The beach can get busy in the holiday season but pick your moment on an early morning and it is an idyllic place for a peaceful stroll.
It’s definitely worthwhile making your way across the pebble strewn beach down to the shoreline where the gently lapping waves provide a relaxing scene and a healthy dose of vitamin sea.
Manorbier village is a short walk uphill from the beach, along the narrow roadway below the dominating feature of Manorbier Castle, an imposing structure built by the Normans, on a prominent ridge overlooking the bay.
Manorbier has many fine old stone built character cottages in the couple of laneways which branch away from the castle. It’s worth a bit of exploring and there’s a quaint little cafe and gift shop Beach Break Tearooms, which is a nice place for meals, snacks & drinks, in a comfortable setting.
A traditional village pub The Castle Inn offers bar meals and local ales, a welcome place for those who have just completed a long coast walk and want some stronger refreshments.
The impressive Manorbier Castle is worth visiting when open during the holiday season. There is a charge for tours admission, check out the link visit Manorbier Castle .
Within the Castle is a small tearoom and with some tables set out on the lawn in the grounds it’s a lovely setting for a drinks break al fresco style on a sunny day.
The castle dates from Norman times with additions through the ages. It’s well preserved and some areas are accessible for those looking to explore. The main tower has a narrow winding stone staircase and the climb to the turret is well worth it for fantastic views of the coast and the Norman built St. James Church across the valley.
The Castle was the birthplace and home of Geraldus Cambrinus, ‘Gerald of Wales’ one of Wales most famous chroniclers of the ages. He was born here in the 12th Century and he described his birthplace as “the most pleasantest spot in all Wales”. On a glorious sunny day like the day of our visit, although Gerald was probably just a tad biased it’s not difficult to see why he held that opinion many centuries ago, with the splendid views which can be enjoyed from here.
In another part of the castle is a grand hall which is now used as an events space. Exploring these rooms can give a glimpse into centuries past, a time of enchanted castles and the medieval court of Lords.
A short walk along a lane leads to the nearby 12th Century Church of St James. The church is set on a hill in splendid isolation, overlooking Manorbier Castle and across the bay, a beautiful countryside setting providing a quiet haven from the hustle and bustle at the beach. It’s a place where you can feel at peace and appreciate the history around you.
Manorbier Bay is a very popular spot with families and groups visiting the beach during the spring and summer. At the back of the beach are a few areas of sand dunes bounded by tall grass which are great little places for setting up chairs to relax and enjoy the day.
As well as the usual holiday crowd you also see coast path hikers making their way across the beach. The safe waters of the bay, popular with water sport enthusiasts, on a hot summers day is an entertaining scene as people haul various kayaks, surfboards, body boards and small boats down the beach to the shore.
The wise sage Gerald Cambrinus may well have been right all those centuries ago about his birthplace being the most pleasant place in Wales.
Manorbier is in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales. Further information to plan a visit at Visit Pembrokeshire