Manorbier is a small village near the coast of South Pembrokeshire in Wales. We had walked the Pembrokeshire coast path in both directions from Manorbier, so having some time available decided to spend a few hours in and around the village.
Parking is available at Manorbier’s beach car park and from here you can walk a sandy track alongside a stream which flows to the shore. The beach can get busy in the holiday season but pick your moment on an early morning and it is an idyllic peaceful scene.
Morning is the ideal time to have a relaxing stroll across the full length of the pebble strewn beach down to the waves gently lapping at the shore, for a healthy dose of vitamin sea!
Manorbier village is uphill from the beach, the roadway passing below the dominating feature of the Norman built Manorbier Castle, an imposing structure set high 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 the Beach Break Tearooms, which is a nice place for meals & snacks or even if you just want a tea or coffee, in a comfortable setting.
Just up the road is a traditional village pub, The Castle Inn which offers bar meals and local ales, a welcome place if you 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 has accessible, interesting areas. The main tower has a winding narrow 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. It still retains a lot of character as a throwback to a time of enchanted castles and the times of a medieval court. An embrasure ledge and arrow slit in this room now makes a cool window feature
Having completed the tour around the castle and grounds, it’s time to return downhill to the beach. It’s a very popular spot and there are far more families and groups on the beach making the most of the fine weather. Fortunately 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 and settling down for a relaxing afternoon.
It’s an entertaining spot too, observing a steady stream of kids and watersport enthusiasts hauling various kayaks, surfboards, body boards and small boats down the beach to the bay.
Though we have completed walking the coast path East and West of Manorbier, there’s no doubt we will return here in future. Old Gerald Cambrinus may have been right about this pleasant little spot.
Manorbier is in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales. Further information to plan a visit at Visit Pembrokeshire