Manorbier sits in a wooded valley on the Pembrokeshire coast. A secluded spot with a medieval castle and Norman church perched on the hill above the sand dunes.
The castle is sturdy, with towers and walls still intact. Nook and crannies to explore with hidden staircases, battlements and toilets around each corner make it the dream of small boys. Originally built in the 11th Century it was extended and beefed up with extra defences in the 12th Century. Unusually this castle was only ever involved in two small skirmishes. A little bit of a disappointment given its spectacular defensive location.
Manorbier Church and Village
The church of St James is across the valley from the castle, tucked under the wheat fields that form the steep edges of the valley. History fills the village with a neolithic burial chamber called Kings Quoit a short walk along the cliffs and an ancient dovecote below the castle walls.
Beach and Coast
From the village and castle the sand dunes lead down to a sandy beach. A riot of summer colour, alive with butterflies, beetles and bees. A small stream runs along the edge of the beach and then across the sand to the sea. A freshwater oasis with a bridge to allow access to the rock pools and coastal path beyond. The sea is clear and ideal for surfing. Even on calm days the waves roll in and explode on the smooth round pebbles dotted within the sand.
This small valley is a magical place to explore. Where else could you find castles, churches, history, good food, beaches and coastal walks all in one place without hundreds of tourists taking away from the fun.
Visiting Manorbier Castle
Manorbier is clearly signposted from the A4139 between Tenby and Lamphey. The road down to the village is narrow.
Parking is in a large pay and display car park that sometimes has an ice cream van! From the car park it is a short walk to the castle or beach
Parking grid reference SS 06440 97800
Parking Lat/Long 51.645599, -4.7990355
Parking postcode SA70 7TA
Map OS Explorer Map OL36 (1:25000) South Pembrokeshire