The market town of Haverfordwest is divided by the western branch of the picturesque River Cleddau and overlooked by the imposing castle. Its name is derived from "ford used by heifers", and in the 1400s ‘west’ was added to differentiate the town from Hereford. There has been a settlement in this region since the Iron Ages and many artefacts and relics dating to this period have been excavated and are now on display in the museum - one of the many attractions the town has to offer. The historically important cathedral city of St David's is nearby and is well worth visiting.
With regular train services, and a mix of cosy B&Bs, luxury hotels and self-catering cottages, Haverfordwest makes an ideal holiday destination whether you’re planning a family break or a long weekend away.
1. Explore History at Haverfordwest Castle
Dominating the skyline over the town, Haverfordwest Castle has seen generations come and go since it was constructed in the 12th century. Originally built from timber, by the early 1200s, wood was replaced by stone, ensuring the castle’s longevity. Changing hands many times, including ownership by the Black Prince Edward in the mid-1300s, the 16th century saw it derelict, until it was rebuilt at the start of the Civil War.
Now, impressively preserved, the towers and walls, the old prison section, and the postern gate make Haverfordwest’s castle well worth a visit. The county archives and expansive town museum also live within the walls. Displaying collections of local artefacts, items relating to the castle’s past, and the colourful work of local artists, history comes to life in front of your eyes.
- Family friendly attraction
- One of the most impressively preserved Welsh castles
- Haverfordwest Castle Website
2. Learn to Fly an Owl at the Secret Owl Garden
Home to over 25 species of owls - one of the largest collections in the UK, the Secret Owl Garden is an award-winning attraction unlike any other. By giving visitors the opportunity to fly these magnificent birds of prey either in a group or on a one-to-one session, you can experience the sheer power and beauty of the owls.
Every owl is incredibly friendly and well trained, so even the largest ones enjoy being stroked and fussed over. From powerful eagle, snowy, and long-eared owls to the small but perfectly formed little owl, you can meet them all. Why not sponsor your favourite?
This is a family-friendly attraction and even very young children can handle and fly the birds - an experience they’ll never forget.
- Perfect for families
- Visit the collection of 25 owl species
3. Relax on Broad Haven Beach
Just outside Haverfordwest is the glorious Broad Haven Beach. Widely recognised as one of the best beaches in Wales, it lies on the stunning Pembrokeshire coast and includes several sheltered bays. Offering the perfect mix of wide golden sands and crystal clear water, Broad Haven is popular with families. It provides a seasonal lifeguard service and has been awarded the Blue Flag for its safety, water quality and environmental policies.
Broad Haven has cafes, restaurants and pubs. There are several shops selling and hiring out watersports gear.
If you’re after a relaxing and fun seaside experience, whether as a relaxing break for yourself or a family adventure, Broad Haven Beach offers that in buckets and spades.
- Perfect for getting away from it all
- Blue Flag beach
- Broad Haven Beach Website
Haverfordwest, with its proximity to Pembroke, Milford Haven and St David's, is a wonderfully welcoming town, making a great base to explore the region, spend days relaxing on the local beaches and enjoying the stunning Pembrokeshire countryside.