A Day Out At Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire

One thing that we are good at in Wales, excluding singing, rugby and football, are castles. There seems to be a Norman castle or fortified manor house around every corner and typically for us Brits, their presence is usually understated and even ignored. We could learn from the USA when it comes to marketing and promoting our history.

Saying that, Pembrokeshire National Park does make more of an effort than most to conserve and promote our ancient monuments. Within 20 minutes of each other there is Carew Castle, Manorbier Castle and the impressive Pembroke Castle. There are also ruins at Haverfordwest, Cardigan and Narbeth and at least another half dozen scattered around the area. Given all of these castles our ancestors were obviously quite a ‘rowdy’ bunch and needed to be kept in check. Mrs W can frequently show signs of her Wild Welsh ancestry especially when she finds out the dishwasher hasn’t been emptied!

Carew Castle South West Tower

The South West Tower

We recently had the chance to spend a weekend at Bluestone National Park Resort. As Carew Castle was only 15 minutes down the road we took the opportunity to have a look around.  I (Mr W) am a fan of ‘Time Team’, I could spend a good few hours watching Tony Robinson in a wet ditch looking at a bit of broken pottery however Mrs W is not so enthusiastic and did need a little persuasion to come along.

Luckily the weather improved, the rain stopped and the clouds lifted to reveal the picturesque setting along side the Millpond. The entry fee was £5 for adults,  £3.50 for children and a family ticket was £13.50. We just missed the free guided tour although there is decent leaflet that has a map and a self guided route.

There was a strange story of a “Ghostly Ape”, yes seriously a ghost of an ape that haunts the battlements of the North West Tower. We didn’t spot him but did smell banana which may have been due to my lunch repeating rather than any supernatural presence.


A Bit Of Public Humiliation

It was good to be allowed to explore most of the castle including the undercroft, the vaulted chapel and the spiral staircases of the towers, just remember to wear some suitable shoes as these staircases are steep.

There is a mix of architecture with Medieval (drum towers and arrow slits) and later Tudor (large windows and the castle’s only gargoyle). The actual castle site has been important for thousands of years, Iron Age ditches are still visible on the castle green. In later years it was also the scene of many civil war clashes.

The Tudor Windows

Carew Castle is an interesting place to spend 2 to 3 hours and is suitable for kids and adults. The ground floor and castle grounds are also accessible for disabled visitors. The fee includes entry to Carew Tidal Mill, just a short walk down a lane from the castle.

After her reluctant start Mrs W did enjoy the visit and she only left me in the stocks for a few hours.

Do you have a favourite place to visit in the UK, somewhere underrated or off the main tourist path then please let us know.

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  • Anthony John Phillips
    July 14, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Great place to visit, we went to Carew castle last year, we were staying at Narberth in a very nice caravan. West Wales is one of the best.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      July 14, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      It was our first visit to Carew Castle and we would definitely go back. It would be nice to visit in nicer weather and explore the area more instead of dodging the showers.

  • Leanne Cornelius
    July 14, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    The castle looks beautiful, I love that we have so many castles here in Wales, though the stairs do freak me out a little!
    Fab post and video 🙂

    • Mr and Mrs W
      July 15, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Yes those staircases are a bit steep, also it was wet so a bit slippery. Still it was good to be allowed to explore the castle.

  • Bear and Cardigan
    July 14, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Haha! We love Time Team too and bumped into them once in Dulwich. Highlight of my holiday. It rained for a week 🙂

    • Mr and Mrs W
      July 15, 2016 at 8:25 am

      I think Time Team bring the rain with them.

  • Alex Shebar
    July 15, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Even on a wet and windy July day, it looks like an amazing trip. I’m still trying to see all the beautiful castles I can around my new homeland, so I’m adding this one to the list!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      July 15, 2016 at 8:24 am

      There are lots of castles to visit.

  • Fashion and Style Police
    July 15, 2016 at 8:07 am

    The castle looks like a great place to visit. I need to explore places like this some more.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      July 15, 2016 at 8:24 am

      It is, you can walk around most of it too.

  • Kelly
    July 15, 2016 at 8:24 am

    We love castles! This looks like such an interesting palce to visit and the kids would love it! It’s on the list 🙂

    • Mr and Mrs W
      July 15, 2016 at 9:23 am

      It’s a great place for kids (and big kids!)

  • Cardiff Mummy Says - Cathryn
    July 15, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Oooh, I do love a good castle! I’ve never been to Carew though. We are heading to Pembrokeshire in the summer so may well pay it a visit. Love the stocks photo!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      July 16, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Carew Castle is not far from Tenby. The most impressive castle is Pembroke Castle, worth a visit if you haven’t been.

  • Vicky Lane
    July 15, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Ooooo I love a castle and seem to of passed my love on to my son who gets far to excited about spending a weekend even in the rain checking out a fort or two! Never been to this one but it is getting added on to the list most definitely:) X