There is a wide range of activities available in the area for Rosemoor guests. A great many of them are in some way or other linked to the sea: the beaches, water sports, diving, fishing, etcetera. Nature oriented people will find much to their liking as well: walking, bird watching, the flora and fauna and the peace and quiet of unspoilt countryside.
A small selection of 2016 festivals and activities
The St. Davids Cathedral Festival takes place from Friday the 27th of May until Sunday the 5th of June. The St. Davids Cathedral Festival has been responsible for bringing classical music to the heart of West Wales for over 35 years. For ten days annually in May and June the Cathedral is host to a feast of classical and contemporary music concerts under the artistic direction of Oliver Waterer, the Organist and Master of the Choristers.
The Really Wild Food Festival takes place in the End May Bank Holiday weekend, 28 and 29 May 2016.
The Port of Milford Haven is pleased to announce that Milford Fish Festival is returning for 2016. With support from Pembrokeshire County Council it has extended the festival to a two day event, making it bigger and better than ever, and a fin-tastic start to this year’s Pembrokeshire Fish Week which will run across the county from 25th June to 3rd July. The Festival will run on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June between 10am and 6pm both days, and it is hoped it will attract more than the 6,000 visitors we welcomed in 2015.
On the 18th of September 2016, Pembrokeshire is the host county for IRONMAN Wales. The Iron Man organisation describes it as follows: "Pembrokeshire is rightly famous for its coastline, protected by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks authority. It boasts more castles than any other county in the UK. IRONMAN Wales is now well established as having one of the most challenging bike and run courses on the IRONMAN calendar, and Tenby's North Beach provides the most spectacular swim location, possibly of any IRONMAN event. Tens of thousands of spectators turn out for race day on all three disciplines, and this vocal support is very inspirational."
Pembrokeshire is literally awash with fine sandy beaches; almost all of them safe in most weather conditions.
Nearest to Rosemoor - 2 miles by crow, 2¾ miles by car and rather less by public footpath - are the beaches at Little Haven and Broad Haven. These provide safe bathing and at neither can you be cut off by the tide.
A little further along the coast to the north is first the magnificent beach at Druidston, then that of Nolton Haven and then the enormous stretch of beach at Newgale, where bathing conditions can sometimes be dangerous in parts, however.
In the opposite direction, the little cove at St. Bride's is a favourite rendez-vous for divers. There are other minor beaches on the Dale peninsula, but the best major beach is undoubtedly Marloes, although it is largely covered at high tide.
There is a lovely beach at St. Ishmael's on the North shore of the Milford Haven Estuary, some 4 miles from Rosemoor. Rumour has it the locals try to keep it for themselves by not indicating how to get there. Just ask us if you would like to give it a try.
Conditions for sailing are ideal around us. There are marinas at Neyland and Milford Docks and instruction and boat hire is available from them. The sheltered waters of the Milford Haven waterway are especially suited for beginners in this most noble and majestic of sports.
Windsurfing equipment hire and instruction are available either from Haven Sports in Broad Haven, as well as West Wales Surfing. The last one also provide courses. To the north of us you have Newsurf on the magnificent Newgale Beach.
Diving is another popular sport on the Pembrokeshire Coast, a true Mecca for divers. There are no fewer than 8 Clubs and 2 diving centres. The nearest one to Rosemoor is West Wales Diving located less than 2 miles away, where air supplies, diving equipment and reinforced inflatable boats are available.
Coasteering is also a very popular sport around the coast. Under expert guidance you jump (in wet suits) from cliffs into the water, swim a bit and then get up the rocks again a bit further down. Apparently, it is less scary than it sounds and those who do it say it is great fun.
Walking on the cliffs you will regularly see people sea kayaking, and there are several companies operating from the south and the north of the county, catering for all ages and all abilities.
There are several places where you can enjoy horse riding, but almost nothing exceeds the exhilaration of riding a horse in the surf and on the beach. Nearest place to do so is Nolton Haven, where horses are taken to Druidston beach.
A short walk will get you to the Rosemoor Nature Reserve.
In the vicinity of Rosemoor there are plenty of shorter and longer circular walks - most starting directly from your doorstep. They take you along very quiet narrow country lanes, through fields, wooded glades and small valleys, along farm tracks and ancient footpaths. Around where we are one can still clearly see that walking used to be the main mode of transport in the not too distant past: public footpaths link virtually all settlements and farms. And in all seasons there are botanical gems to be found along the way.
A different way of experiencing nature up close is booking a session with Pembrokeshire Falconry. They (and so can you!) fly Harris hawks, three different species of owls, falcons, eagles and kites.
Bird lovers should not miss out on Skomer Island, amongst the most important breeding grounds for sea birds in the south of Britain.
Grey seals are abundant around Pembrokeshire's coast, their stronghold being Ramsey Island, now a reserve of the RSPB. Closer to Rosemoor good views of seals and their pups can be had from the Deer Park at the westernmost tip of the Marloes peninsula, where they can be seen basking in the surf in coves down below, late September and early October.
The Coast Path & other walks
The Pembrokeshire Coast boasts 186 miles of well maintained Coast Path. This can be conveniently tackled in sections from your base at Rosemoor. A great number of short to medium length circular walks encompassing stretches of the Coast Path have been put in place as well. These allow you to enjoy the Path and the Coast as energetically or lazily as you wish. Paths are well marked, and clearly written guides are available from the Tourist Information Offices and various bookstores.
Less well known than the coastal path are the inland areas of the Gwaun Valley and the Preseli Hills. The landscape is dotted with old ancient markers and the views on clear days are to die for. Whether you are walking independently or want to discover walking with an experienced guide, offering a developing skills based walking experience to groups and individuals, this inland Pembrokeshire landscape is something not to be missed.
For free simple to follow directions for various walking routes, including GPS downloads and basic advice on a variety of walking issues you may wish to check out Happy Hiker.
Walking the coast, it is quite common to see fearless people hanging from vertical cliffs. Pembrokeshire offers aspiring and experienced rock climbers ample opportunities to practise their sport. Climbing courses are provided by well-trained, professional climbers with equipment supplied.
Pembrokeshire almost certainly has more castles to the 100 square miles than any other part of the United Kingdom. Some are well preserved, but essentially ruins in part, like Pembroke; some are lived in, like Manorbier, Roche and Picton; some, like the beautiful floodlit Haverfordwest, can no longer be visited or clambered over as castles; and then there is Carew Castle, with its famous tidal mill.
Within the grounds of Rosemoor, Walwyn's Castle is only recognisable as such with some imagination. It was built as a motte-and-bailey castle by the conquering Normans; out of wood - making ingenious use of the existing geographical features provided by the remains of the pre-existing Iron Age settlement. It lost its importance with the increasing importance of relatively nearby Pembroke, and slowly turned into the current remains. The site of the Iron Age fort and Walwyn's Castle is nowadays a Scheduled Ancient Monument, supervised by CADW.
For the historically interested: more detailed information on the castle within our grounds.
Pembrokeshire is dotted with many characteristic small local churches, many with their basic Norman architecture still very much intact. The church of St. James the Great in Walwyn's Castle, bordering the Rosemoor Nature Reserve, is a case in point.
The absolute must-see church is St. David's Cathedral. Nestled in a valley in Britain's smallest city, it is reached by a pleasant drive to the northern end of St. Bride's Bay. During the end May Bank Holiday week it hosts the St. David's Cathedral Festival. We tend to go to a few concerts every year, in the cathedral itself but also in venues like the lovely, intimate Llanrhian church. The packed (day and evening) programme is usually a varied mix of performances: classical, vocal, choral and jazz orchestras, soloists and ensembles.
Recent restoration projects have added greatly to the already huge impact the Cathedral makes on visitors. From the Refectory, previously non-existent, one has interesting views of parts of the Cathedral hitherto hidden.
There are myriad ways of keeping your children occupied in Pembrokeshire. Just to mention a few: Folly Farm, Anna's Zoo (Manor House Wildlife Park) , Heatherton Activity Park, Coasteering courses, Beach riding, Canoeing, Surfing and Sailing lessons, and many many more. For an unhoped for rainy day, a visit to Haverfordwest's Wickedly Welsh chocolate factory is a treat for adults as well.
Closer to home whilst staying with us, there is our playground, and our table tennis room. Please see our Children page for more information.
The mild climate of South West Wales allows early flowers to show themselves really early and plants which would not be hardy elsewhere in the UK to thrive. Horticulturally oriented people often find that enough of an attraction to come this way.
Nearest to Rosemoor is the marvellous Picton Castle garden. It is not only excellent for adults, but also for children. It provides all year round interest with its more formal walled garden and its extensive woodland garden and dew pond. Great food is served in Maria's restaurant.
The Stackpole Walled Gardens are run by the Pembrokeshire MenCap charity. It is not only a lovely garden but also gives local adults with learning dissabilities work experience and horticultural training.
A bit further from us, in Carmarthenshire, are the National Botanic Garden of Wales and the restored gardens of Aberglasney, both within easy distance from each other.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is situated in Llanarthne, approximately one hour by car from Rosemoor. It occupies the site of the Middleton Estate, built by William Paxton from the end of the eighteenth century onwards. In addition to the restored lakes on the estate it now boasts the largest single span glasshouse in the world, in which mediterranean climates from all over the world have been recreated.
Aberglasney is a completely different setup. A large country house, with extensive gardens, almost completely lost through neglect, it is now being restored to its former splendour. It has an absolutely magnificent cloister garden, a pond garden, marvellous other walled gardens and a yew tunnel which is possibly hundreds and hundreds of years old. Well worth a visit!
Walwyn's Castle is too small to support its local pub. Good pubs are not too far away though: the St. Brides and the Castle, both in Little Haven, offer good food and a pleasant atmosphere. We find the Castle, directly on the sea-front, especially good for families with children and/or dogs.
If you want to wind down without going to too much trouble, why not stay in the grounds of Rosemoor: relax in the sun in the walled garden, enjoy the wide views, see us work, stroll over to the lake, have a go on the swings or the seesaw and let the peace and quiet reinvigorate you. It works wonders!