There are some of the oldest and most intriguing castles to discover and explore within a 30 minute drive of The Little Retreat.
The Castle was blown up in 1954
The first we have to mention is the site where Lawrenny Castle once stood, make sure you take a walk up and discover the magical views overlooking the Cleddau Estuary -
The site sits above a magnificent stretch of the river. It’s not hard to imagine the constant tide of historic figures that have bobbed past here, from Neolithic hunters on animal hide canoes, to Romans, Vikings, Normans, even future kings maybe… it’s unusual to be able to pinpoint with such absolute certainty, the exact path humanity has followed for millennia.
Anyway, sitting on the Old Castle Terrace, a brew in hand, is a pretty special place from which to contemplate your place in the great Order of Things. Sometimes I look at the cows grazing just below the terrace walls and i’m pretty sure they’re doing the same thing. Definitely ruminating, those cows. Then head off for a short walk down to The Lawrenny Arms or The Quayside Cafe for a pint or lobster sandwich
We will also be hosting feast nights in the lower walled garden throughout Easter and Summer months
Carew Castle - 15min drive from The Little Retreat
One of the most photographed castles in Pembrokeshire. Sturdy Norman castle which evolved over the centuries into a stately Elizabethan country house – its stonework traces the changes, from rough-and-ready to refined. And there’s more. The castle, stunningly located on a tidal river, overlooks a 23-acre millpond and restored tidal mill open to visitors. This heritage-rich location also boasts an elaborately carved 11th-century Celtic cross and medieval bridge. There are some fantastic events held here, plus a fantastic pub just over the road called The Carew Inn
Pembroke Castle has a long and fascinating history, for it was around 1093 that Arnulf de Montgomery built the small inner bailey standing at the end of the promontory.
A huge fortress and birthplace of Henry VII. Explore the towers, battlements, turrets and underground cavern. Dramatic exhibitions recreate important scenes in the castle’s turbulent history. Lots of acctivites to explore and dont miss out on The Castle Kitchen - Beth and her team take great pride in producing mouth watering daily specials using locally sourced ingredients and offer a variety of options for all ages and dietry requirements with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options always available.
A cross between a medieval castle and fortified manor house, Picton was built in the 13th century by Sir John Wogan and is still inhabited by his descendants. Equally as impressive is its 40 acres of glorious woodland gardens.. Don't miss out on the amazing Owl Garden and Zoo which has recently undergone a huge transformation! The zoo has doubled in size and inhabitants! There are still over 25 species of owls and exotic birds on display, but we are also now home to many other mammals and reptiles including our famous otter Freddie!
Also not to be missed - Maria’s Courtyard Restaurant at Picton Castle Gardens is the ideal place for a tasty lunchtime treat or afternoon indulgence. The Restaurant, shop and deli are open 10.00 am-5.00pm in the Summer months and 10.00am – 4.00pm from November – March