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The Smalls

Dive Pembrokeshire UK
Run by Len Bateman

Places of Interest.


The main shopping area of Pembrokeshire, with a twelfth century Castle, used as a jail in the 18th century, but now used as a police station. In Tudor times Haverfordwest was a flourishing port, as the head of the waterway, enabling vessels of 200 tons to reach the town on high water. The banks were lined with large warehouses by the sides of the river. There are some very interesting streets where you will find some very unusual shops, eating places and pubs. There is a cinema, and covered shopping area. The main stores like Tesco`s, Safeway, Currys, Dixons, and Halfords are all close by. The medical center is at St Thomas Green 01437 762162, and the main hospital is the Withybush General, Fishguard Rd. 01437 764545


Has a selection of shops, and is the home of the Irish ferry. Has a concrete slipway recently constructed. A car park near provide room for changing. The upper town is very busy, with friendly pubs and good places to eat. In contrast the lower town is much older and nestles around the old fishing harbour, where the river Gwan rushes out towards the sea. Famous films have been made here, Dylan Thomas` Under The Milkwood, and Orson Wells classic` Moby Dick. Fishguard is also famous for the place where the last invasion of Britain took place in 1797, when the French landed ashore. The town has a leisure center with a swimming pool, situated at the back of the Fishguard school.


A small pretty village with a few shops and restaurants. Once a busy shipbuilding and trading port, and in 1773 the Smalls lighthouse was assembled and shipped out from here. The Phoebe and Mary on her way to Liverpool in 1773 got into trouble. Seven men went to her rescue from Solva but only to hit Black Rock on the way back with the loss of sixty lives. Nine limekilns were built on the side of the harbour to burn limestone, four of which still remain. The village has some interesting shops as well as local Inns supplying good food. The Nectarium housing butterflies and exotic insects is worth a visit. The harbour car park gets quite busy in the holiday season, so avoid this area if you are towing a boat, unless you arrive early.


Famous for its Castle, the most impressive part being the Great Keep, which is one of the finest types in Britain. Below the Castle there is a network of caverns. Pembroke has lots if interesting little Inns, and shops. There is a chandlers at Pier Head which services engines and sells everything you need for boats. Presley Hills. The hills are perhaps the most magical part of Pembrokeshire, where Neolithic man once lived. It was from the mountains 4000 years ago that the famous bluestones were taken to Stonehenge across barren land and open water. In 1995 one of the stones was found in the Milford Haven, where it must have fallen from one of its barges. The site is a much guarded secret.


Once was a small fishing village. An all tidal marina, home of Westfleet and Dale Sailing. Has a chandlers situated on the marina, with a small cafe. Fuel and water are available for boats. Situated alongside Cleddau Bridge. Plenty of little shops a short walk away in the main street. Brunel used Neyland as a terminus to connect to Ireland and the Atlantic. He built a railway yard on floating Pontoons. Streets still bear the names like, Brunel Ave, and Great Western Terrace. Neyland remained a railway terminus until 1955. A busy car ferry operated to Hobbs point until the Cleddau bridge opened. Situated along the creek there is a nature reserve with some nice walks. Here you will see Heron and ducks.

Milford Haven.

Once a whaling port of the 18th century. In the 1950s the oil industry boomed and the deep water estuary became the biggest in Europe. The old docks have been restored to accommodate a 150 berth marina, with a host of visitor attractions. The marina is open all year round. Tel 01646 692271. The lock gates are open two hours before high water, and close one hour after for free flowing traffic. Nearby is the local coastguard. The marina operates on channel 37 the marine channel, and before entering call pier head on channel 12. The town has a first class sports center, with a 25 meter swimming pool. The Milford haven golf club welcomes visitors. St David's. Famous for its Cathedral, the home to the patron Saint of Wales

St David.

It is the smallest City in Britain with a population of 2000. A very busy area, with lots of shops and restaurants. The Thousand Islands Expedition operates out if St David's. This trip takes you across to Ramsey Island where you will ride the overfalls at the Bitches in Ramsey Sound. The streets of St David's are narrow, and in peak season can be very congested with holiday makers. Taking the left hand road out of St David's passing the cathedral on your right, you will reach the harbour of Porthclais. This is an excellent harbour for launching a rib. Provides access to waters around
Ramsey Island. A strong southerly will blow straight into the head of the harbour.


There is evidence of human settlement as early as the Mesolithic times, the first people to occupy north Pembrokeshire. A 16th century inn and courthouse are the focal points of the village. Once a busy port, the quay being built in 1825. However the sand bar across the mouth of the river hindered its development. There is a fine sandy beach called Poppit sands, a links golf course and a small harbour.

Little Haven.

A pretty little fishing village nestling between the cliffs. Has three lovely Inns within 100 yards, all supplying good food and drinks, within feet of the harbour wall. A slipway for the lifeboat which is stationed in Little Haven takes you down to the sandy beach. Before this the lifeboat station was situated at Goultrop`s out and to the left of the bay. Remains can still be seen there today at the foot of the oak hung cliff. The beach was used to export coal from the surrounded areas, and ships used to dock dry on the beach to be loaded, and then wait to be refloated on the next tide.

Broad Haven.

A large area of fine sand makes this an ideal beach for holiday makers, and has done so from as far back as 1800. The beach was scattered with little bathing huts, used for changing into ones swimming costumes. Little sailing boats were used to fish for turbot, sole, and dory, the surplus being sold at the side of the beach. The Galleon overlooking the sea provides good food and drinks. The National Park has a shop here in the car park and has a range of information on the area and its marine life.


The village is very pretty, with the church of St Peters dating from the 13th century. A church before this is said to have been washed away nearer the beach after a storm. Doctors from Harley Street gathered Medicinal leeches from Marloes Mere, which has now been drained and is a wetland in which grows the rare water dropwort. Marloes sands are within walking distance from the village, a long sandy beach. From here there are fine views of the Islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Gateholm. Gateholm can be reached at low tide, named Goat Island by the Norse. There are 130 hut sites which were monastic cells on the Island. To the north is Albion sands named after the paddle steamer Albion which went aground in 1837.


On the edge of the Milford Haven waterway, it has a sheltered position. Henry VII landed here in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth to claim his crown from Richard III. In 16th century Dale was a very busy port, it had eighteen inns, a brothel, and a brewery which exported its ale to Bristol and Liverpool. The only remaining inn is now the Griffin. During the summer there are many sailing activities, as this is home to the Dale Yacht Club. West Dale Bay is within walking distance, and faces the sun all day, which makes it a wonderful place to laze and relax. The water can be dangerous, so be careful if swimming with young children. The lighthouse at St Ann's head is worth a visit, it has wonderful views of the entrance to the Haven. It is also where the Oil Tanker went aground. The valley that extends to West Dale Bay was once covered with the sea. There are a few eating places, and a very good pub right along side the waters edge. A Sports center offers, sailing and surfing lessons close by .


A seaside hamlet away from the popular resorts, its worth a visit. Some interesting walks towards Broad Haven and Newgale. During the 18th century Nolton Haven was a coal exporting center, and traces of the workings can still be found. The beach was used for exporting coal, and remains of the old coal mine built in 1769 can still be found. Traces of long abandoned mines can be found all over the area. Coal seams extend right out under the sea. Traces of old tram roads can be seen which brought the coal to the beach. These were drawn firstly by horse, then by traction engine. The small quay and pier have all but vanished, but the counting house still remains, which overlooks the beach. This is now a private residence.


One of the leading resorts in Wales, with four beautiful beaches. The town has a wide selection of shops and restaurants. The name Tenby means Little fort of the Fish, and is thought to be a Norse settlement. The harbour with its Georgian painted houses and pretty streets gives it a 19th century feel to it. The coming of the railway made it a very popular resort with the Victorians. A pier was built for the paddle steamers to come from Swansea and Ilfracombe, but was demolished in 1953. The main part of the town is surrounded by a wall with a series of gateways and towers. From here you will be able to see Caldy Island and St Catherine's Island, the latter was built in 1869 to protect the port of Milford Haven.


Was at one time a flourishing trading center, mainly the exportation of coal. The colliery closed in 1788, but due to pressure from the locals it opened the following year. In 1800 the first steam engine used in a Pembrokeshire coal mine was installed here. It increased production and 10,912 tons of coal was exported in the first year of its operation. Disaster struck in 1844 when the tide broke into the workings of the Garden Pit, and 42 miners were killed, many being woman and children. The main shaft was 65 yards deep and the workings ran far out under the sea. Some of the men reported that they could hear the sound of oars above them as they were working. They were concerned that the spring tides would carry too much weight of water above them. They were proved to be right. The colliery was abandoned, leaving behind the remains along the side of the river. Once this ceased, and the ferry crossing finished the village became isolated. Now popular with walkers who are looking for the quite life. Has its own popular Inn with splendid views of the Western Cleddau. A walk through the woods of Minwear and Canaston will take you to the mill at Blackpool.

Thorn Island.

A fortress build to guard the entrance to Milford Haven, is now a hotel with a bar and restaurant. A perfect retreat away from it all, with splendid views across the entrance to Milford Haven. The island is just out of Angle Bay, where ferry passengers for the Island are picked up. There are moorings available to tie your own boat to nearer the island. One interesting vessel which hit the island was the Loch Shiel. She sank in 1894 with a cargo of the finest Scottish Whisky, over 7,000 cases in all. It kept the locals busy for months. She lies to the SW of the island in 15 meters of water. The seabed is of rock and sand. If diving the wreck you should contact the Port Authority.


A long sandy beach, backed by a two mile stretch of pebbles that were the result of a storm in 1859. A pub on the seaward side of the road was also washed away. The beach was once an area of forest that stretched out towards St David's. Trunks of the trees can still be seen at low tides after a storm. The Resolution laden with coal on her way to Dorset ran aground on Newgale beach after a severe storm. The captain was robbed of all his cargo by the local people, whom he reported to the shipping authorities, and called them thieves and pirates..

The Daugleddau Estuary.

"The Secret Waterway" extends 28 miles into the heart of Pembrokeshire, where there are many hidden treasures, like secluded inlets, little villages, quays and woodlands abundance of wildlife and the hedgerows ablaze with wildflowers. The waterway has steep wooded banks that give home to many birds and animals. Limestone was quarried at various places along the estuary, and remains of several kilns can still be seen today. Some interesting places on the estuary are Cresswell Quay, where the Cresselly Arms is situated only yards from the waters edge. The Castle lies across the river from here. West Williamston was for years a limestone quarry, giving work to hundreds of people. The area now is a nature reserve. Further along the river the Carew Oysters are harvested.

Stackpole Quay.

A pretty area with its own little harbour, which is one of the smallest in the UK. The Quay was once a quarry where limestone used to be shipped from here to other parts of the country. The name Stackpole is named after Stack Rocks, which are out of Broad Haven. Launching is possible and provides access to dive sites this side of Milford Haven. The dramatic cliffs stretch down to St Govans Head, and to the west a lovely beach of Barafundle Bay, which offers sandy beaches and safe swimming.

Llys Y Fran

A reservoir and country park with a 100 ft dam creating a 187 acre lake. This supports activities like Fishing, Sailing, Boardsailing, and Diving. There are shops and restaurant offering a splendid view across the reservoir. The main attraction is the fishing, and the wildlife, seen around the seven and a half mile walk around the lake. The Oak woodlands provides a breeding site for Buzzards, Woodpeckers, Jays, Foxes, Badgers, Rabbits and many other animals. The reservoir is stocked with 20,000 Rainbow Trout with its own boat house for hire of 15 ft boats.

Blackpool Mill.

A delightful riverside corn mill, with the present building dating from 1813. the Mill remained in use well into the fifties. It still has an operating turbine and wheel. Explore the workings, and the caverns, visit the craft shop, model steam engines and cafe for home-made lunches and teas. Situated on the Daugleddau with its creeks and inlets. The ancient woods of Minwear and Canaston offer some splendid walks. Open from Easter to 30th October. 11.00 till 18.00. Gwaun Valley. Runs seven miles south east out of Fishguard is not only a place of beauty, but is rich in wildlife and prehistoric remains. There are plenty of woodland walks which shelter an abundance of wild flowers. The bluebells look upon times as small lakes amongst the carpets of greens. People of the valley still celebrate New Years day on the 13th January according to the old Gregorian calendar.

St Govan's Chapel.

St Govan's chapel is properly one of the most unusual situated buildings in the world. It lies in the middle of a cliff face overlooking the sea. It dates back to the 11th century, where it is said to be occupied by St Gawaine one of King Arthur's Knights. A silver bell was taken from the chapel once and brought bad luck on the person taking it. It was returned and hidden in a stone nearby, and when hit will ring out. St Govan's well situated down from the chapel was said to have magic healing powers. The waters however have since dried up.

Picton Castle.

Lies 4 miles to the east of Haverfordwest on the A40. Built in the 13th Century, and home to the Phillips family since the 16th Century. The woodlands and gardens extend to over 40 acres. There is the Graham Sutherland Art Gallery, Plant shop, Craft shop, Natural History Exhibition, and Tea rooms. Open from April till the end of September, from 10.30 to 17.30, but closed on Mondays, except for Bank Holidays. Guided tours are given of the grounds on certain days. Carew Castle Stands on the Carew River the castle was occupied from the 12th century to the 17th century. It is said to have two ghosts, only one is human! The castle has been restored and is managed by the National Park Authority. An archaeological dig has unearthed a few surprises near by. Standing close by is the Carew tidal mill, its the only kind in Wales still intact. Castell Henllys. A pre-historic village between Cardigan and Newport on the A487. The village has been restored to what it would have looked like by the National Park trust. There are shops and tea rooms, as well as guided tours and demonstrations.


In the 19th century Porthgain was a hive of activity, with over 100 steam coasters, sloops and ketches working the port. The main export was stone, slate and bricks. Over 4000 tons used to leave the port each year, on the way to London, Liverpool, and Dublin. Slate was brought on tramways from Abereiddi for export as roof material. Bricks were manufactured at Ty Mawr and the clay brought through a specially constructed railway tunnel. The old workings, tramlines and quarries can still be seen today, and the place is well worth a visit. It has a slipway down into the harbour, and provides access to dive sites to the north of Pembrokeshire.


From this splendid little village you can visit the Bosherston Lily Ponds, St. Govan's Headland and near by the beach, Broad Haven South. Bosherston Lily ponds is close to the church which dominates the quaint little village. Its manmade lakes are some of the most beautiful sights to be found in South Pembrokeshire. They were created in the 18th Century and locally known as the 'Lilly Ponds'. There's a walk through the forest that shelters most of the lakes that offer homes to wildlife and the trek through them is an experience on its own. Soon after going though the forests you meet a crossroad of two country lanes, the left reaching down to the sandy, sheltered beach of Broad Haven South and the right to St. Govan's head. The beach of Broad Haven South offers a rest and a time of leisure for children and couples who may also walk the coastal path that takes you to Stackpole Quay, Barafundle Bay and Stackpole Head. But if you decide to talk the left road to St. Govan's Head you will encounter on the breath-taking chapel that is hidden among the rocks that has survived the passage of time since the 6th Century. From Castlemartin you will have access to Freshwater West where the surf from the Atlantic sweeps onto the beach. At Freshwater East there is a little hut close to the beach, used as a seaweed drying hut for the production of Larva Bread.