Manorbier Beach and Castle Guide

Introduction

Described by Giraldus Cambrensis as “the pleasantest spot in Wales” Manorbier is a charming little village, about 5 miles from Tenby on the south coast of Pembrokeshire. The major attractions are a beautiful sandy cove which is popular with surfers and holidaymakers; an extremely well preserved medieval castle which offers unique accommodation; as well as a pretty 11th century parish church.

Manorbier – Maenorbyr

Described by Giraldus Cambrensis as “the pleasantest spot in Wales” Manorbier is a charming little village, about 5 miles from Tenby on the south coast of Pembrokeshire. The major attractions are a beautiful sandy cove which is popular with surfers and holidaymakers; an extremely well preserved medieval castle which offers unique accommodation; as well as a pretty 11th century parish church.

Brief History of Manorbier

Giraldus Cambrensis, or Gerald of Wales was born in Manorbier castle in c.1146, a medieval clergyman, he travelled around Wales chronicling its people and places. Indeed, two of his works, “Journey through Wales” and “Description of Wales” remain amongst the most important works of history of that time. His father, William de Barri, was one of the most powerful noblemen in Wales at the time. Though Gerald's brothers became soldiers, he followed a more peaceful course, devoted himself to study, and, influenced by his uncle, the Bishop of St. David's, resolved to become an ecclesiastic. His mother Angharad was the daughter of the Norman, Gerald de Windsor and the Welsh princess, Nest. It was William’s father, Odo de Barri, a Norman knight who was given the area of Manorbier, Penally and Begelly as payment for his help in conquering Pembrokeshire in 1003. He began building the castle in the late 11th century, a wood and earth building that William developed into a stone fortification early in the 12th century.

Attractions in Manorbier

The beach at Manorbier is a stunning sandy cove that is popular with families and with surfers, canoeists and other water sports enthusiasts. The beach is South West facing and produces some excellent surf, especially when other bays are big and blown out due to its sheltered position.

Manorbier Castle is in surprisingly good state of repair, largely due to the fact that it was only attacked twice in its history, and neither of these were major assaults. The first was in 1327; Richard de Barri launched an assault to claim what was rightfully his. The second assault took place in 1645, when the castle was captured by Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads. In the late 19th century the castle was leased by a Mr J R Cobb, who is responsible for the restoration of the southern section, as well as the construction of the modern house.


Wining & Dining in Manorbier

The Castlemead Hotel in Manorbier has a restaurant that serves good food in lovely surroundings; the view to the bay is superb! Just a mile outside Manorbier is the newly refurbished Tudor Lodge, a modern restaurant featuring fresh fish and vegetarian options. Both offer accommodation.

Nearby Attractions & Towns

Manorbier is a small village situated just a few miles from Tenby
and Pembroke.

Parking: in Manorbier can be difficult, although there is a car park above the beach, or a National Trust car park behind the beach. Both get very busy in summer.

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015