Pembrokeshire’s county town of Haverfordwest grew up under the shadow of its 12th century castle and around the upper reaches of the tidal river Cleddau.
Today’s visitors to the town – whose name is said the mean ‘ford used by fat cows’ – follow in the footsteps of the long-gone merchants as they enjoy shopping alongside the river.
The indoor covered market and traffic-free Bridge Street are linked to a newer precinct by a bridge across the river, where the acclaimed Farmers Market is held every Friday. Here you will find fresh fish, crab, lobster, organic meat and veg and artisan cheeses and breads.
Haverfordwest’s castle, built about 1120, dominates the town. After changing hands several times during the Civil War, Cromwell ordered its destruction in 1648; however a lack of gunpowder left much of it still standing. In 1779 the County Gaol was built in the inner ward of the castle and the former prison governor’s house is now the town museum.
On the west bank of the river are ruins of an Augustinian priory which has recently been excavated and repaired. It occupies a pleasant setting beside the river, close to the town centre.
Out-of-town shopping and a new leisure centre are great options for indoor diversions and with Haverfordwest’s ideal location, all the county’s attractions are within easy reach. The coastal villages of Broad Haven, Little Haven and Newgale are a short drive away for an exhilerating walk by the sea.