In Norman times a fortified manor was established in this part of Pembrokeshire, and the first family to occupy it was the de Stackpole family, hence the name of the present-day Stackpole Estate, a large area encompassing coastline and beaches, small lakes and woodland which is now owned by the National Trust. The manor house itself has now been demolished, but the rest of the Estate remains. The most charming part of the Estate is the area known as the Bosherston Lily Ponds, where a series of walks along pathways and over footbridges takes visitors through a nature reserve occupied by waterfowl, waders and otters. Sadly, the otters proved infuriatingly elusive the day we visited. The lower part of the reserve opens out onto the wide, sandy beach of Broad Haven, surrounded by rocks and dunes. The National Trust land extends along the coast to Freshwater East, another sandy beach.
|Bosherston Lily Ponds|
Stackpole Quay to the east of the Lily Ponds was built for the dual purpose of shipping out the local limestone and for bringing in fuel for the Estate. There is a National Trust car park and cafe nearby, and from there the coastal path can be accessed, along which a short walk leads to yet another wonderful beach at Barafundle Bay. Stackpole Head, meanwhile, is characterised by spectacular limestone cliffs and stacks. Several of the caves at Stackpole Head have collapsed into blowholes. There is a lovely 5-mile circular walk taking in the headland as well as Barafundle, Stackpole Quay and the Lily Ponds available by following this link.
|The clifftops to the west of Stackpole Quay|