Pembroke Dock sprang into life less than 200 years ago when the admiralty decided to build a Royal Dockyard on the southern shore of the deep – water estuary of Milford Haven.
By the time it closed in 1926, the Dockyard had launched over 260 ships – including a couple of royal yachts – and the new town of Pembroke Dock boasted over 3,000 inhabitants.
Today, the historic dockyard still plays an important role in the life of the town, being the departure point for the ferry to Rosslare.
Many of the fine limestone buildings dating from the Victorian hey-day of the dockyard can still be seen, including the Commodore Hotel which was once the home of the dockyard superintendent. The vast hangars were built during the Second World War to house squadrons of RAF flying boats.
So important was the Royal Dockyard during the last century that a network of gun batteries and fortifications was built to defend it. One of these stands on the waterfront in Pembroke Dock – the Martello Gun tower. Within this beautifully restored tower is a display tracing the military history of the Milford Haven waterway.
These days the Haven is rather more peaceful, with yachtsmen, dinghy sailors and water-skiers taking advantage of its 24 miles of sheltered waters. With its Water-sports Centre and Yacht Club, Pembroke Dock is an ideal holiday base for the water-sport enthusiast.
Golfers too will find a welcome at the South Pembrokeshire Golf Club, whose newly-extended 18 – hole course commands stunning views across Milford Haven. Day packages are available for visiting players.