Visit Milford Haven: Warpool Court Hotel’s Peter Trier Suggests Maritime Destination
“Guests on holiday at Warpool Court Hotel always enjoy exploring the port city of Milford Haven,” says owner Peter Trier.
You’re sure to find this a wonderful West Wales destination. Milford Haven (or Aberdaugleddau in Welsh, meaning "mouth of the two Rivers Cleddau") overlooks the Milford Haven Waterway. Thanks to its situation on a naturally formed estuary, the port’s history is colourful. Through the centuries, the town has been the location of key local industries. It has served as a key fishing market, shipbuilding port, point of historic military incursions, a mines depot, a Royal Navy dockyard, a commercial dock supporting the fuel industry, a railhead, and an international ocean terminal.
Within the last decade, the town's port has developed into the fourth largest in the United Kingdom. The town has also experienced growth in international tourism as a result of visiting transatlantic ships which include Milford Haven on their itineraries. Local events are held throughout the year including the Milford Haven Music Festival in May, Founders Week and Fish Week (biannually) in June, and the carnival in July. During your visit, stop by the local tourist information centre for more on the area.
Primary points of interest include Milford Haven’s Museum and its lovely riverside walk. The museum houses exhibitions that showcase the area’s maritime history and the development of the railway industry. You’ll find it among the docks in the former Custom House – the town’s oldest building, dating from 1797. It was originally constructed to store whale oil on its way to London. According to the museum, ‘the tide has brought invaders, crusaders, would-be kings, sea merchants, admirals, pirates and global energy leaders, up the Cleddau estuary to the safe haven of Milford’.
You can explore the town’s history with an audio tour, ask about joining a lamplight tour put on by museum volunteers, or find out how you can play a family friendly game of Mini Golf outside the museum.
After your museum visit, you can explore this picturesque locale on foot. You’ll find a nice variety of independent shops, as well as plenty of places to grab a bite to eat. Be sure to walk to The Rath, a well landscaped street on high ground. It’s believed it may have been the site of an Iron Age fort, although, in the more recent 16th century, it served as Royalists’ Pill Fort. It’s a great place to take photos as some of the best panoramic views of the estuary are to be found here.
It’s interesting to note the community’s history includes a period of time when a network of forts was built, on both sides of the estuary, to defend the United Kingdom against French invasion. This location is also reputed to be the place in medieval Welsh tales that King Arthur landed when arriving from Ireland in search of the Twrch Trwyth boar. The town also appeared in Shakespeare's work Cymbeline as "blessed Milford". In the early 20th century, the town experienced significant growth. World War I convoys gathered here before heading off to Gibraltar to protect the coast against German U-boats and, during World War II, Milford Haven was a base for allied American troops and for D Day preparations.
There’s much more to discover in Milford Haven. Whether you do it all in one day or take a couple of days to explore is up to you.