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Things to do in Bosherston, Pembrokeshire

Bosherston is a peaceful historic village within the lovely Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Bosherston Church © David Oakley-Hill
Bosherston Church © David Oakley-Hill

Its main attractions are the long sandy beach at Broad Haven and the famous lily ponds on the former Stackpole Estate.

The historic village was named after Bosher who was given the village as one of the supporters of William the Conqueror.

Village Church

Like much of South Pembrokeshire, the village is clustered around the local parish church dedicated to St Michael and All Angels.

Bosherston dunes © David Oakley-Hill
Bosherston dunes © David Oakley-Hill

It was built in the late 1200s on the foundations of an even earlier place of worship.

The church is open daily for visitors.

The local Cawdor family restored the church in 1855 and replaced the Norman windows with the current Gothic designs.

The Norman font remains near the main door.

One of the main attractions in the church is the unusual tomb of the Duchess of Buckingham.

Star Rock and Church Rock © David Oakley-Hill
Star Rock and Church Rock © David Oakley-Hill

The carved representation of her body shows her face covered with a veil which depicts that she was a widow and the coronet and the stone dog lying faithfully at her feet indicate she was from a noble family.

A second stone tomb has the figure of a Crusader on it and was probably carved in the 14th century.

Brass wall tablets record those who died in World War I and World War II including a local coastguard who was killed while on duty.

Outside the church is an unusual Preaching Cross, probably once a crucifix which was damaged during the Reformation.

Long Matthew Point © David Oakley-Hill
Long Matthew Point © David Oakley-Hill

Present Day Bosherston

The village of Bosherston has a small population of just 300 people, making it a pleasant and peaceful place to visit.

The local pub is the St Govan's Inn and during the summer Ye Olde Worlde Café serves light refreshments.

The Church Hall was once the village school.

St Govan's Head © David Oakley-Hill
St Govan's Head © David Oakley-Hill

The local creek was dammed to create the famous lily ponds and the reclaimed land was also used by the War Department.

A small part is still retained as a Royal Navy Bombing Range.

Footpaths lead down to the lakes and the fabulous beach at Broad Haven South which has beautiful soft sand and many dunes.

It has an island, caves and a natural spring which bubbles up through the sand.

Things to do in Bosherston

Bosherston is the centre for climbing enthusiasts in the area, with many challenging climbs up its limestone cliffs such as Huntsman's Leap.

Cliffs, Trevallen Downs © David Oakley-Hill
Cliffs, Trevallen Downs © David Oakley-Hill

Just south of Bosherston is the quaint St Govan's Chapel which is accessed down steep steps carved into the cliffs.

It possibly dates back as far as the 6th century AD and is one of the most picturesque hermit's chapels in Britain.

It is said that St Govan is buried beneath the altar in the church. He died in 586AD.

Outside the Chapel there is a roughly hewn well, now dry, and the Bell Rock which has an interesting legend surrounding it.

Bosherston Lily Ponds are in the former gardens of Stackpole House, the country home of the Cawdor family.


St Govan's Chapel © David Oakley-Hill
St Govan's Chapel © David Oakley-Hill

The lilies are a spectacular sight in the summer and the ponds are home to otters, birds, bats and dragonflies.

Footpaths offer miles of scenic walks along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path which passes Barafundle Beach, said to be Britain's best beach, and Stackpole Quay which barely has room for two boats!

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