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A Visitor Berth at Milford Haven Marina

After our horrible sail from St Ives we decided to head into Milford Haven Marina for a few nights. This popular marina has an estimated 18 month waiting list for a permanent berth, mainly because it is one of only a few that actively welcome liveaboards! In fact even getting a space as a visitor was proving difficult, with us having to ring on the morning of our intended arrival to confirm berth availability and hope that someone had vacated.

The marina is situated approximately 5nm from the mouth of the Milford Haven Waterway, and roughly the same from our anchoring spot in Dale. As you make your way up the waterway you will be struck by just how industrial this area is. The port is the largest in Wales, the third largest port in the UK, and the UK’s busiest energy port, being home to a number of oil and gas refineries which dominate the skyline.

Milford Haven Refineries

The marina is accessed via a lock which is available 24 hours a day although we waited for free flow to make things a little easier for us! Offering all the services you could possibly need including a lift out service, fuel, laundry and Wi-fi, the Milford Haven Marina has everything you could need….however not gas! This is not a fault of the marina but an ongoing issue we have faced both this season and last whereby 907 gas bottles are just not being delivered to marina’s, despite them ordering plenty. Very frustrating to say the least!

The marina were running a special promotion whereby if you stayed for 4 nights you got the 5th night free, which also included electric, an offer we chose to accept! The nightly rate was £3.19 per metre (June 2023).

Milford Haven Marina

On the quayside you will find a variety of welcoming cafes, restaurants, bars and boutique shops, giving a somewhat continental feel to the place. We can highly recommend The Spinnaker Cafe for a cracking breakfast and Martha’s Vineyard for a decent pint overlooking the marina. If you’re in need of some marine services then there are plenty of businesses operating in this field nearby and a chandlery can be found in the boatyard.

Within walking distance is a retail park featuring a Tesco’s supermarket, a Food Warehouse and a number of other outlets. The town itself is reminiscent of days gone by, with many of the local independent shops still retaining an ‘oldy’ charm. We particularly liked the travel agents that had a picture of ‘Concorde’ on the wall!

Talking of walking a recommended route to explore is along the coastal path to Castle Pill then up to Black Bridge. Unfortunately for us we chose a rather drizzly day to do this!

Castle Pill

However what struck us most about our first visit to this area was just how friendly everyone was, and we mean ‘super friendly’ Everybody had time to talk and/or give help or assistance…the people of Milford Haven have to be some of the friendliest we have ever met!

Further afield

For just £6 per person we purchased an all day bus ticket to see some more of what this corner of Wales had to offer.

Our first stop was Pembroke, one of the oldest towns in Wales, located on the south side of the Cleddau River. One of the biggest attractions here is, of course, Pembroke Castle. The birthplace of Henry VII, the castle dates back over 900 years and was the scene of a epic battle during the English Civil War. Included in our admission price of £8.50 per person was a very informative guided tour which delved into the history of the castle and its residents!

Afterwards we hoped back on the bus up to Haverfordwest, the county town of Pembrokeshire. Pronounced as “HarfordWest” this quaint market town is situated at the tidal limit of the western River Cleddau.

Haverfordwest

Overlooking the town is Haverfordwest Caste which dates back to the 12th century, but unfortunately for us the castle was actually closed on the day we visited. Therefore we opted to head to The William Owen Wetherspoons pub instead to enjoy some beers in the pub garden before heading back to Milford Haven!

Overlooking Milford Haven Marina and Boatyard

Our short stay in Milford Haven Marina was just what we needed after our stressful sail up from Cornwall and after 5 days we were ready to get back out to life on the hook again. It was time to go and explore the Cleddau River!

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