Close cookies panel

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience.

If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website.

St Brides Castle

Pembrokeshire, Wales

A secret chapel hidden in the rocks of Pembrokeshire

Posted by Luci Ackers on May 16, 2016
A secret chapel hidden in the rocks of Pembrokeshire


Pembrokeshire's celebrated coastline is arguably one of the greatest in the world. This stunning National Park was the first of its kind, designated purely for its coastline, and is worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. It has previously been ranked amongst the greatest in the world by a panel of National Geographic magazine experts, beating Costa Rica to tie second place with New Zealand's Tutukaka Coast. Along with dramatic sea cliffs and stunning wooded estuaries, Pembrokeshire is home to incredible beaches which have also been the recipients of a number of awards. Tenby beach in particular is a firm favourite with travel awards; golden sands, sheltered inlets and rugged scenery make many of the beaches on Wales' west coast an absolute pleasure to visit.

When staying at St. Brides the coast will, no doubt, be one of the highlights of your holiday. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail runs right past St. Brides Castle and will fuel you with endless walks. But for something a little different head round the coast a little way to discover a secret chapel made of stone...

St. Govan's Chapel

If you venture south about an hour's drive, across the Milford Haven Waterway and through Pembroke, down to Bosherston you can explore a beautiful part of the coast that is home to a number of hidden gems. About a mile south of Bosherston you'll find a little car park and from here can make your way down a higgledy-piggledy flight of steps (the number of which is rumoured to change depending on the direction in which you are climbing), that descend the cliffs. You will come to a tiny old chapel which has been built into the limestone rock, perched on the edge of the cliff, overlooking the water.

The story goes that Govan was a monk who had travelled to Pembrokeshire and was in this spot on the cliffs when he was set upon by pirates. The rocks opened and a small cave appeared for him to hide in until the danger had passed. As a sign of gratitude Govan decided to stay here on the cliffs in order to always warn the locals of any imminent attacks. The chapel you see today is said to have been built over Govan's cave in the 13th century, though it's thought the site could have been a place of monastic importance since the 5th century.

Hewn from local stone and crafted delicately amongst the cliffs, this little chapel is being gradually reclaimed by the rocks. Through the small doorway you'll find two little chambers, and as you wander its rugged surroundings you'll be able to continue downwards to the outcroppings at the base of the cliffs - but do go careful!

Wander a little further?

If you really fancy stretching your legs and enjoying the sea air, there's plenty more to see. Rejoin the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and follow it (heading out on St. Govan's Head if you want) until you come to Broadhaven Beach. What has been a walk of dramatic cliff views now gives way to grassy sand dunes. Depending on the weather you could stop here for a beach picnic or paddle.

Bosherston Lakes

When you continue to curve inland you'll next come to the Bosherston Lakes with their marvellous displays of waterlilies and their lovable resident otters. It's a really beautiful area to explore, now part of a National Nature Reserve and cared for by the National Trust. Enjoy the change of scenery as you wander the wooded pathways and take in the peaceful lakeside habitats. When you eventually come to return to your car, loop round via the village of Bosherston in order to make use of facilities or stop in at the café for a pick-me-up cuppa.

This is a great little adventure that includes a whole range of scenery, an assortment of walking terrain and interesting history too! Take a look on google maps at the route.

Discover all the wonders of Pembrokeshire for yourself. If you would like to find out how to stay at St. Brides, simply enter your details below.

Share this post:
Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

0 Comments related to this article
Submit a Comment
Cancel Reply
Name *  
Email address *    
Comment *  
Submit Comment

All comments will be moderated before being displayed

How do I find out more?
Request our beautifully illustrated brochure

St Brides Castle is part of the Holiday Property Bond's growing portfolio of outstanding holiday properties throughout the UK and Europe, imaginatively created over 32 years to combine "home from home" comfort with total relaxation. Currently the portfolio features 35 holiday developments, all in stunningly beautiful locations across 13 countries, with over 1,400 individual villas, apartments and cottages.

For a summary of how HPB can give you and your family a lifetime of wonderful holidays and the risks as well as the benefits of an investment please read "How and how much" below.

Then we would be delighted to send you our brochure, including our property portfolio, along with our full length DVD introduced by Bondholder Sue Barker and a list of forthcoming Open Days and Exhibitions. Please just complete and submit this form or telephone our FREE brochure line on 0800 230 0391.

Request a brochure
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Postcode *  
Telephone number
How did you hear about us?

We will use the details you provide above to send you our detailed HPB brochure and keep you updated about HPB holiday offers.

* Indicates required fields

This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited ("HPBM") registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPBM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, issued by HPB Assurance Limited ("HPBA") registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is HSBC Trustee (C.I.) Limited registered at HSBC House, Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1GT. The Securities Manager is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LR.

Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies. No medical examination required. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM who will only charge for their services if you invest. HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA.

AS FEATURED IN The Telegraph BBC Daily Mail The Sunday Times