Monkton Circular Walk (Pembroke and Pembroke Dock)
It's good to walk, so why not step out and sample some of the walks your town or village has to offer. This pleasant and interesting circular walk which starts and finishes outside the medieval church in Monkton is one of a number of town and country walks which have been produced by Pembrokeshire County Council.
Enjoy this walk which mixes magnificent views of Milford Haven waterway, lovely deciduous woodland, and sites of historical and architectural interest, including Monkton Church, Pembroke Castle and Mill Pond, plus the Victorian town and dockyard of Pembroke Dock which is overlooked by the magnificent Defensible Barracks.
Begin this walk in the small free car park outside Monkton Church. The church and associated Priory's origins predate that of Pembroke Castle. Walking: The Monkton Church car park is a short walk from Pembroke town centre.
Bus: 356 Monkton - Milford Haven (via Pembroke, Pembroke Dock & Neyland) and 357 Monkton - Pembroke Dock (via Pembroke). Alight at Monkton Post Office. Bus Timetables
Train: Nearest station is at Pembroke. Pembroke Dock is also nearby. Arriva Trains Wales
Road Map: www.multimap.com. Search for "Pembroke"
Parking: There is a small, free car park outside Monkton Church.
Toilets/Refreshments: These are available throughout Pembroke town centre, which is only a few hundred metres from Monkton. They are also available at Pembroke Dock town centre which is only a few hundred metres from the walk's mid-point in Pennar.
Start/Finish: Monkton Church car park, Pembroke.
Distance: 5.1 miles, 2 ½ to 3 hours
Terrain: A broad mix of tarmaced minor road walking plus grass, gravel, and muddy paths. Some sections can be difficult following inclement weather. Other sections are steep and can be quite demanding. Only the walk around Pembroke Castle and the Mill Pond is flat tarmac and therefore suitable for wheelchairs, prams and cycles.
Car Park: 1
- The church is well worth a visit, especially for its noted Romanesque arch and for the unusual view of the castle from the churchyard.
- Once you've enjoyed visiting the church, walk down a steep narrow medieval lane towards Bridgend Terrace where you turn left and head for Monkton Bridge.
- Turn left at the start of the bridge onto a path around the castle pond.
- When you reach the sluice gates you have stunning views not only of the castle (4) itself, but downstream towards Pennar Gut and upstream towards the secluded Mill Pond and the old quayside of Pembroke.
- Shortly after the gates, turn left at a gap between the new riverside houses and left again at a waymarker in Rocky Park which takes you across a small field, through a gate, and onto a lovely undulating path that crosses several streams and runs through deciduous woodland.
- On your left along this section are superb views of the Pembroke River, an arm of the Milford Haven waterway, up which sailing ships once travelled to reach the port of Pembroke
- After crossing the final stream, walk up hill and across several fields.
- The path crosses a small lane and is clearly waymarked throughout; this section is part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
- Just before you come to another path that bears right and descends steeply alongside Sycamore Woods
- Look left towards the river and you will see the location of the first dockyard to be built in the Victorian new town of Pembroke Dock
- Follow this path downhill and onto a track which leads up into the Bufferland suburb of Pembroke Dock. At the top of Sycamore Street a narrow path leads you onto Treowen Road.
- Turn right here and then first left into Cross Park. At the end of Cross Park, turn right onto a path that circles the Golf Course, Pennar.
- As you reach the summit of this path on Barrack Hill you are afforded stunning views not only of Milford Haven Waterway but also of the Victorian grid iron layout of Pembroke Dock and its associated former Royal Dockyard, now an Irish Ferry terminal.
- On your right is the imposing structure of the Defensible Barracks, perhaps the finest of a number of defences constructed along the Haven during Napoleonic times when a French Invasion was feared. (A similar fort can be viewed on the Hubberston Circular Walk).
- Walk past the fort and through a modern housing estate until you come onto Treowen Road once more. Turn left and then right immediately alongside a chapel onto High Street. Follow this road as it leaves Pembroke Dock along a ridge. Open country is soon reached from where there are views northwards towards the Preseli Hills.
- Cross the road at a controlled crossing and take the second right into what is now Pembroke Comprehensive School, bearing left at the bottom of the hill and passing the grand Bush House on your left.
- The former home of the Meyrick family which owned large areas of land locally is now a nursing home but retains its imposing façade and outlook south towards Pembroke Castle.
- When you reach Bush Hill, the main road between Pembroke Dock and Pembroke, turn right and walk down hill.
- Once in Pembroke, cross the Mill Bridge, turn right into the Quayside car park and follow the path around the castle, noting the amazing Wogan's Cavern in the castle walls.
- Admission to the cavern can only be gained from the castle itself. At the main road, turn right across Monkton Bridge, up Bridgend terrace' and right onto the medieval lane that brings you back to the start of the walk at Monkton Church.