Fishguard – Pembrokeshire: A Small Town By The Sea

Fishguard – Pembrokeshire is a lovely town located on the west coast of Wales. The town is positioned at the mouth of the Gwaun river which quite literally is the meaning of its name in Welsh, Abergwaun. The history of the town goes back at least 1,000 years.

Fishguard is made up of two parts, Lower Town and Upper Town, due to their positions. The Upper Town sits overlooking the sea on a headland and is the main centre of the town. Lower Town is down in the Gwaun valley, the location of the old harbor and still used for fishing and boat rides.

Due to its coastal location, the sea has always played an important in the lives of the townsfolk. Unfortunately it has also meant they have been targeted by invaders. There are many landmarks around the town and surroundings that remember these times, like forts. Probably the most famous point in their history happened in 1797, at the Battle of Fishguard. Invading troops landed from France, but surrendered after two days. The Fishguard Tapestry made in 1997 shows the story of the battle and is displayed locally.

Since 1906 ferries have been operating between Fishguard and Rosslare in Ireland. The sailing vessels have gone through many changes over the years, and where steam ships were once used today the journey is made by catamaran. The ferry port is not actually in Fishguard itself, it is located just up the road in Goodwick.

In Fishguard and its surroundings there are some really beautiful and diverse landscapes. The area is rich in all sorts of flora as well as fauna like sea birds and woodland birds. The bay has occasional visits from dolphins and seals, although they are more often spotted out in open water.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Coast Path are also close by. The park is immense, spreading across just under 250 square miles and has some stunning scenery as well as over 260 historical monuments. Lovers of history and nature will be spoilt for choice. The Coastal path is 186 miles long and also offers many options for walkers and cyclists and spectacular views.

Beach bums will find plenty of places to soak up the sun, as there are quite a few local beaches, both sand and shingle. Those in the area include small ones like that at Slade, just outside Lower Town. There are also larger ones like Goodwick Parrog, further west which overlooks the harbor.

Fishguard – Pembrokeshire has even made it into the world of films. It was used as a filming location in such classics as Moby Dick and Under Milk Wood. The town is also well known for its Folk Festival held every Spring Bank Holiday weekend since 1999. Although many of the events are performances like concerts, the public are invited to take part themselves, in workshops among other activities.

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