West Williamston/Carew

Half Day + Walk

DISTANCE/DURATION: 3.8miles (6.1km) 1 hours 30 minutes.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Service bus Carew 360/361.
CHARACTER: Easy grade, high stone stiles, 2.2miles (3.5 km) quiet lanes, fields and livestock, can be wet and muddy in places.
LOOK OUT FOR: Tidal Mill, Carew Castle, Millpond, river views and waterfowl.

Carew’s millpond, along with the mill and castle that overlook it, is one of the best-loved locations in Pembrokeshire.

The power of the Carew River was put to work long ago to grind corn – there is evidence that there was a mill at Carew as early as 1542.

The present building, known as the French Mill, probably dates from the early 19th century. Its name is thought to relate to the French rock used to make its millstones.

The Normans first took control of South Pembrokeshire at the end of the 11th century. Carew’s first castle was an earth and wood structure, but it was later replaced by a stone building.

The elegant northern side of the castle, with windows that look over the millpond, was added in the 16th century and give the old fortress something of the look of an Elizabethan manor house.

The Carew River is part of the branching pattern of creeks at the heart of Pembrokeshire around the Daugleddau that are a classic ria.

That is a series of river valleys formed before the last Ice Age and then “drowned” when sea levels rose.

Today, the waterway is quiet and its mudflats and salt marsh are a perfect habitat for wading birds and wildfowl and there is also a chance to spot herons and kingfishers.

In July and August you may also see the rare brown hairstreak, a delicate butterfly with orange underwings; it is most likely to be seen close to blackthorn bushes, as it lays its eggs on the tree’s leaves.

Limestone has been quarried in Pembrokeshire for centuries, much of it to be processed into the lime farmers used on their fields and to make mortar.

Williamston quarries were worked by the water’s edge where they flooded at high tide allowing barges to be floated in and loaded with stone.

Find this walk

Grid ref: SN042046


  • Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work
  • Guard against all risk of fire
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Keep your dogs under close control
  • Keep to public paths across farmland
  • Take your litter home