Fishguard, Goodwick and Lower Town form a close and friendly community in north Pembrokeshire. The area is famous as the location of ‘The Last Invasion of Britain’ when in 1797 French troops landed nearby. Local heroine Jemima Nicholas captured many of the invaders single-handed and the Frenchmen later negotiated their surrender at the Royal Oak inn and laid down their arms on Goodwick Sands.
The invasion is commemorated by an imposing and internationally famous tapestry which is on display at the Last Invasion Gallery in the Town Hall. Further articles on this website provide more information on the invasion.
Fishguard stands on an imposing headland commanding superb views of the bay. It is the main shopping centre of north Pembrokeshire with two small supermarkets and family-run shops and businesses. There is a choice of hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafes with several pubs providing entertainment at weekends. The town provides many superb walks including the Marine Walk which has outstanding coastal views.
Lota Park is a place where both adults and children can relax and play. A new Leisure Centre provides facilities for the young and old and is a refuge in wet weather. Theatr Gwaun in West Street has a cinema as well as regular live events. Goodwick was just a cluster of fishermen’s cottages until the early 1900’s when work began on creating a harbour to handle transatlantic crossings. These hopes were short-lived but Fishguard Harbour became, and still is, a major and thriving sea crossing to Ireland with Stena Line operating ferries to Rosslare. In 2006 the Harbour celebrated its centenary.
Goodwick has a number of shops, hotels, pubs and cafes and the Fishguard Bay Hotel (once a Great Western Railway Hotel) stands imposingly overlooking the bay. Goodwick Beach, a winner of the ‘Seaside Award’, is a favourite with families and the Ocean Lab on the Parrog has a cyber cafe, coffee shop, a soft play area and tourist information centre. Goodwick Moor is a Nature Reserve and designated as a site of scientific interest.. The lifeboat is based in the harbour and seals and dolphins are sometimes seen in the bay but are more numerous just off the coast.
From Goodwick explore tiny hamlets on the Pencaer peninsular including Llanwnda and the church of St Gwyndaf and visit the scene of the French landing at Carreg Wastad and the lighthouse at Strumble Head.
Lower Town, in Welsh ‘Y Cwm’, is the old port of Fishguard. Situated at the mouth of the Gwaun river its picturesque setting has been used as a location for many films including ‘Under Milk Wood’ starring Richard Burton. Local fishermen and pleasure boats add to the attraction and there is a pub and yacht club. Go up the hill to the site of the old fort for panoramic views of the harbour.
The Coastal Path is easily reached as is the National Park which includes the Gwaun Valley situated a few miles inland. Formed during the Ice Age, the wooded valley is ideal for walking or cycling and you can continue over moorland to the Preseli Hills and climb to the highest point in Pembrokeshire, Foel Cwm Cerwyn, where on a clear day you can see Snowdonia to the north and Ireland to the west.