The pretty village of Angle is found at the tip of the promontory jutting out westwards from Pembroke. Lying on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and facing into Angle Bay, this village and headland has much to offer for holidaying families, walkers, amateur naturalists, beach-goers, surfers and historians.
Travel along green-tunnelled lanes growing with pretty wildflowers, and come across the quiet main street of this unspoilt little village. The name Angle may refer to the de Nangles, or d’Angelo family - Robert de Shirburn was granted these manorial land after his marriage to Isobel de Angulo in 1278.
The history of Angle can be seen in the standing archaeology across the headland. Angle Tower House is a 14th century fortified medieval manor house known as a Pele tower. Found overlooking the estuary and marshland at the east of the village, it may be contemporary with a further medieval structure and a Dovecote in the village. Railway tracks, lime kilns and chimneys dotted around the area, reflect the former brickwork and limestone industries that sustained the village. The local Church of St Mary Angle has a 14th-century tower and a 15th-century fisherman’s chapel to the rear of the churchyard.
The award-winning lifeboat station on Angle Point has existed since 1868. Notable rescues include that of the Loch Shiel off Thorn Island. The remains of a Tudor windmill to the south of the village was rebuilt in the 18th century and later used as a pill box in WW2. On the main street, the former Globe Hotel is a Grade II listed building constructed by Col. Mirehouse in 1904. Constructed around two Welsh cottages, decoration includes colonnades and decorative crenellations and brickwork.
Village amenities include the family pub, The Hibernia Inn, which serves good pub food and Angle village shop, selling hot snacks and beach-ware. The Old Point House is a traditional 15th century pub, serving lovely food with a good choice of fish dishes and cask ales. Located on a promontory overlooking Angle Bay, it has the added excitement that at high tide the access road can be cut off, so we suggest checking with the pub in advance.
Mudflats and their associated birdlife are visible from the eastern end of the village, for the keen amateur naturalist. Alternatively, take a walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and stop at the 19th century Chapel Bay Fort and Museum. Learn about gun emplacements and ordnance, and enjoy views out into Milford Haven estuary and light refreshments in its cafe in the former cookhouse. It is currently open seasonally, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm from Easter 2016, however there is no parking available on site as yet.
West Angle Bay is a safe sandy beach with amenities including a free car park, toilets, pushchair and disabled access and a telephone. A designated SSSI due to the small green starfish found here in 1979, this Seaside Award-winning beach is perfect for a family holiday, with opportunities for rock-pooling as well as finding its secret beach at low tide (be careful not to get cut off by the tide!). Look out to the impressive Napoleonic fort on Thorn Island, used in later years as a hotel. Swim, sail, canoe, windsurf or do some sea fishing within its sheltered horseshoe bay. We do recommend checking the tide times, as there are strong currents.
Things to Do Nearby
An alternative beach to the south, Freshwater West is a real surfer’s paradise. The film location for “Shell Cottage” in Harry Potter, its wide sandy beach is used mostly for surfing, windsurfing and sea angling. Due to very strong rip currents, it is only for the most experienced swimmers and surfers. There is a free car park, disabled toilets, telephone and mobile snack van. Broomhill Burrows sand dunes behind the beach provides the scope for some lovely walks. This pretty National Trust nature reserve and SSSI is one of Pembrokeshire’s largest dune systems and is home to a large number of marsh-orchids, skylarks, several pairs of breeding choughs, and former quarry workings and hollows for watering cattle. Nearby is the Devil’s Quoit Burial Chamber, visible from the road but with no direct access permitted.
A strong naval history is evidenced by the number of forts in the region. The coast path south of West Angle Bay takes you around East Blockhouse. A pre-Napoleonic fort, perhaps similar in date to West Blockhouse across the estuary, it was commissioned by Henry VIII in 1539 to protect Britain from Spanish and French invasion. It is now the earliest surviving military monument in the area and is a scheduled ancient monument. It later became the location for gun emplacements from 1852 until WW2. The Royal Dockyard at Pembroke was built in 1814. In the 1850s the forts at Thorn Island, Dale Point and Stack Rock Island were constructed to protect it, and West Blockhouse rebuilt, as a new line of protection in Britain's naval defences.