In the late 1700s, Sir William Hamilton saw great potential in Milford Haven, and enlisted the help of his nephew, Charles Greville, to establish a whaling station here. 7 families from Nantucket sailed across the cold Atlantic sea to set up this new industry. Although whaling, our first ‘oil age’ was short lived, the legacy of those first families lives on in street and place names throughout the town.
A century later, the fishing industry arrived at Milford Haven and in 1888 ‘Sybil’ was the first vessel to enter Milford Docks and heralded the start of a booming industry, for which Milford Haven became known as “the place fish comes from”. Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, the town was able to boast that each day was a pay-day as the fishermen spent their hard-earned cash.
After the decline of the fishing industry in the late 1980s, the Milford 2000 project saw the start of the transformation of the former dockyard into a new marine leisure hub, with the official opening of Milford Marina taking place in July 1991 at the start of the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race. Since then, the marina has grown to 300 berths and additions such as the new dock lock mean that boats can access and exit at any time of day in as little as 15 minutes, as well as essential boating services such as petrol, diesel and a boatyard on site.
With 22 miles of cruising waters on the doorstep on the Milford Haven Waterway (which is included in a European Marine Special Area of Conservation), easy access to the islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Ramsey and the stunning Pembrokeshire coastline to explore, it’s no wonder that Milford Haven is a marine leisure haven.
As part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Milford Youth Matters have worked with the pupils at Milford Haven School to create a series of Heritage Walking Trails at Milford Waterfront. The Water Ways trail will take you along Nelson Quay, starting outside Scott’s Sweet Shop and ending outside Talouies. Look out for the light blue banners on the lampposts, and the signs underneath where you can stop and scan the QR code to read the full stories written by the young people of our town.
These stories have been researched and written by the pupils of Milford Haven School, who have used their creativity to tell the stories of Milford Haven’s history in their own words.
* The areas marked in blue are owned and managed by Milford Waterfront. These areas can accommodate in excess of 300 cars between them. Some may be closed off from time to time for events, but other than that they are free for anyone to use.
** The areas in red are owned and managed by the management companies of the seven residential blocks around Milford Waterfront. The spaces behind and between these blocks are reserved for residents only. A private parking enforcement company will be issuing fines to vehicles not showing residents’ parking permits in the spaces marked in red, so please don’t risk a fine – park in the blue areas on your visit.
Milford Haven has a range of fantastic walks for all abilities. Enjoy panoramic views over the historic Milford Haven Waterway, admire the boats in Milford Marina, get back to nature on our woodland walks or even join on to the famous Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Explore Milford Haven on foot and you won't be disappointed!