holiday cottages Tenby, Wales

The history of Celtic Haven

Steeped in Welsh history, Celtic Haven is located just off the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and is home to a number of former farm cottages on a site believed to date back as far as the 14th Century.

With many of our visitors keen to learn about the rich tapestry of events from which the modern-day Celtic Haven resort has emerged, we have taken the time to catalogue the resort's unique history.

Dating back to the Iron Age, human civilisation has walked the paths of Pembrokeshire for near 3,000 years. However, it was with the 11th Century Norman invasion that the path towards Celtic Haven truly began.

As the indomitable forces of the Norman conquerors of England made their way west towards the rugged terrain of Wales, the man in control of much of western Wales at the time was the fiery ruler King Rhys ap Tewdwr of the House of Dinefwr - of whom the world famous Tudor dynasty derives.

In a desperate attempt to keep a hold of power within the area in the face of the ferocious Norman armies, ap Tewdwr promptly offered the hand of his youngest and most beautiful daughter to the Norman Lord Gerald de Windsor in a bid to intertwine the political ties of the two houses.

This maternal knot was the start of a series of events that eventually lead to the construction of what is nowadays the Celtic Haven Resort as the lands around Pembroke Castle - the Manorbier Estate - were steadily broken down, sold off and built upon over the subsequent 700 years.

The advent of Western Europe's industrial revolution in the late 18th Century saw the acquisition of Lydstep Haven, then an area of the Manorbier Estate, by industrialist John Adams. Adams set about quarrying the land for stone to service the veracious appetite of a Britain industrialising at a substantial rate.

Steadily, the townships of Lydstep, Manorbier and, eventually, Tenby grew with the arrival of workers and an ever increasing number of tourists desperate to get away from the pollution of Britain's major towns and cities and take in the beautiful scenery that Pembrokeshire has to offer.

 

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The birth of Celtic Haven

After nearly a century in which the Lydstep Estate serviced as a quarry for the nation's industrial needs, the estate was sold to future Lord of the British Parliament, John Wynford Philipps.

By 1908, Philipps' efforts had seen the once barren land of Celtic Haven transformed into an area of rich farmland that including a stable of pedigree horses, two lodges and a public reading room.

With the success of one his horses, Atrato, at the Scottish Grand National came the demolishment and reconstruction of the buildings that, today, have been fully renovated to form the basis of our holiday accommodation at Celtic Haven.

In homage to the rich history of this beautiful location, many of our cottage names give a little clue to their distinctive backgrounds.

Two decades of holidays

Celtic Haven Resort and Spa has recently celebrated 25 years of service, growing from humble origins to become one of the leading service providers within the county of Pembrokeshire.

The services delivered at the resort have evolved over the lifetime of Celtic Haven to match the changing expectations of the clientele, with the Elemis Premier Spa being accompanied by a leisure club that includes a swimming pool and nine-hole golf course.

General Manager, Betty Hibbits, said of the anniversary: "We are delighted that the resort is celebrating such a significant landmark in its history.

"The entire estate is situated in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and there has been a commitment to preserving the sites centuries' old heritage - with all the original stone walls remaining and the distinctive red tiled roofs being rebuilt to replicate how they were before.

"The great flagstone floors and beamed ceilings have all been brought back to life and these unique cottages have all been named relating to their history, so you can now stay at our resort and just imagine what life was like back in those tranquil times.

"To celebrate the 25 year landmark at the Celtic Haven Resort is an outstanding achievement and testament to all of the work that has been done by the many members of staff that have contributed to the success of the project."

Explore our cottages below

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View property| Dog-friendly

This beautiful detached cottage stands where the blacksmiths of years ago would shoe not only the working Shire horses, but also the racehorses of Lord St David's stable. With its own private veranda off the living area, The Old Forge enjoys views across the pitch and putt golf course towards the Pembrokeshire coast.

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£517 - £1,458
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Dog-friendly

This quaint, ground-floor apartment was part of the old staff living quarters when Celtic Haven was the heart of a busy country estate. Now it is a character filled one-bedroom property offering a lovely outlook over part of the pitch and putt golf course and out towards the picturesque Pembrokeshire headland.

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£408 - £944
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Dog-friendly

The Manor House sleeps 12 people in a property bursting with character.

Recently renovated, this beautiful old farmhouse has a fabulous history and plenty of space for everyone!

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12
£1,717 - £4,800
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Dog-friendly

One of three modern suites at Celtic Haven, Gardener's Cottage offers open-plan living and a terraced area with views over the pitch and putt golf course towards the picturesque Pembrokeshire headland. Gardener's Cottage is an easily accessible property just perfect for a short break or romantic holiday in Wales.

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£408 - £944
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View property

As the name suggests, this lovely four-bedroom detached house sits proudly overlooking the picturesque Pembrokeshire headland. With its own private garden, views from almost every room and all the facilities within a few paces, Headland's House is a popular choice with both families and larger groups.

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8
£858 - £1,989
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Some people insist they can still detect the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread in this popular detached cottage! Originally the village bakery, this delightful two-storey cottage is now a picturesque and traditional estate dwelling in the centre of the 12th Century courtyard.

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£445 - £1,310
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Dog-friendly

Situated in our charming courtyard, this fabulous character house sleeps up to 10 people making it ideal self-catering accommodation for two families or a larger group.

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10
£1,072 - £2,486
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Dog-friendly

When the prize geese were being fattened for the Lord of the Manor's table they lived happily in this lovely old stone building! Now this charming cottage is a popular choice with families and groups offering headland views as soon as you step out of the back door.

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6
£603 - £1,750
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Dog-friendly

One of the oldest properties in the village and steeped in character, this popular holiday cottage is named after Lord St David who owned the land hundreds of years ago. The metre thick walls and pitch pine beams are a nod to its heritage.

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6
£603 - £1,750
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Dog-friendly

Tackrooms was once the original saddling room of Atrato, Lord St David's Grand National winning racehorse. Now a charming and cosy holiday cottage, Tackrooms has plenty of character and a private garden leading off the living room making it perfect for a family holiday in Pembrokeshire!

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4
£494 - £1,394
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The Corn Store is the only property at Celtic Haven to offer a conservatory dining room, allowing the stars to light up your dinner! Our most spacious one-bedroom property, The Corn Store is a popular choice for a romantic escape or short break in Pembrokeshire.

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£408 - £944
IMG 9201
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Kittiwake Cottage is situated at the top of the village close to the tennis courts and a short stroll to all the amenities. All the accommodation is on the ground floor so making access to all rooms easy for young children or the elderly.

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4
£494 - £1,394
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Dog-friendly

Set in a small cluster of whitewashed stone cottages, Flemish Cottage's exposed pitch pine beams and tiled floors give a wonderful insight into Welsh cottages as they would have been hundreds of years ago – with all the mod cons!

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4
£494 - £1,394
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Dog-friendly

Cranberry Cottage originally lead into the estate's soft fruit orchard and is now a pretty Welsh holiday cottage with plenty of charm and character. You'll find yourself close to all the facilities and just a few paces from the wonderful headland outlook!

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4
£494 - £1,394
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Dog-friendly

Doves and House Martins (which are still your neighbours) were the original occupiers of this delightful double-aspect cottage. Looking onto our charming courtyard from the lounge and up towards The Spa from the front door, this charming single-level property is conveniently located for all the facilities.

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£494 - £1,394
IMG 8956
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Dog-friendly

This spacious two-storey cottage is a favourite with families and you'll find it conveniently located for the tennis courts and putting green. Puffin Cottage's private, south-facing garden makes it an especially popular choice in the spring and summer months!

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6
£544 - £1,750
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Dog-friendly

This homely two-storey cottage is conveniently located for all the facilities and enjoys the added bonus of a private garden to the rear. Great for a fun family holiday in Tenby!

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6
£603 - £1,750