After the gardens of this magical place opened in July, the magnificent building itself is now welcoming visitors
Manicured lawns, well-kept gardens, sheltered woodlands where you can stroll beneath some of the largest and oldest trees in West Wales and children squealing with delight as they make their first close encounter with an owl from the Welsh Owl Garden which has its home within.
One thing has become clear to Pembrokeshire’s historic Picton Castle and Gardens near Haverfordwest – they can entertain and impress all year-round and they're delighted that you can now enjoy a tour of this wonderful building, having been closed for over five months during lockdown.
The character of the magical castle has a different significance against the contrasting backdrop of autumn. This most unusual building is a fully developed medieval castle that was transformed into a stately home in the 18th century.
From the outside, with its four symmetrically spaced half round towers and gatehouse entrance flanked by two narrower towers, it is based upon patterns of Irish castles of the period and is the only one of this type in the mainland UK.
As soon as one enters however, it is revealed not to have an inner courtyard and keep, but rather a series of finely planned rooms typical of the grand country house that it is. There is no other building quite like it.
Steeped in history, the elegant Georgian rooms are still home to impressive pictures, collections and fine furniture and possess a unique blend of both opulence and homeliness. Each room brings a new surprise and delight.
Whilst the Gardens of Picton were re-opened in July after the easing of lockdown restrictions, the Castle had to remain closed…that is, until now.
In order to protect the health and safety of both their visitors and their staff, the tours, which will take place initially every Wednesday and Sunday, will only admit very small groups of ten maximum so it is a great opportunity to see the Castle in a very personal and informal manner with plenty of time with the guide to really explore the main state rooms of the Castle.
The tour has been developed specifically with social distancing in mind, whilst introducing guests to the history of the castle and gardens in an informal and fun way. Pre-booking is not required, you can just pay on the day as before.
The wearing of masks is essential for everyone over the age of 11 when inside the Castle, hand sanitiser will be available at the door and Picton will also be implementing the test, trace, track and protect scheme – a simple system which requires take peoples at the ticket office upon booking.
These details will be stored electronically and will only be shared with NHS Wales should they request them. Any areas of the castle which may be touched by guests will be cleaned in between each tour and the tour guides will be wearing visors.
For more information, prices and tour times, visit www.pictoncastle.co.uk or call 01437 751326.