Solva lies on the north side of St Bride’s Bay, in North Pembrokeshire. It lies on a deep ravine at the mouth of the River Solva. In the ravine is Lower Solva, consisting of a long street ending at the small harbour. Most of the modern development has been in Upper Solva, on the cliff top to the west of the harbour.
The rocks at the entrance to Solva Harbour made it one of the most sheltered anchorages between Fishguard and Milford Haven. Solva became the main trading centre of St Bride’s Bay in the medieval period, and was important for lime burning.
Several lime kilns are preserved in the harbour area. In the 19th century, Solva had around 30 registered trading ships. The fading coastal trade has been replaced by tourism, and the harbour is now a popular boating centre.
The Woollen Mill at Middle Mill (1 mile up the river) is the oldest continuously working woollen mill in Pembrokeshire. Tom Griffiths erected it in 1907, powered by a 10 foot, overshot water-wheel which was restored in 2007. Over the years, machinery was installed to undertake the complete process of converting fleeces into fabric. Today the mill mostly manufactures carpets and rugs.
The spectacular local cliff coast is popular with walkers, and the classic cliff exposures of Cambrian rocks attract amateur and professional geologists.