Inland Walks in Pembrokeshire
You may decide to linger a while in a specific area of the National Park and indeed there are a wide range of walks which are maintained and promoted by the National Park Authority. The walks are distributed across the National Park, taking in the entire coast, the Daugleddau waterway as well as the woodland and hills of North Pembrokeshire. Most of the walks are circuit routes so that you can return to your starting point without having to retrace your steps. You can take a look at these walks if you go to www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk. Whether you fancy a short walk, an easy stroll or a path that allows for wheelchairs and easy access, you will find that information here. Each walk has a map showing the promoted route together with other public paths which you may wish to explore.
There are two inland walks in Pembrokeshire which you may wish to include in your walking holiday.
The Preseli Mountains, Pembrokeshire
The official Government definition of a mountain is any land over 600 metres high, although there appears to be no universally agreed height. However, although as their name suggests, these 'mountains' are officially classified as such, as the highest point at Foel Cwmcerwyn is 1,758 feet, that is debatable. Whatever one chooses to call them, this is a fabulous area of nicely rounded hills offering superb terrain for walkers and horse riders. No dangerous mountaineering here! And who wants it, bearing in mind the beauty of the area? On a good day the views from the highest point are breathtaking and one can see the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland, Snowdonia in the north and the Brecon Beacons to the east. Also the Bristol channel and West Country to the south.
Spotted Dolerite, a type of rock found in the circle of Bluestones at Stonehenge, can also be found here in the occasional rocky outcrop. It is thought that the Bluestones in Stonehenge originated from these hills, carried there by glacial action, but that too is an ongoing debate, so much so that in 2000, an attempt was made to drag a Bluestone boulder from the Preseli's to the river on timber rollers and transport it down river slung between two oversided coracles or currachs. Unfortunately, the attempt failed and the stone sank to the bottom of the river, presumably to join quite a few others that were already down there! Perhaps this reinforces the theory that it was actually glaciers which transported the stones.....
This area was very important to the people in Celtic times because one of the entrances to Annwn, the Celtic underworld was to be found here.
The ancient path, also known as The Golden Road, once a prehistoric trading route, crosses the length of the Preselis and dates from Celtic times. It runs from the hill fort of Foel Drygarn to Foel Eryr. The walk begins and ends in the stunning village of Maenclochog. Beginning on level ground, the walk quickly becomes steeper as the route heads up towards the summit Foel Cwmcerwyn, the highest point in the mountains. It then traverses along the backbone of the Preselis and follows a forestry trail and pathway through old slate quarries at Rosebush and on to the site of the old train station. From Rosebush there is a short uphill section from the old station to Pant Mawr on the top road in Rosebush, where it reconnects with the original route and ends back in Maenclochog. This is approximately an 8 mile walk.
There is a lot more detailed information on this walk at http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/nature/sites/walking/pages/sw_maenclochog.shtml
The Daugleddau Estuary
Martletwy, Lawrenny and Landshipping
Between the western and southern areas of the National Park lies the Milford Haven Waterway. Here the tranquil wooded reaches of the Daugleddau estuary and Carew and Cresswell rivers, and the sheltered bays downstream, feed into one of the finest natural deep water harbours in the world. It is sometimes called the Secret Waterway, because it is rarely visited despite being so beautiful. Access points to this area are Cresswell Quay, Carew, Landshipping and Lawrenny. Because it can easily accommodate supertankers of 300,000 tonnes and more, in 1957 it became an important centre of the oil industry, with several of the prominent oil companies operating terminals and oil refineries. In the mid-1970s, it was briefly the UK’s second biggest port in terms of tonnage. The Daugleddau and its several tributary tidal reaches are known collectively as Milford Haven.
This area is also home to the eco-tourism village of Bluestone, the Oakwood Theme Park and the Blue Lagoon water park.
There is a mining history here and the whole area was once peppered with small coal mines from where a good quality anthracite was produced. However, those mines are of course now long gone. Carew Castle and Picton Castle will be a 'must' for the castle fans among you, also two mills. One next to Carew Castle and the other at Blackpool Mill, Canaston Bridge.
A long distance circular walk called The Landsker Borderlands Trail runs around the eastern bank of the Daugleddau. This is a 60 mile long, waymarked trail.
Landsker is an old Norse word for frontier. This trail explores the rural area on the Pembrokeshire/Carmarthenshire border from Llanboidy and Efailwen in the north via Canaston Bridge on the Daugleddau to Landshipping and Lawrenny in the south, returning via Reynalton and Ludchurch. The route is on OS maps and waymarked. It starts at Whitland and circles around a quiet estuary landscape at Lawrenny. The trail marks the place where the Welsh battled with invaders in the 11th century and right up until the last invasion in 1747.
There are castles and other heritage sites along the walk and the Landsker conveniently marks the divide between English-speaking Pembrokeshire in the southwest and Welsh-speaking Pembrokeshire to the east. Closest access points to this walk is 10 minutes from Cefnmeurig Cottage and 20 minutes from Tenby.
For further and more detailed information on this walk visit www.visitpembrokeshire.com