Castle 2 Castle Trail - Pembrokeshire County Council

Cycle Pembrokeshire

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Castle 2 Castle Trail

Overview
Information

    This interesting Trail enables users to view and explore the impressive ruined castles of Pembroke and Carew, and the lovely waterways that partly surround them including local nature reserves. You visit an ancient tidal mill, a medieval church, and even a building once used to deposit human bones

     
    Fact File
    Highlights The Trail is mostly off-road and includes some magnificent sites including castles, a tidal mill and a number of picturesque waterways and nature reserves

    Grade: Moderate  Trail Grading Statement
    Distance 13.4  miles (21.7km)
    Time 21/2  hours plus additional time for stops
    Start/Finish West Street Car Park, Pembroke (Grid Ref SM982013, Sat Nav SA71 4ET) which is a free car park. Turn into West Street from Common Road, Pembroke (junction near Pelican Crossing). After just over 100 yards turn right under a 6’6” height barrier into the car park. Make sure roof mounted bikes are removed before driving into car park. Nearby car parks (with fees) are available if the barrier presents a problem. The Trail starts at the far end of the car park
    Nearest Station Pembroke 0.6 mile (Turn left out of station on narrow path under bridge then left along path for 50 yards to ‘T’ junction. Turn right and join a path on the right just before ‘T’ junction. Cross road before roundabout and turn left after 30 yards down Goose’s Lane. Carry on alongside the old town walls, cross on the lights and carry on following the side of the park to West Street car park)
    Terrain About half the route is on a surfaced traffic free path running alongside main roads. There are a number of road crossings but traffic islands and traffic lights on the busiest ones make it easier to cross. Careful supervision of younger cyclists will, however, be necessary at these points. Gradients are generally shallow but a little steeper near the start, after Carew Cheriton (the longest uphill section), and on  the approach lane back into Pembroke. None of these hills should provide a problem to anyone used to cycling
    Elevation

    Total climb (sum of all uphill sections) - 249 metres

    Refreshments Pembroke, Milton and Carew
    Toilets Pembroke and Carew

    Trail Directions (distances in miles)

    0.0       Start. Follow the level path alongside the edge of the park, cross the road and continue on the wide path around the outside of Pembroke Castle Pond. (The castle entrance is to the right up the hill on the road signed ‘Town Centre’). About 100 yards after crossing the Castle Pond barrage, turn left and then bear left and right where the path joins a housing estate road. Follow this estate road up a gentle hill for about 200 yards until you approach a ‘T’ junction adjacent to a filling station

    0.6       Join the path on the left just before the ‘T’ junction. Continue on this path to the top of the hill and go straight ahead crossing the road signed for the Leisure Centre and Golf Course. Follow the path down the hill, negotiate the barrier and cross the   junction signed Hospital and Dockyard. At the bottom of the hill the path leads you through a short tunnel and you will then approach a signal controlled junction

    1.7       Turn right across the junction and follow the path alongside the busy A477 road road for nearly 11/2 miles

    3.0       Immediately beyond a side road crossing, the path crosses the main road. Continue across the junction of a side road signed for Cosheston and follow the path alongside  the main road for a further 21/2 miles to the village of Milton. The path turns towards the Milton Brewery Inn. Cross the side road and follow the path by the red telephone kiosk

    6.0       At the roundabout follow the path to the left towards Carew. After 500 yards you will arrive at Carew Castle car park for an optional but very worthwhile visit to the castle ruins and Carew Cross. Cycle stands are available at the entrance to the car park with toilets opposite. Take the lane running alongside the walled perimeter of the castle grounds. Just beyond the end of this wall, bear right and you will arrive at Carew Tidal Mill and barrage with lovely views over the millpond to the castle and the medieval bridge in the distance. Consider breaking your journey at this point before retracing your route back to the castle car park and on to the roundabout

    7.5       At the roundabout, carry straight on across the A477 road. Take care as this crossing can be quite busy. After 50 yards, rejoin a quiet road at the crossroads and carry on down the road signed Carew Cheriton. An optional and very brief diversion (less than one mile round trip) to the east from the above crossroads brings you to a restored   wartime control tower on the old Carew Airfield.  Unfortunately it’s only open in the summer months and usually on Saturday mornings and Sundays, but it’s well worth a visit. Heading down to Carew Cheriton for nearly 300 yards you will arrive at St Mary’s Church and The Charnel House. After a brief stop, cross the very narrow bridge on the other side of the road and follow this path for about 1/3 mile. It’s necessary to push your bike over the first section of this narrow path for safety reasons. A stroll around the Carding Mill Nature Trail may be taken if time allows

    8.0       Turn left at the end of the path just beyond the old red waterworks building and cycle up a hill for nearly a mile. Turn right before the brow of the hill onto a road signed Deer Park Lane. Follow this lane for about 21/2 miles

    11.3     Take care crossing the main A4075 road into Golden Lane (to the right of the cottage). Follow this lane for nearly a mile until you pass under a railway bridge after a fairly short uphill section. About 50 yards beyond the bridge turn left onto a narrow path just to the left of the entrance into Golden Manor Nursery. Dismount and push you bike along the first section of this path until it widens and continues alongside the Pembroke Millpond

    12.8     Cross the road at the Millpond Bridge (it is recommended that you dismount and push your bike across using the Zebra Crossing) and you will see the bronze statue of Henry Vll which was unveiled in 2017. Make your way over the bridge (push your bike along the narrow footway), turn left and you can secure your bike to the waterside railings adjacent to the Cornstore. You can then explore the town, have some refreshments or visit the castle up on the hill opposite. Afterwards follow the path all the way around the Castle Pond, across the road and along the path back to where you started the Trail

    13.4     Finish at West Street Car Park, Pembroke

     

    Points of Interest along the Way
    1. Pembroke Castle. First established in the year 1093, this is one of the most  impressive Norman castles in south Wales. The stone structure dominates the town and is partly surrounded by the picturesque Pembroke Castle Pond. A maze of tunnels, stairs, towers and battlements are waiting to be explored and numerous events are held inside the castle throughout the year. It has a rich medieval history, and was the birthplace of Henry Vll, the first Tudor King. Apart from Christmas and New Year, the castle is open daily from 10am to 4pm (longer hours in summer). Fees apply

    2. Pembroke Castle Pond. This has only been a pond since the Pembroke River barrage was built in the late 1970s and now provides a perfect setting for the castle. A variety of birdlife can be seen around the pond, even downstream of the barrage where wading birds can often be observed feeding in the mud sediments

    3. Carew Castle. A magnificent ruin of a castle with a history spanning 2,000 years. Set in a stunning location overlooking a 23 acre millpond, the castle developed from a  Norman fortification to an Elizabethan country house. There’s plenty to see and do with a varied activity programme. Open daily 10am to 5pm. Fees apply which also include entry into the nearby Tidal Mill

    4. Carew Cross. A superb 11th century decorated Celtic cross at the entrance to the castle grounds. The cross stands 13’ high and is beautifully carved on four sides with lovely Celtic knotwork and key patterns

    5. Carew Tidal Mill. Built as a corn mill in the early 1800s, now the only restored tidal mill in Wales. It has two wheels which drive six pairs of millstones. Although restored to working order, it does not operate at present but the machinery, exhibition, audio commentary and interactive displays show how water has been used as a source of sustainable energy throughout the ages. You can walk across the adjacent causeway and indeed around the whole millpond if you have time

    6. Carew Cheriton. An interesting and pretty little hamlet. The exceptionally well preserved and medieval church dedicated to St Mary houses the tomb of Sir Nicholas de Carew (died 1311) who built the nearby castle which was named after his family. In the churchyard is a 14th century charnel house (build to store exhumed human bones) with a chapel above. It was later converted for use as a school from about 1625 until 1872. The holes through which the bones were placed are clearly visible at the sides of the building

    7. Pembroke Millpond and Nature Reserve. This is a great place to visit at any time of the year. Swans are resident all year round and cormorants and heron can usually be   seen at the top end nearest to a structure known as Barnards Tower. This 13th century defensive tower is one of 6 that formed part of the medieval town walls of Pembroke

    ID: 3694, revised 06/08/2018