Cycle Pembrokeshire

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Cemaes Trail


    The Trail starts and finishes at the old port of Newport and takes you through parts of the ancient Barony of Cemaes in North-east Pembrokeshire. It offers magnificent views of both the Nevern and Teifi estuaries, dramatic coastal rock formations and inland views of the Preseli mountain range. It passes through some pretty villages and links a number of sites of historical and pre-historical interest.

    Fact file


    A longish trail with stunning inland, coastal and estuary views, ancient settlements, historical churches, a ruined abbey, and a working watermill

    Grade: Active


    25  miles (40 km)


    5 hours plus additional time for stops


    Parrog Car Park, Newport (Grid Ref SN051396, Sat Nav SA42 0RW). Follow the Parrog sign from the main A487 road through Newport. The car park is at the end of Parrog Road on the right

    Nearest Station

    None within 5 miles


    Mainly quiet roads that include a few steep ascents and descents


    Total climb (sum of all uphill sections)  -  718 metres


    Newport, St Dogmaels, Moylgrove


    Newport & St Dogmaels Car Parks, and customer toilets at Moylgrove


    Trail Directions (distances in miles)

     0.0 Start. Turn left out of car park. After 150 yards (and just beyond a right hand bend) turn left onto the coast path. This section of path is frequently used by cyclists but is actually designated a footpath so make sure you give way to walkers. After nearly 1/2 mile you will pass the site of the Old Castle on your right. Continue on to a wooden gate where the path joins a road. Turn left and follow this road over the narrow bridge

    1.6 Nearly a mile after the bridge, and just beyond a large farm on the right, turn right onto a narrow road and bear left after a further 1/mile onto an even narrower road

    2.9 In the small hamlet of Gethsemane bear right at the junction. After a mile or so, ignore the junction to the right and turn right at the ‘T’ junction just beyond. About 1/4 mile beyond this junction is a pull-in on the left and a gated access to the site of Nevern Castle. A further 200 yards down the road is a path (on the outside of a left-   hand hairpin bend) that takes you to the site of the famous Pilgrims Cross. The cross can be seen on the rock face to the right about 35 yards up from the road

    4.5 Arrive at the small village of Nevern. Turn left at the ‘T’ junction and continue past the church (visit recommended) and then up the quite steep hill out of the village. After 11/2 miles turn left at a junction signed Bayvil (No Through Road). Turn left again for Bayvil Church a short distance down this lane. After visiting the church return back along the lane to the main road and turn left. Continue on this road for a further 11/2 miles (going straight ahead at the cross roads) until you arrive at a pull-in on the left. From here you can walk the short distance along a grass path up to Crugiau Cemais. After an optional stop continue for 2 more miles through the hamlet of Glanrhyd (ignore any side road turns)

    10.1 Turn left at the ‘T’ junction with the main A487 (signed Cardigan) and almost immediately turn left onto a quieter road (signed Moylgrove). Follow this minor road for 11/2  miles (ignoring the first cross roads adjacent to a house) and turn right at a junction on a bend following a National Cycle Network Route 82 sign. Cycle all the way down through the wooded Cwm Degwell to St Dogmaels.

    13.2 Continue 20 yards beyond a junction into a street called Mwtshwr on the right, and turn left following a sign for Cycle Route 82. This takes you alongside the Abbey and Visitor Centre, and the Mill (Y Felin) is a few yards down the road to the right just beyond the mill pond. The Trail itself bears left after the mill pond and takes you past the entrance up to the church. Turn left at the ‘T’ junction next to the Post Office and follow St Dogmaels High Street past the car park entrance and all the way up through the village ignoring the turning signed Poppit Sands on the right. You may wish to consider pushing your bike up this particularly steep section of the Trail. Follow the road to the right through the sharp bend at the top (signed for Moylgrove). The steep gradient soon eases and you will catch superb glimpses of the Teifi Estuary to your right. Follow this road for a further 2 miles and turn left opposite a red letterbox following a sign for Moylgrove (ignore 2 earlier junctions to the left – turn on the 3rd after leaving St Dogmaels)

    17.1 Arrive at the small village of Moylgrove. On route you will pass the entrance to Penrallt Garden Centre which has a cafe and toilets for customers. Follow the sign for Newport in the village and turn right on the hill by the side of Bethel Chapel (signed Ceibwr). The road gets quite steep again after Ceibwr Bay but the hill is short. Go straight ahead at a crossroads and turn right at a ‘T’ junction just a little further on (signed Newport). Ignore the first two side road junctions on the left

    22.5 Turn left following the sign for Newport (do not go ahead on the road signed for the Beach)

    24.2 After the narrow bridge turn right through a wooden gate and follow the path back to The Parrog, Newport. At the end of the path turn right, and right again into the car park

    25.0 End of trail

    Points of interest along the way


    A small medieval town and port on the lower slopes of Carningli mountain. It has a Norman Castle and Church and ancient streets and pathways leading down to the Nevern Estuary which is teaming with wildlife. The Parrog (where the Trail starts) was an important ship building and trading port for many centuries with imports including coal and limestone and exports mainly of wool, slate and herrings. Remains of the old limekilns and a storehouse (now a boat club) edge the Parrog along the slate quay walls

    The Old Castle, Newport

    Site of the original 12th century castle and the location of the first settlement in Newport. All that remains are some grassy ridges and hollows which mark the defensive banks and ditches which surrounded the timber castle. This was also the site of an earlier iron-age fort built to defend the harbour. Once power had been established, the Normans built a new stone castle further up the hill

    Nevern Castle

    The remains of a motte and bailey castle which was once a Welsh stronghold. There is not much left of it today unfortunately but you can still get a sense of its powerful position. It’s a lovely tranquil place to stop and take a short break on the Trail 

    Pilgrims Cross

    Situated on what is believed to be the pilgrim route to St Davids, the cross is carved in relief on the rock face. Under the cross is what appears to be a walled-up cave which is traditionally thought to contain a piece of the ‘True Cross’


    A quiet and picturesque village which was an important administration centre in medieval times. At its heart is the 12th century Norman church of St Brynach, who founded a place of worship here in the 5th century. The church and churchyard are remarkable for several stones inscribed in Latin and Irish Ogham script, and one of the finest Celtic crosses in Britain. An avenue of 700 year old yew trees lead up to the church, one of which continuously ‘bleeds’ red sap from its branches. Many myths and legends relate to this famous bleeding yew tree

    St Andrew’s Church, Bayvil

    A redundant early 9th Century church now looked after by The Friends of Friendless Churches. It has been carefully restored with its original furnishings virtually intact including the box pews and a three decker pulpit

    Crugiau Cemaes

    A Bronze Age barrow cemetery and Iron Age settlement. Superb views of North Pembrokeshire in every direction from the top

    St Dogmaels

    Once the largest village in Wales, it occupies a beautiful situation overlooking the River Teifi opposite Cardigan town. The ruins of the Benedictine Tironensian Abbey dominate the community and are one of Pembrokeshire’s most beautiful historical attractions. The church is next to the abbey, as is the Coach House Heritage and Visitor Centre. This Centre incorporates both historical interpretation of the village and the Abbey, together with a museum and cafe. Nearby is Y Felin which is one of the last working water mills in Wales producing traditional stoneground flour


    An ancient village of traditional painted cottages nested in a sheltered valley. Its English name comes from ‘Matilda’s Grove’, Matilda being the wife of a Norman Lord of the Manor who founded St Dogmaels Abbey and built Nevern Castle. Its Welsh name Trewyddel means Irish Village, Latin and Irish (not Welsh) being spoken in this area before the Normans arrived


    This small inlet and the surrounding area is owned and looked after by the National Trust. It is best known for its rich maritime wildlife and the spectacular folds in the rock strata in the cliffs. Overhanging its north-eastern side is a clifftop Iron Age fort, and about a 1/2 mile along the coast path in the other direction is a massive collapsed cave known as the Witches Cauldron

    ID: 5103, revised 04/06/2024