Cycle Pembrokeshire

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Cresswell Trail


    A pretty trail that starts near Carew Castle. Numerous historical sites are waiting to be explored including a castle, a tidal mill and an impressive old country house with a story to tell. Well weathered relics of a former industrial era still abound and the Trail offers you the opportunity to visit an ancient maritime quay and a beautiful nature reserve. If time allows following the completion of the trail, you can walk over the medieval bridge at Carew and all the way around the millpond, one of the most beautiful locations in Pembrokeshire. On a still day when the tide is high the water perfectly reflects the castle and the nearby mill. It attracts many wading birds and is a good place to watch bats on summer evenings

     Fact file


    Sleepy rural hamlets, a nature reserve with salt marshes and tidal creeks, relics from a former industrial era, castles and a tidal mill

    Grade: Moderate 


    10.3  miles (16.5km)


    2 hours plus additional time for stops


    Carew Castle Car Park (Grid Ref SN046036, Sat Nav SA70 8SL). The car park is free of charge and its entrance is directly off the A4075 road 1/4 mile north of the A477 roundabout (follow brown signs for Carew Castle). Cycle stands are available at the entrance and there are public toilets opposite

    Nearest Station

    Lamphey 3.8 miles. (Turn left out of the station access road and first right after the church following a sign for Tenby. After 11/2 miles turn left following a sign for Milton. At Milton, cross the main A477 road using the crossing island and follow the cycle path to the right. Continue on the cycle path and turn left at the roundabout following a sign for the castle. The start of the Trail is 1/4 mile up this road on the left)


    The Trail runs along quiet country lanes and roads. It is generally flat but there are a few mostly gentle hills


    Total climb (sum of all uphill sections) - 192 metres


    Carew, Cresswell Quay


    Carew, Cresswell Quay


    Trail Directions (distances in miles)

    0.0 Start. Cross the lane from the car park onto the access path leading to the castle. The Carew High Cross is on your right as you follow this path. Join the path on your right (just beyond the Cross) which takes you down to the gateway adjacent to the main road opposite the Carew Inn.  Cross the main road (with care) and proceed along the road fronting the inn. It is advisable to push your bike along the castle access paths owing to the presence of pedestrians. In the unlikely event that the castle paths are closed, join the main road directly from the car park and cycle down to the Carew Inn and turn right. Be very careful as this road can sometimes be busy. After a short distance (just beyond a red telephone kiosk) the Carew Flemish Chimney can be seen on your left. Carry on along this road and just after Sageston School the road swings to the right and then to the left before continuing on past the Plough Inn

    0.9 Turn left following a sign for Redberth. This road has been by-passed so is lightly trafficked

    2.5 At Redberth, turn left into The Rise towards a red telephone kiosk in the centre of the village. Turn right at the telephone kiosk passing the church on your left. After just over 300 yards turn left at the ‘T’ junction (adjacent to a main road junction) and continue up past the large 3-storey farmhouse

    3.3 Turn left following a sign for Cresselly

    4.2 Go straight ahead at the cross roads following a sign for Cresselly

    4.6 Turn left at the ‘T’ junction following a sign for Cresselly

    5.0 At Cresselly, carefully turn left keeping within the hard shoulder alongside the main road. After about 25 yards, very carefully cross this main road onto the side road signed for Cresswell Quay. You will pass the entrance to Cresselly House on your right after a short distance along this minor road. Continuing on the road, bear slightly right just beyond the Cresselly House entrance following a sign for Lawrenny (ignore the junction on the left signed for Cresswell Quay)

    6.1 Turn left at the ‘T’ junction and carry on alongside the river into the hamlet of Cresswell Quay where you will find public toilets and the Cresselly Arms on your left. After a stop to explore, carry on up the fairly steep hill for a short distance and turn right

    7.6 At West Williamston turn right just before the red pillar box in the wall. Turn left at the next ‘T’ junction and right at the next. After just over 200 yards you have an optional stop for a visit on foot to the West Williamston Nature Reserve. You can secure your bike to the wooden fencing. Then turn around and follow the road back to the village (ignoring the side road on the left that you used before). At the ‘T’ junction next to the red telephone kiosk turn right. Follow this road for about 11/2 miles ignoring any side turns (or you may inadvertently end up at the local nudist camp!). Carew Castle will soon come into view as you descend a shallow hill

    9.6 Turn right at the bottom of the hill onto a path running alongside the Mill Pond. It is recommended that you dismount and push along this section as the path can be   quite busy with pedestrians. The path will lead you around to a causeway with the Carew Tidal Mill at the other end. It is now safe to start cycling again.

    9.9 After an optional stop to visit the Tidal Mill, follow the road back towards the castle until you get to the car park

    10.3 Finish at Carew Castle Car Park

    Points of interest along the way

    Carew High Cross

    This magnificent 11th Century cross is one of Wales’ most famous monuments. It commemorates Mareddud ap Edwin, joint ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth (South West Wales) who was killed in 1035. The cross is beautifully carved on four sides with Celtic knotwork and key patterns

    Carew Flemish Chimney

    A conical stone chimney surviving from a house or cottage demolished in about 1870. These massive round, or sometimes square chimneys were part of the architectural style of medieval Pembrokeshire. The chimney here at Carew with its two ovens was used as a communal bakery until 1927 and was then used by two local families as an air-raid shelter during World War ll. It stands 5 metres high and was built of local stone


    A rural hamlet on the line of the 19th Century Tavernspite Turnpike road. The toll house is now a private dwelling. The original village is quite old and is surrounded by remnants of a medieval strip field system. During the Middle Ages, Redberth was the property of The Knights of St John of Jerusalem (or Hospitallers). In the early 19th Century it was the home of a famous and much feared witch known locally as ‘Old Moll of Redberth’ who confessed on her deathbed to having harmed scores of people with the occult powers she had acquired

    Cresselly House

    An elegant 18th Century country house now operating mainly as a hotel and wedding venue. The history of the house dates back centuries and had close associations with coal mining in the area. The house has many interesting features and is occasionally open for guided tours (check the website before visiting Creselly House)

    Cresswell Quay

    A picturesque hamlet situated on the tidal limit of the Cresswell River. Although nowadays it is quaint and quiet, it was once a bustling river port exporting anthracite coal from 50 small pits in the area. The quay is directly in front of the popular Cresselly Arms pub. The ruins of the 13th Century Cresswell Castle can be seen upstream from the quay. Stepping stones allow you to cross the river at low tide and follow the river banks all the way to Lawrenny

    West Williamston Nature Reserve

    A reserve of tidal creeks and saltmarsh, limestone rock outcrops, woodland and sheltered butterfly glades, all transformed throughout the day by the ebb and flow of the tides. Limestone was once quarried here and removed by barges floated in on high tides. It is now a haven for wildlife, wading birds and wildfowl. The reserve is owned by the National Trust and managed by the Wildlife Trust

    Carew Tidal Mill

    Built as a corn mill in the early 1800s and 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.

    Carew Castle

    A magnificent ruin of a castle with a history spanning 2,000 years. Set in a stunning location overlooking the 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

    ID: 5097, revised 25/05/2022