Cycle Pembrokeshire

|Name like '%Crymych Trail%'|Route like '%Crymych Trail%'

Crymych Trail

Overview
Information

    The Trail starts and finishes at Crymych, a large village widely regarded at the capital of Preseli – the area around the Preseli Mountains. The views from the trail are magnificent and the route takes you through some interesting hidden away communities with stories to tell from by-gone years. There’s an opportunity to visit a late Bronze Age hill fort and a present day eco-village which has regular open days

    Fact File
    Highlights

    Stunning views, ancient settlements, remote villages, tales of buried treasure, an eco village and a former mining community

    Grade: Moderate Trail Grading Statement

    Distance

    181/2  miles (30 km)

    Time 4 hours plus additional time for stops
    Start/Finish

    Maes Ploveilh Car Park, Crymych (Grid Ref SN182338, Sat Nav SA41 3QE). On the A478 road through Crymych, turn at the junction signed ‘Egwyswrw’ (opposite the Market Hall with its clock face), then turn immediately left into Heol Parc y Ffair. Turn left into the car park

    Nearest Station None within 5 miles
    Terrain

    Mainly quiet lanes but with short sections on the A487 road at start and finish, both within a speed limit. There is one very steep downhill section where special care is needed

    Elevation

    Total climb (sum of all uphill sections)  -  440 metres

    Refreshments

    Crymych, Tegryn (Butchers Arms), Glandy Cross General Stores

    Toilets Customer toilets at Crymych Arms and Butchers Arms, Tegryn

     

    Trail Directions (distances in miles)

    0.0       Start. Leave the car park via the road and turn right. Turn right at the ‘T’junction by the Crymych Arms and then turn immediately left onto the A478 road towards ‘Cardigan’. The Trail initially follows National Cycle Network Route 47. Take the first right towards ‘Tegryn’ as you leave the village. There follows a fairly steady uphill climb for a mile with fine views of Frenni Fawr hill in the distance on the left. As the Trail snakes its way along the contours of some lower lying hills you are suddenly rewarded with stunning vistas south across Pembrokeshire’s rolling farmland interior all the way from the Preseli Hills to the adjacent county of Carmarthenshire. The next few miles are mostly downhill which should come as some relief

    2.0       Turn right following a sign for ‘Tegryn’. (A public path directly opposite this junction takes you all the way up to the summit of Frenni Fawr, a very worthwhile and interesting outing on foot if you have time. Allow an hour for the round trip)

    3.2       At the ‘T’ junction turn right following the sign for ‘Tegryn’. After entering the village, turn right just beyond the Butchers Arms and then immediately left following the sign for ‘Llwynyrhwrdd Chapel’.  Once past the chapel, the trail descent gets progressively steeper and the road surface can be quite wet under the tree canopy. Make sure this section is negotiated carefully. The trail soon levels out and on your right you may glimpse an alpaca or two grazing in the grounds of a yurts camp. As you enter Llanfyrnach you pass a row of old miners’ cottages on the right. This whole area was once the site of many silver lead mines and the remains of some of the mine workings may still be spotted in the trees and overgrowth. The route of the disused Cardi Bach railway runs immediately adjacent to the road

    4.9       Turn right at the ‘T’ junction, and after 1/4 mile turn right again towards ‘Hermon’. As you leave the village turn left following a sign for ‘Llanfyrnach Church’. After about 100 yards you pass the church on your left and the old motte is on private land on the other side of the road

    7.2       Pass the entrance to Lammas ecovillage on your right (check website for open days). A little further on and the Trail takes you through the pretty little village of Glandwr. Carry on past the red telephone kiosk at the far end of the village and the Glandwr Ogham Stone can be seen close to the road in the grounds of the chapel on the right. Continue on through the next village of Hebron and turn left about a mile beyond the village. Follow this tree lined road uphill until you arrive at a ’T’ junction opposite the Gothic castellated archway leading to the tiny church of St Cledwyn’s. Turn right towards ‘Efailwen’

    11.7     In the next small village of Pant-y-caws (un-signed) turn right towards Glandy Cross

    12.2     At Glandy Cross very carefully cross the main A478 road towards Maenclochog. After just 205 yards, the remains of the Meini Gwyr monument can be accessed through a kissing gate on the left. After an optional stop, turn around and follow the Trail back to the A487 road. Take the first left along a minor road towards ‘Mynachlogddu’

    14.7     Arrive at Mynachlogddu and turn right at the ‘T’ junction. About 3/4  mile beyond the village, the rugged outline of Carn Menyn can be clearly seen on the left. Another mile and the road widens to form a lay-by just after a ‘Sheep’ warning sign. Across the field in the direction of the transmitter mast is the source of the Eastern Cleddau River. The bridleway to the left takes you about 250 yards to the start of a footpath which leads you to the top of Foeldrygarn. Unfortunately there are no cycle stands so if you intend to walk up to the summit you would need to either hide your bike or secure it to an alternative fixture making sure the highway remains unobstructed. The round trip to the top and back takes about an hour. After this optional stop, carry on along the same road. After 1/4 mile ignore the side road and bear right.

    17.9     Turn left at the ‘T’ junction and follow the A478 road into Crymych. There’s a leisure centre on the right opposite the filling station where you could take a swim and/or have a shower now or after completing the trail

    18.5     50 yards beyond Seion Chapel, turn left through the barriers into the car park and the end of the trail

     

    Points of Interest along the Way
    1.  Crymych. The name of the village has existed since the dark Ages but as a community it only really developed from about 1874 onwards following the construction of the now closed Whitland to Cardigan railway, known locally as the Cardi Bach. It stands on the old Tenby to Cardigan turnpike road with another 4 roads meeting there so it was popular with drovers who gathered in the village before driving their cattle in a number of possible directions. As the place expanded, many of the businesses and shops had verandas to which horses could be tied. It resembled somewhere in the Wild West and this gave it its nickname ‘Cowboy Town’. Welsh culture here is strong and Welsh is the first language of most residents. Crymych is the source of both the Taf and the Eastern Cleddau rivers

    2.  Frenni Fawr. Originally called Cadair Facsen (the Chair of Maxen) and is the hill where Roman Emperor Magnus Maximus (335 – 388AD) allegedly came to hunt. It is also associated with stories of the Tylwyth Teg (fairies). The footpath up and across the mountain passes various Early Bronze Age barrows, one of which may hold the mythical Frenni Fawr treasure said to be guarded by a less than friendly ghostly spirit

    3.  Llanfyrnach. Famous for its Victorian silver-lead mines on the north side of the village, although minerals could have been mined here as far back as the 16th Century. The mines were greatly extended in the 1840s as a result of the high demand for lead. By the time that mining ceased in 1890, working levels had reached well over 500 metres below ground. The old miners’ cottages are still inhabited and there is still some evidence of the original workings although most of them are now hidden away under dense vegetation. The outline of a small Norman motte can be seen directly opposite the church

    4.  Lammas Ecovillage. A thriving example of low-impact rural development. The 74-acre plot is completely independent of all mains services, and all the homes at Lammas have been designed and built by the residents using local, natural and recycled materials. None cost more than £14,000 to complete. The ecovillage, at Tir y Gafel near Glandwr, runs guided tours every Saturday from April to October – see website for further information - www.lammas.org.uk

    5.  The Ogham Stone, Glandwr. In the grounds of the Glandwr chapel, this 5 feet high stone has an engraved cross on one face and an Ogham inscription on one edge. It was brought here from a local farm where it served as a gate post but its original site was said to be on Mynydd Stambar near Llanfrynach. Unfortunately it is difficult to translate the markings as they were damaged by the impact of cartwheel hubs when it was used as a gate post. One theory is that it is a musical notation of some sort

    6.  Meini Gwyr. This monument is unique in Welsh prehistoric architecture, being the only known raised henge-circle. Sadly, all that remains of this once impressive construction is two lone stones in a field, although the outline of the henge circle can still be seen. The location of this important ‘ceremonial’ structure so close to the source of the Stonehenge ‘Bluestones’ and the Gors Fawr circle make it likely that it was once an integral part of the local Neolithic landscape

    7.  Mynachlogddu. This small village (translated ‘Black Monastery’ in English) is situated on a plateau in the heart of the Preseli Mountains. Between 1839 and 1843 the villagers here sparked a rebellion opposed to the Turnpike Laws that spread across most of South and Mid Wales. The Rebecca Riots were led by a local giant of a man Thomas Rees (Twm Carnabwth) and his grave-stone stands in the village’s Bethel Chapel (on the right as you follow the Trail into the village). Mynachlogddu is also thought to be the site of the Battle of Mynydd Carn in 1081 between forces struggling for control of 2 Welsh kingdoms

    8.  Carn Menyn. The name means ‘Butter Rock’ and is believed to be one of the main sources for the Bluestones used at Stonehenge. It stands close to the stone setting of Bedd Arthur (Authur’s Grave), thought by some to be the prototype for Stonehenge itself and claimed by local folklore to be the final resting place of the legendary British king

    9.  Foeldrygarn. This Late Bronze Age hill fort stands at the end of the Preseli range and is one of the most dramatically sited and visually striking hill forts in Wales. It is capped by three cairns which can be seen for miles around. Aerial photographs have revealed numerous hut circles on the summit. A legend associated with the summit is that a large flat rock, known as Ffald y Brenin, covers a store of gold. Near the start of the walk up to the hill fort is a stone plaque commemorating the ‘Battle of the Preselau’ when local people in 1948 won their campaign against a War Office proposal to turn the Preseli Mountains into a military training area 

    ID: 5101, revised 30/04/2019