Cycle Pembrokeshire

|Name like '%Heartlands%'|Route like '%Heartlands%'

Heartlands Trail

Overview
Information

    A moderately long ride which starts in the grounds of Pembrokeshire’s County Museum at Scolton Manor. The Trail takes you through some interesting small villages off the beaten track and in the heartlands of the county. It offers glorious distant views and a variety of wildlife. A number of historical sites can be visited including a Neolithic settlement which is well over 5000 years old

     

    Fact File
    Highlights:

    Rural countryside ride with fine distant views, small villages, museum, wildlife, parkland and sites of historic and prehistoric interest

    Grade: Active  Trail Grading Statement
    Distance: 25.5 miles (41 kms)
     Time: 5.0 hours plus additional time for stops
    Terrain: Mostly on quiet rural lanes with two sections on the B4329 road at the start and end of the trail. At one point it’s necessary to cross a section of the busy A40 road. This will require care, particularly if you have younger or less confident riders in your group. Advice on the safest way of crossing is given in the Trail Directions. There are fairly steep uphill sections in places and these are referred to in the Directions. However the Trail standard generally allows for quite a comfortable ride for most users
    Elevation: Total climb (sum of all uphill sections) - 480 metres
    Start/Finish:

    Scolton Manor Car Park (Grid Ref SM990217, Sat Nav SA62 5QL). Follow the B4329 road and the brown tourist signs from Haverfordwest By-pass (A40) for a distance of about 31/2 miles. You will pass through the villages of Crundale, Poyston Cross and the tiny hamlet of Bethlemem. Scolton Manor entrance is on your left just after the narrow railway bridge. Once through the main gates bear left to the car park. There is a parking charge of £3.50

    Nearest Rail Station: Clarbeston Road Railway Station 3.0 miles (Follow the road north from the railway bridge past the red telephone kiosk and turn left just before the pub. After 1/mile turn left at the cross roads and after a further 2 miles you reach a junction with the B4329 road. Turn left and Scolton Manor entrance is signed on the right about 1/2 mile down this road)
    Alternative Start: Wolfscastle Free Parking Area (Grid Ref SM956263, Sat Nav SA62 5LU). Adjacent to west side of A40 and accessed via a junction signed ‘Pottery’
    Refreshments: Scolton Manor, Hanger Five and pubs at Hayscastle Cross, Wolfscastle and Spittal
    Toilets: Scolton Manor, Hanger Five and customer facilities at pubs in Hayscastle Cross, Wolfscastle and Spittal

     

    Trail Directions (distances in miles)

     

    0.0         Start. Turn right out of the Scolton Manor main gates onto the B4329 road

    1.7       At Poyston Cross turn right at the junction adjacent to a red post box. After about a mile the Trail skirts around the northern perimeter of Haverfordwest Airport and   then past the entrance to ‘Hanger Five’ indoor trampoline park. Refreshments and toilets are available during opening hours (11am to 7pm)

    3.5       At the junction with the main A40 road, the Trail turns left and then right onto a minor road about 100 yards away. The A40 is very busy and cycling on it is not recommended unless you are an experienced cyclist. It is suggested that you dismount and push your bike along the nearside verge to a point opposite the far end of the other junction. There’s a small surfaced section in the verge where you (and any members of your cycling group) can prepare to cross with extreme care when an opportunity arises. Be sure to look in both directions and bear in mind that A40 traffic can be moving quite quickly. Carry on cycling when you’re on the minor road opposite, following the sign for Camrose. The road takes you down to the narrow St Catherine’s Bridge over the Western Cleddau River where you will need to give way to any oncoming traffic. The pull out of the valley beyond is quite steep but short

    4.7       At the ‘T’ junction turn right onto the B4330 road and after 1/4 mile bear left towards Camrose. Once in the village, the Trail bears right but before continuing you may wish to view the outside of the old mill (first junction left, down the hill and over the bridge) and also pay a visit to the 14th Century St Ismael’s Church (second junction left). Then carry on up the hill through the more modern part of the village

    5.8       At the 5-way junction take the first left following a sign to Roch. After just over 11/2 miles bear left avoiding a bridleway track on the right

    8.0       Turn right at ‘T’ junction following a sign for Hayscastle. This uphill section is moderately steep but you will soon be rewarded with magnificent views from the top of the climb

    9.9       At cross roads turn right for Hayscastle Cross

    10.6     Turn right at the pub, and after 200 yards turn left towards Wolfscastle

    13.6     At Wolfscastle, turn left at the ‘T’ junction adjacent to the pub. To avoid having to cycle along a short section of the busy A40 road, dismount and push your bike along the main road footway for 100 yards until you get to a junction with a side road signed ‘Pottery’. Then remount and cycle down over the river bridge and follow the road to the right under the road bridge. Just over 50 yards beyond this bridge and on the left is the signed footpath access to the site of the old Motte and Bailey castle. After an optional stop continue over the bridge and keep left up the hill towards Ambleston

    14.4     Turn left onto an unsigned road and after a further 3/4 mile turn right at the ‘T’ junction. The road continues to rise for a further 1/2 mile or so. As you approach the   highest point (a couple of hundred yards beyond a bridleway junction on your right), the Garn Turne rock outcrops are in an enclosure to your left. Look out for a tiny gap and low gate in the hedge adjacent to a point where the road widens slightly. This provides access to the outcrop and the nearby chambered tomb. Then continue on to the top of the hill and beyond. The next few miles are relatively flat or gently sloping and you can again enjoy distant countryside views

    16.3     Carry straight on at the cross roads following a sign to Woodstock, and straight on again at the next cross roads

    17.5     Turn left at the cross roads following a sign to Tufton. After about 1/mile you will notice a slight double bend in the road just before a farm access on the left. Pause for a moment on these bends as you are now in the middle of a historical site known as Flemish Castle. This was a Roman Villa occupied from the late 1st Century AD. It probably contained a bathhouse and there are also legends of a golden table being buried on the site. Unfortunately little can now be seen of the earthworks that enclosed the villa other than from aerial photographs

    18.7     Turn right at the cross roads following a sign to Walton East. After less than a mile turn right at the cross roads just after the 40 mph signs. Ignore the next junction on the left and turn right for Wallis just after a small cottage. As you enter the hamlet, keep right (or left) where the road splits and then turn left at the ‘T’ junction. A little further on turn right at the ‘T’ junction and bear right down the hill. On the left, after the bridge, is a pull-in with seats and interpretation boards relating to Wallis Pond and Moor. Continue up the hill and turn left at the cross roads towards Ambleston. Cycle through the village ignoring the side roads by the church

    22.6     Turn left at the ‘T’ junction following the sign for Haverfordwest. After about 1/2 mile cross over a narrow river bridge and turn left up through Golden Hill towards Spittal. You may wish to dismount and push a little way up this hill as it’s quite steep. Bear right at the top

    23.8     At Spittal turn right at the ‘T’ junction and then left following the road alongside the village green (there’s a pub 100 yards to the left from the ‘T’ junction). At the next ‘T’ junction turn left following the road past St Mary’s Church. Continue on this road for nearly a mile and then turn right (with care) onto the B4329 road towards   Haverfordwest. Scolton Manor entrance is signed on the right about 1/2 mile down this road

    25.5     Finish at Scolton Manor

    Points of Interest along the Way

    (1)        Scolton Manor. Home of Pembrokeshire’s County Museum located in a traditional Victorian manor house. It is authentically furnished with period rooms and surrounded by 60 acres of park and woodland. Displays illustrate the history of the County and the largest museum collection is focussed on agriculture and rural life. There are woodland trails with sculptures representing famous Welsh myths, a walled garden, a visitor centre and a bee keeping centre. There’s a shop, tearoom and toilets available on site and a small admission fee is charged for entry into the museum itself. The museum is open from Easter to October (11am to 5pm) and the grounds are open all year (generally 9am to 6pm but closing a bit earlier in winter)

    (2)        Camrose. A quiet little village with a 14th Century church dedicated to St Ismael. It has a mill (now converted to a private house) which was once the possession of Anne Boleyn. In the trees across the road on the hill opposite the mill is a Norman Motte and Bailey known as Camrose Castle. Sadly at this time the structure is badly overgrown and out of site above the level of the road. King William the Conqueror once stayed here during a pilgrimage to St Davids

    (3)        Wolfscastle. Located on the confluence (or meeting point) of the Western Cleddau and the Anghof Rivers. It is allegedly the place where the last wild wolf was slain in Wales. The remains of an early 12th Century Motte and Bailey castle are there to explore and this was probably constructed on the site of an earlier Iron Age fort. Many believe this to be the birthplace and possibly the final resting place of Owain Glyndwr, self-proclaimed Prince of Wales in the year 1400. The castle stands on Pembrokeshire’s ‘Landsker Line’, an imaginary line drawn across the map of central Pembrokeshire separating the historical Welsh speaking area to the north and the English speaking south. The remains of a Roman settlement have recently been discovered near the village

    (4)        Garn Turne. Hidden away behind a hedgerow and a very well concealed gate, this rocky outcrop offers magnificent 3600 views of the Pembrokeshire heartland. Between the main outcrop and the road is a Neolithic site dating from 3500BC. It includes a huge chambered tomb with a massive collapsed capstone thought to weigh over 60 tones. The ceremonial forecourt where pre-Christian rituals took place can still be seen

    (5)        Wallis Pond and Moor. The 63 hectare Wallis Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest was designated for the conservation of the rare Marsh Fritillary Butterfly and the wet heathland and marshy grassland. Otters frequent the moor as well as birds of prey including buzzards, sparrowhawks and hen harriers. The pond was created by damming Spittal Brook to supply water to Wallis Woollen Mill which was in production for 200 years from about 1790. A network of local footpaths and bridleways have been opened up and restored during recent years

    (6)        Spittal. A small village with a name corrupted from ‘hospital’ or ‘hospitium’ which was a place of accommodation for pilgrims on their way to St Davids Cathedral. Like Wolfscastle, the village stands on the famous ‘Landsker Line’. In the porch of St Mary’s Church stands an inscribed stone dating from the 5th– 6thCentury discovered in the churchyard in 1861. It is referred to as the Cuniovende Stone with original inscriptions in both Ogham and Latin but with only the latter now visible

    ID: 4974, revised 30/04/2019