Cycle Pembrokeshire

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Medieval Mystery Trail

Overview
Information

    The Trail has many points of interest and passes alongside a number of historical sites including the medieval Lamphey Palace and Manorbier Castle. It offers superb coastal and inland views and easy access on foot to local beaches.

    As you cycle along you will be rewarded with a variety of birdlife and their singing fills the air in spring and early summer. If time allows at the end of the tour it is worth visiting the picturesque shell-shaped cove of Manorbier Bay and the Neolithic dolmen known as King’s Quoit perched upon the headland overlooking the bay.

    Also worth a visit on foot is the old church accessed via a gravelled walkway from the car park and the Dovecote via a path from the road just below the car park entrance. Cafes, restaurants, shops and pubs are available in villages along the route for welcome refreshmentsts.

     

    Fact File
    Highlights

    Medieval and other prehistoric sites, beaches and superb inland and coastal scenery

    Trail Grading Statement

    Grade Moderate
    Distance 14 miles (23 kms)
     Time  3.0 hours plus additional time for stops
    Terrain Mainly quiet lanes with 2 short sections on the busier A4139 road. Quite a steep climb at the start and also on The Ridgeway
    Elevation Total climb (sum of all uphill sections) - 324 metres
    Start/Finish

    Manorbier Beach Car Park (Grid Ref SS063977, Sat Nav SA70 7SY). Car Park is signed from centre of village. Toilets and cycle stands on site.

    Seasonal  charges.  

    Nearest Rail Station Manorbier 11/4 miles
    Alternative Start Lamphey Bishop's Palace (Grid Ref SN018010, Sat Nav SA71 5NT) (1/2 mile from Lamphey Station)
    Refreshments Freshwater West, Lamphey and Manorbier
    Toilets Manorbier Car Park, Lamphey Palace (when Visitor Centre is open)

     

    Trail Directions (distances in miles)

    0.0       Start. Turn left out of Manorbier Beach car park and up a fairly steep hill. Worth pushing your bike on this section to admire the coastal views

    0.8       Turn left at cross roads

    1.8       Bear left at ‘T’ junction into main road and after a further 150 yards turn left into a minor side road signed ‘Unsuitable for Motor Vehicles’. The short section of main road is quite narrow and can   be busy in season so take great care. Dismount and push along this short section if preferred

    2.8       Ignore the right turn signed ‘No Motor Vehicles’ and carry straight on

    2.9       Optional stop just beyond 30 mph signs for 2 min walk to Freshwater East viewpoint

    3.3       Turn right into Chapel Lane signed ‘No Motor Vehicles’ and bear left after 1/2 mile

    4.4       Turn left onto main road through Lamphey. The village has a 30 mph and a 20 mph speed limit but less confident cyclists may want to dismount just beyond the filling station and use the opposite footway for a safer passage over the railway bridge to the junction just beyond the church

    4.8       Turn right and immediately left following signs for Lamphey Palace. Lamphey Court can be seen in the distance on the left

    5.2       Turn around at the entrance to Lamphey Court. Optional visit to the adjacent Lamphey Palace

    5.6       Turn left onto the historical Ridgeway road and prepare for a steady uphill climb shortly after leaving the village

    9.6       Turn right at the crossroads just beyond the junction signed for Manorbier railway station and follow this slightly bendy road downhill and on under a railway bridge

    10.7     Straight ahead at crossroads (cross main road with care) following sign to Manorbier

    11.2     Turn left following sign to Youth Hostel, and left again at the Military Range gates. Cycle past the Youth Hostel and on to the Skrinkle Haven Viewpoints car park with cycle stands. When ready, return to the main road and turn left into Manorbier

    13.8     Manorbier Castle for an optional visit. The entrance is on the left just beyond (and ignoring) the side road junction down to the beach car park. The Trail continues along the road opposite the castle entrance, turning right after 50 yards and left following a sign down to the beach car park

    14.0     Finish. Manorbier Beach Car Park

     

    Points of Interest along the Way

    (1)        Freshwater East viewpoint. Overlooking this popular resort with its wide sandy beach, once a favourite haunt for smugglers. Most of the village is located on the cliff overlooking the bay

    (2)        Lamphey Church. An interesting building which is early medieval in origin

    (3)        Lamphey Bishop’s Palace. The ruins of a magnificent medieval retreat for the Bishops of St Davids,located in a lovely rural setting. Plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. Detailed information is available on site. An admission fee may apply at the Visitor Centre. Palace is open daily 10am to 4pm. Reputedly the ghostly ‘White Lady’ may be glimpsed after dark between the palace and the village. She is thought to have been a member of the Devereux family who once lived at the palace

    (4)        The Ridgeway. For many centuries this was the only road in the whole area and gave access for drovers between Pembroke and Tenby. The concentration of ancient monumental sites along The Ridgeway suggests that it also has prehistoric origins

    (5)        Skrinkle Haven viewpoints. One overlooks Skrinkle Haven and Church Doors Cove separated from each other by a tall thin limestone ridge.  Church Doors can be accessed via a 140 step staircase. The other viewpoint looks out over Caldey Island and, on a clear day, the north Devon coast. The cliff shapes carved by the sea on this section of coastline are quite spectacular

    (6)        Manorbier Castle. Home of the C12th writer Giraldus Cambrensis. The castle is in a stunning location overlooking the beach with well preserved stairs, towers, rooms and battlements to explore. Open mid-March to November 10am to 5pm but sometimes closed for events. Fees apply

    (7)        Manorbier Church. A C12th Norman church built on part of an earlier monastic site. A superb location with views across to the castle and out over Manorbier Bay

    (8)        King’s Quoit Burial Chamber. Dates from around 3000BC

    (9)        Dovecote. A recently restored and listed ancient monument built in the C13th to provide fresh meat and eggs for inhabitants of the adjacent castle

     (10)     Manorbier Bay. A lovely place to chill out at the end of the cycle ride. Fossils can often be found in the stream bed running into the bay

     

    ID: 3594, revised 09/10/2018