Cilgerran Gorge Circular Walk
It's good to walk, so why not step out and sample some of the walks your neighbourhood has to offer. This interesting, very strenuous walk which starts and finishes at Dolbadau car park in Cilgerran is one of a number of town and country walks which have been produced by Pembrokeshire County Council.
Enjoy this medium length quite strenuous walk from the riverside at Dolbadau car park, Cilgerran through lovely woodland to the Wildlife Centre and back again along the banks of the river Teifi before moving to higher woodland. Points of interest include Teifi Gorge, the Wildlife Centre, plus Cilgerran Castle and Church. The walk can be combined with the Cilgerran Wildlife Centre walk for a shorter, easier route.
Walking: The walk begins and ends at Dolbadau car park, Cilgerran .
Bus: 230 (Cardigan - Carmarthen, occasional Wednesdays only); 430 (Cardigan - Narberth); 431 (Pentre Galar - Cardigan). Bus Timetables
Train: Nearest station is at Clynderwen. Arriva Trains Wales
Road Map: www.multimap.com. Search for "Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire".
Parking: There is a free car park on the riverside at Dolbadau, Cilgerran, where the walk begins and ends.
Toilets: There are public toilets at Dolbadau car park and at the Wildlife Centre.
Refreshments: Served in Cilgerran village and at the Wildlife Centre.
Start/Finish: Dolbadau car park on the riverside at Cilgerran.
Distance: 4.2 miles, 3 hours
Terrain: This is a strenuous medium length walk - outwards along gentle woodland pathways to the Wildlife Centre and returning via undulating paths up and down the steep sided Cilgerran Gorge.
Car Park: 1
- This walk begins alongside the Teifi at Dolbadau car park, Cilgerran from where there are splendid views up and down Cilgerran Gorge. The building in the car park has a series of fascinating plaques displaying the natural and social history of the area.
- Walk up the lane towards Cilgerran village, turn right onto High Street, right again into Castle Square and follow the lane up to the church.
- The church tower is of thirteenth century origin although the main body of the church dates from the nineteenth century.
- There is a curious standing stone in the churchyard. On it is a Latin inscription as well as traces of Ogham - the earliest form of writing known in these islands.
- Bear right at the church gates and almost immediately afterwards take a waymarked footpath also on the right that takes you to a bridge across a stream. Follow the path between houses up onto a further lane.
- Almost directly ahead of you is another waymarked path that leads onto a lane through meadows with stunning rolling landscape views towards Cardigan on your left.
- Where the lane divides, go through a gate into lovely old deciduous woodland and continue on the path as it winds through the trees, past rock outcrops on your right and meadowland on your left. Keep on this path, bearing right at a fork onto the signposted permissive path, bearing left at the next fork (the right fork is signposted ‘tree hide'), until you see the modern ‘glasshouse' that is the Wildlife Centre on your left.
- If you have time, take a detour to the ‘glasshouse'. The Wildlife Centre is at the heart of a number of well-marked short trails that take in the wide diversity of this marvellous habitat which is rich in animal and bird life at all times of the year. Pick up a map at the centre information desk. Here you will find an exhibition and refreshments as well as stunning views from the elevated picnic area north across the Teifi Marshes to the ancient port of Cardigan and beyond.
- Back on the path, continue north until you reach a Tjunction. Turn right and you are on the beautiful gorge trail which begins by following the banks of the Teifi and passes some old quarry workings.
- The path is very narrow but affords superb river views. Also the condition of the path here has become dangerous, and a new path has been constructed that rises through woodland to follow the side of the gorge at some distance from the river bank.
- This undulating section of the route is very steep and rocky and involves climbing several hundred small steps with hidden precipitous drops to the left. It is a rewarding yet strenuous path suitable for the serious walker only.
- The path emerges near the old farm of Forest. Bear left and back into woodland. The broadleaved woodland gives way to a wider track through a larch plantation. Bear right after crossing a footbridge and climb a stile on the right that takes you into a field. Follow the left hand edge to locate a further stile in the far corner. Turn right onto a lane, and then left between some houses down to a bridge over the stream.
- You are now ascending the path past the church you went down several hours previously and can return to the start point at Dolbadau car park by retracing your route. However, if you have time, stop to view the ruins of Cilgerran Castle, sited on a rock outcrop above the steepest part of the gorge. Also, when back in the car park, you might like to walk a short distance downstream, past the information plaques, until you are beneath the castle. There are more fine river views here. Follow the Cilgerran Wildlife Park walk for a much easier but equally pleasant version of this walk.