Walking Pembrokeshire

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: 430 (Cardigan - Narberth). Bus Timetables
Train: Nearest station is at Clynderwen. Transport for Wales.
Road Map: 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: 4.7 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.
Stiles: 3
Gates: 6
Steps: Over 300
Bridges: 5
Views: several
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. On the way you will pass the access leading to Cilgerran Castle on the right.
  • 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 amongest the graves on the other side of the church. On it is a Latin inscription as well as traces of Ogham - the earliest form of writing known in these islands.
  • Turn sharp left as you exit the church gates and at the bottom of the hill  take a waymarked footpath 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 pleasant meadows.
  • Where the lane divides, follow the public footpath to the left and then bear right at the bottom of the hill into lovely old deciduous woodland and continue on the path as it winds through the trees, past rock outcrops on your right and meadowland across the valley on your left. This section can become quite muddy after periods of rain. Keep on this path, bearing right at a fork onto the signposted permissive path, and follow this path (ignore an steeper path links to the left and right), 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 in a north-easterly direction until you reach a T-junction. 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 has even been washed away in places, so 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 left onto a lane and after 50yds or so turn right onto a footpath into the delightful river valley (Cwm Plysgog). Follow the path skirting around and in front of a group of cottages, over the stream via a small bridge and up the path on the other side. Turn left on the road and take the first left following the sign for the castle.
  • Carry on along the lane that bears right past the castle entrance, and where it suddely narrows turn left onto the path that takes you down around the outside base of the castle walls. Follow this path downhill all the way to the river, turn right and return to the start point at Dolbadau car park.


ID: 249, revised 26/01/2023