The Preseli Hills
A place of huge pre-historic significance, the wild, mysterious and rocky plains of the Preseli Hills tower above the northern sections of The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, above the overnight stop of Newport where at Carn Ingli (Angle Rock Mountain) the local Welsh Saint Brynach would climb to ‘commune with the angels’ in the 5th century.
The whole area is a protected wilderness within the Pembrokeshire National Park. It was from here that the huge Bluestone rocks were dragged to build the inner circle at Stonehenge hundreds of miles away in Wiltshire and the Preseli slopes are covered in standing stones, Neolithic hut circles and hill forts.
Legends about the region abound, these foothills are the Annwn or ancient entrance to the Celtic Underworld recounted in the ancient Mabinogion Texts in the story of King Arthur who, its claimed, chased the evil Giant Boar TwrchTrwyth, here from Porthclais harbour on the Pembrokeshire coast path near St Davids.
This is a place to climb to and view the world of Welsh walking mapped out below you. There are incredible views of the coastline and as you gaze from the rocky peaks you will see your route on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in miniature below you. Look west over the ocean on clear days and you will see the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland, whilst the jagged shapes of Snowdonia stand proud in the north and the expansive Brecon Beacons rise to the east.
With Newport offering the best overnight stop and facilities since St David’s this is a place to take a rest day to wander into the Preseli Hills – missed by regular tourists and a complete contrast to the days of walking along the ocean cliffs and coves.
Suggested Rest Day Walks
Carn Ingli and the Cwm Gawaun Valley
An area devoid of walkers, you enter the deep valley with its long abandoned dwellings and rich beech forest. There is the chance to stop at the time stood still Dyffryn Arms, one of the most remote inns in Wales where Welsh is still first language and the beer is served in a jug through a hatch.
The route returns passing the Bed Morris standing stone and on through immense open spaces, bluestone Crags and little rocky peaks before dropping back down to the sheltered estuary and sands of Newport.
Pentre Ifan Walk
An alternative walk keeping to lower ground is to the best preserved burial chamber in this part of Wales at Pentre Ifan with its huge capstone which sits at the foot of the slopes to Carn Ingli and is reached via the wooded Ty Canol National Nature Reserve.
Ty Canol is a blissfully peaceful 170-acres of ancient oak woodland. This unique area is of international importance as its home to more than 400 species of lichens, which thrive in the light, moist clean air conditions and smother the oaks, walking through gives a sense of a very ancient lost woodland.
Further on you can divert pass the famous bleeding yew tree at Nevern Church with its iconic Celtic Crosses and unusual Pilgrims Cross carved into the rocks.
Mynydd Carningli Prehistoric Trail
A third option from Newport is a superb one way ridge walk. Just catch the walkers bus this morning on a 15 minute journey back towards Dinas village from where you climb to the Preseli ridge enjoying great views out to sea whilst passing a stream of Neolithic tombs, standing stones, burial Cairns and barrows.
Beyond the Bed Morris Standing Stone you cross the rocky peaks of Carn Edward and Carn Enoch before the steep drop off the mountain side at Carn Ingli to return to Newport far below.
CLICK HERE to read more about staying in Newport and its other attractions and facilities. If you are keen to explore the Preseli Hills just ask us to add one rest day and night at Newport where you can enjoy fine food in one of its excellent restaurants with rooms... and be well fuelled up for the final day on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to St Dogmaels.