by Hannah Craven
The Preseli Hills are not a mountain range, rather a collection of gently rolling hills that span across the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
That is not to say that they are not spectacular in their own way – the views of the coastline and the vistas are impressive – but it is their intimacy with the little villages that nestle amongst their folds that makes them so different. There are a number of places that are “off the beaten track” that are well worth exploring. Afterwards, you can walk it off on the climb to Cerrig Lladron or visit the Country Park at Llys y Fran and attempt part of the seven-mile walk around its perimeter.
Planning a walk through the beautiful hillsides of the Preselis? We’ve shared our favourite hotspots and cosy cottages in this delightful area…
Many of the villages nestling in the foothills are very attractive, but the absence of thatched roofs makes them look very different from their West Country cousins. Not far from Rosebush, however, is a unique thatched cottage – the last one built overnight, Ty Unos – built on land claimed “as far as an axe can be thrown from the front door” – A practice that the present-day County Council planning department, we feel, would not approve of!
Further south is Scolton Manor Park with one of the most interesting museums of Victoriana that we have seen. Ideal for family days out, there is an excellent children’s playground, several picnic tables, a Tea Room and one of the only public toilets between the Preselis & Haverfordwest!
If you are interested in pre-history, there are a lot of stone circles in the Preselis and a dramatically sited neolithic burial chamber at Pentre Ifan and a complete reconstructed Iron Age village at Castell Henllys – thatched by local thatcher Alan Jones. Castell Henllys offers a unique glimpse into what life was like for Welsh tribes and is a fascinating, yet unusual place to visit in Pembrokeshire.
To the east is the Gwaun Valley. A secluded valley that time has almost forgotten about – well it has really, for it is one of the last remaining outposts of the Julian (47 BC) calender rather than the Gregorian (adopted 1752) Unlike the rest of the country, they celebrate the New Year on the 14th of January!
Distance: Nine and a half miles
Time: Around two and a half hours
OS Map: Click here
This is our favourite route across the Preseli Hills – you’ll get to discover prehistoric monuments as you soak up gorgeous sights of Pembrokeshire. Best of all, it can be completed in an afternoon – after which you can enjoy a local ale or Sunday lunch in one of the nearby village pubs!
Best feature: The beautiful garden – complete with a pond and rope swing!
A former pub in the peaceful surroundings of Newport, Rising Sun is a four-bedroom home sleeping up to six guests. A wonderful cottage for family holidays, you are just half a mile from all the amenities of Newport yet completely surrounded by nature.
Best feature: Llysgwaun is within walking distance of Bessie’s – a local pub that serves real ales from the jug
A spacious four-bedroom cottage set within the scenic Gwaun Valley, Llysgwaun can comfortably accommodate up to eight guests. An ideal base for exploring the local area, you’ll find both the Preseli Hills and Pembrokeshire Coastal Path nearby.
Best feature: The beautiful countryside views
A cosy cottage for two, Blaenpant Bach is just a 15-minute walk from the seaside town of Newport. Nestled right in the Pembrokeshire National Park, there’s an abundance of spectacular walking routes right from the doorstep.
Planning a visit to the Preselis? Our holiday cottages near the Preseli Hills offer a cosy and comfortable base for adventures in this beautiful region.
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