The cycle route starts just over the Carmarthenshire border near the village of Trelech, heads off the A478 at Mynachlog-ddu to Rosebush, then Tufton, Puncheston and Llanychaer, finishing at Fishguard, the heart of North Pembrokeshire.
Annwn (The Celtic Underworld), Gors Fawr stone circle, the Waldo Williams monument, Bedd Arthur (King Arthur’s grave), the Welsh pirate Black Bart and Fishguard, which played a central role to the tale of the 'Last Invasion of Britain'.
From Trelech village, head south west on the B4299. Cycle uphill for 600m and at the top of the hill make a right by the sign 'Dinas'. Continue for 3km to the Pembrokeshire border (This is the point the route crosses into Pembrokeshire but better to have it start at Trelech). In another 3km you reach the village of Tegryn, where there is a quaint shop, pub and The Butchers Arms - the perfect place to refuel for your journey.
After quenching your thirst, continue in the same direction towards Crymych for 2.7km until you reach a junction - turn right and continue for 4m where you’ll reach Ffynone Waterfall where legends says is the entrance to (a) Annwn, the Celtic Underworld.
Return to the previous junction and continue on for another 3km to the A478. Turn left to ride through the large village of Crymych, which stands astride the old Tenby to Cardigan turnpike road. There are a lot of facilities in the village that you can take advantage of. The countryside you will travel through from here to the end of trail is sparsely populated so make the most of the opportunity. There’s an outdoor gear & camping shop, pub, two cafes, a fish & chip shop and a small supermarket which is ideal to pick up snacks and provisions for your ride.
After exploring Crymych, take a right off the A478 at the end of the village towards Mynachlog-ddu (5km), a village rich in prehistoric remains.
The road now skirts along the southern edge of the Preseli Hills. On your right is the hill of Foel Drygarn, a late Bronze Age hill fort capped by three large cairns.
Make sure to keep right through the village. On the far side, ignore the Celtic Trail signpost for the moment and carry straight on for about 1km to reach your next legendary sight (b) Gors Fawr stone circle.
Following some great photo opportunities, return to the junction and turn left onto a lovely open moorland road. After 500m you reach a pair of standing stone monuments, one a Bluestone monument and the other stone dedicated to your next legendary spot (c) Waldo Williams which is marked with a plaque.
Continue your journey along the road for 1.3km until you reach open hillside. Just over the hill on top of the Preselis is your next legendary spot fit for a King, the stone circle of (d) Bedd Arthur. If you fancy exploring the Preselis, this is a good place to leave the bikes and head up-hill on foot. An easy track traverses around the hillside with some spectacular views and should take a couple of hours to cover 6km with a total height gain of 150m.
Carry on the scenic road for 6.5km until you reach the B4313. The cycle trail turns left here but a short 800m detour in the other direction takes you to the village of Rosebush. Rosebush has a café and a pub, the very unusual Tafarn Sinc meaning Zinc Tavern. The pub was originally built at the far point of the Rosebush Railway to entice passengers to use the railway. It was also a watering hole for the miners who quarried slate nearby. Now it is a quirky and comfortable pub and a great place to make a break. There is also a caravan and camping site here with timber pods rosebushholidaypark.co.uk. Pant Mawr cheese and beers are made by Seren Brewery here too. On the hillside behind Rosebush is Pantmaenog Forest Park, which has 12km of horse-riding and mountain bike trails that loop around the hillside. The trails are suitable for all ages. The tracks are wide, open and easy to navigate and suitable for beginners. pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk
1.4km after indulging at the Rosebush, retrace your steps and turn right onto a narrow road. Make a left after a further 3.5km, just before the road joins the B4329. Then after 500m, turn right into the small village of Tufton. There is a pub, the Tufton Arms but opening times can vary.
Go straight over the B4329 and head towards Puncheston, which is 4.2km from Tufton. The comfortable Drovers Arms in Puncheston is well known for live music events.
From here you can take a 2km detour from Puncheston to the village of Little Newcastle to see where the most successful pirate of all time, (e) Black Bart, was born.
Following this, take a right at the T junction in Puncheston in the opposite direction of the Drovers Arms and signposted to Llanychaer and Maenclochog. Just after leaving the village, turn left to follow the Llanychaer road as it climbs slowly uphill around Mynd Cilciffeth to reveal distant views of Fishguard and the sea.
After 6km, you join the B4313 and 2.2km further on is the lovely Llanychaer village. Here you’ll find the Bridge End Inn which is a great place for food. bridgendinn.com
Continue on for 2.5km on the B4313 to reach Fishguard, the end of the trail. The town is central to an unusual tale of the final legend (f) Last Invasion of Britain 1797.
LEGEND POINTS OF INTEREST
a) Annwn, The Celtic Underworld
According to the Mabinogion, (a collection of Welsh myths and legends) this is the entrance to the fabled Celtic Underworld. sarahwoodbury.com
b) Gors Fawr Stone Circle
This small circle of stones dating back to Neolithic or Early Bronze Age times lies in the shadow of the Preseli Hills. This whole area was extremely important in Celtic times due to its links to Stonehenge. The main crossing point to and from Ireland from the UK was through Pembrokeshire (it has been described as a Neolithic version of a motorway and a large number of Neolithic monuments/dolmens in the area indicate there was a significant population here) and 2 miles away from what is thought to be source of the famous Bluestones of Stonehenge at Carn Menyn. Interestingly only one of the 16 stones that make up Gors Fawr is a 'bluestone'. The other stones are erratics (large boulders transported by glaciers during the last ice age). stone-circles.org.uk
c) Waldo Willliams
Waldo was one of the leading Welsh language poets of the 20th century. He was also a notable Christian pacifist, anti-war campaigner, and Welsh nationalist. Waldo spent his childhood in Mynachlog-ddu where his father was a teacher in the local school. He saw the Welsh language as the lustrous pearl of infinity. He is commemorated with a plaque on one of the stones. waldowilliams.com
d) Bedd Arthur
Bedd Arthur comprises 13 mysterious, small standing stones, along with two or three fallen ones, on top of the Preseli ridge. Claimed to be the final resting place of the legendary king of Camelot fame, it may be a henge (prehistoric monument), too, as it lies adjacent to the ancient trackway, now a public footpath, from Carn Meini. The site has not been excavated but there is some evidence that there may once have been a burial chamber in the centre of the circle of stones.... The setting is serene and well worth the hike. megalithic.co.uk
e) Black Bart
Black Bart, aka Bartholomew Roberts or Barti Ddu, was the legendary Welsh king of the pirates, who took more than 470 ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722, earning himself a mention in Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous pirate tale, Treasure Island. He was also reputedly the first buccaneer to fly the skull and crossbones – and was teetotal! You’ll find Black Bart’s stone memorial and commemorative plaque on the village green in his home town of Little Newcastle, just outside Fishguard. wikipedia.org
f) Last Invasion of Britain
Fishguard was the scene of the last invasion of the British mainland. In 1797, an army of 1,400 French troops landed at nearby Carregwastad Point during the French Revolutionary wars. Their intention was to start a Welsh insurrection against the English but they hadn’t bargained on the people of Pembrokeshire’s loyalty to the king. The French signed a surrender in the Royal Oak Inn in Fishguard Square a few days later. The story is graphically told in a 30-metre tapestry created to mark the event’s 1997 bicentenary, on display in Fishguard Town Hall. fishguardonline.com