If you can bear to tear yourself away from Pembrokeshire’s beaches for day I would recommend a drive inland to explore the unspoilt moorland and fascinating uplands of the Preseli hills. Further south the pastoral farmland is enchanting too, but these hills offer a Welsh hillscape to delight in.
On a clear day the views are simply awesome and even on a wet, grey one the mists and clouds lend a wild and sombre air. Scattered with neolithic remains, hill-forts and burial chambers the Preseli hills offer the archaeologists and historians amongst us a fascinating glimpse into the distant past.
Famous for being the source of the bluestones, somehow transported 180 miles to Stonehenge, the Preselis also have many cromlechs and stones to discover: Pentre Ifan being the most noted. This megalithic monument has a huge capstone balanced on three pillars and is large enough to provide shelter for a rider on horseback. The painting featured here is by local artist, Barbara Price.
The deep wooded valleys and wide windswept moors provide a wildlife haven for skylarks, buzzards, meadow pippits and wheatears. Walkers will otherwise only encounter sheep and wild ponies.
Not high by Welsh standards, these slopes still give a challenge to the hiker, and a run or brisk walk to the highest point at Foel Cwmcerwyn at 1760 m is rewarded with views from coast to coast – giving a wonderful overview of the very West of Wales.
On a sunny day the blue waters of Llysyfran reservoir glint below and the farms and quarries are laid out to admire. Slate from Rosebush was used to roof the Houses of Parliament.
Nearby and well worth a visit are Castell Henlys – a partially reconstructed Iron Age settlement – and the mysterious Gwaun Valley. This tranquil secretive place has ancient woodlands of ash, oak and sycamore and is known for its continued observance of the Julian calendar – celebrating New Year on 13th January. The rainfall here is double that on the coast, but this makes a lush greenness and special atmosphere…