The Cleddau Rivers provide as many stunning views and good walking as the Pembrokeshire coastline and can be a great choice when the weather is not ideal for coastal treks. Wildlife in abundance can be spotted in the countryside alongside the banks and creeks of these waterways.
The rivers, lakes and wetlands of Pembrokeshire are so special that they are protected areas for conservation and the Pembrokeshire Rivers Trust oversees the well-being of these vital habitats as well as promoting their enjoyment by walkers and those on the waterways of the Cleddau.
The Western Cleddau rises near Fishguard in the north, flows all the way down and through Haverfordwest and on to the sea at Milford Haven, while the Eastern Cleddau starts its journey at Mynachlog-ddu and continues down into the reservoirs at Rosebush and Llys-y-fran. Both rivers merge and become the Daugleddau Estuary, joined later by the tributaries of Carew and Cresswell. Known as ‘the two swords’ in English after the manner in which they cut into the landscape.
Migratory fish, such as salmon and sewin (sea trout) thrive, along with otters and numerous wild birds. The variety in the environment for wildlife includes mudflats, steep banks with mixed woodland, gravel beds and marshlands. The Cleddau have many tidal creeks and the water is clean and rich in oxygen, which encourages and supports vital natural resources. Historically, the estuary was home to oyster farming and herring fishing, but this has declined. More information can be obtained from the Pembrokeshire Rivers Trust.
The Cleddau Trail.
There are many walks to choose from, but the one I would like to recommend is good all year round, being only 3 miles in length, circular and great fun for dogs! The National Trust Lawrenny Walk takes you from the quayside up through the ancient and beautiful woodland and on to explore Garron Pill and Cresswell. OS Explorer Map 36 South Pembrokeshire would prove useful and to really enjoy the views and tranquility allow 1.5 to 2 hours. Glimpses of Burton Castle and views across to Llangwm are particular points to take time to gaze at.
From Easter to September, excellent food can be a treat at the end of the walk at The Quayside, run by chef Andy Knowles. This eatery is famed for Pembrokeshire produce such as crab, lobster, mackerel and the ‘Pembrokeshire Smokey’. Snacks and cakes are also available and the views from the terrace are an added bonus. Much more than just a tearoom!