CEMAES HEAD
Coed y Bryn Bed and Breakfast and Self Catering Accommodation in Cardigan


First a bit of background……

CEMAES means 'a bend in a river or coastline'.

St. Dogmaels translated into Welsh - Llandudoch (or the shorter version used by most local people - Llandoch).
Saint Dogmael was a 6th Century monk and was closely related to Ceredig whom the county Ceredigion (land of Ceredig) is named after.

Cemaes head is located at the southern extremity of the newly formed Cardigan Bay cSAC. This means that the area has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) to help ensure its beauty and that its wildlife is safeguarded for generations to come.

The SAC covers an area starting at Ceibwr Bay, just down the coast from Cardigan and runs along the coastline covering Cardigan Island, Mwnt, Aberporth, Tresaith, Llangrannog, New Quay, Aberaeron and on to Aberarth.

THE CEMAES (Pronounced Ke-Mice - pronounce the K 'e' as in egg) - A fairly straight forward walk some of which is on tarmac roads and some on footpaths with moderate inclines and descents………

You will need to be a moderate to fit walker for this one as the walk is approximately 19 Km (12 miles) long and should take around 6 - 7 hours. However, it can easily be broken down into smaller sections for those who are less fit and there are plenty of small stop off points along the way for a relax to take in the local flora and fauna and stunning bird and sea life.………

This is what the walk comprises - Open fields, plenty of tree lined tracks, a section along the Pembrokeshire coastal path and the biggest reward will be the stunning and spectacular views from CEMAES HEAD looking across a huge expanse of Cardigan Bay. On an extremely clear day you can see as far south as Strumble Head (regularly) and as far north as Bardsey Island and the Lleyn peninsula (Occassionally). Whilst on the actual Cemaes, keep looking down to the sea and out towards Cardigan Island and you may well catch a glimpse of the now famous Cardigan Bay bottlenose dolphins that reside in the bay and regularly visit this location. Cardigan Bay is also home to harbour porpoises, Atlantic grey seals, and a wide variety of bird species. We also have visiting basking sharks, sun fish, and even Orcas, Minke whales and Humpback whales have been spotted from the cliffs in recent years.

After a hearty breakfast at Coed y Bryn Bed and Breakfast in Cardigan head down the hill towards Cardigan Town.
At the Eryr (Eagle) public house turn left (signposted St Dogmaels) and continue along the road for approx. 1200 metres until you enter the village of St Dogmaels (or rather Llandudoch in Welsh). Turn left at the Post Office (found on the left at a minor left junction). 100 metres further on, you'll find the 'Y Felin' working flour mill on the left and the remains of the old Abbey on the right. By the way, the mill is a fully restored working mill (restored in 1981) that is producing a large selection of flours and local produce on a daily basis and can be bought in the mill shop. At certain times it is open to the public even through the winter months. Y Felin is one of the few working flour mills in Europe and the whole place has been restored, and is run, by the full time miller - Mike Hall. Mike and his wife purchased the dilapidated and non working mill in 1977 from the estate of the late Mrs. Phoebe Mary James, the last descendant of the Gwynnes to live at the mill. The mill pond was reflooded for the first time in nearly thirty years on Easter Saturday, 18th April 1981.

Continuing with the walk………follow the road past the millpond and garage and turn right at the T junction at the end of the lane. After a few metres bear right into Cwm Degwel. After approx. 100 metres at a fork in road, turn right at a house named Abbey Forge and go down a grassy track and over a small bridge. Turn right and head up the hill. Approx 250 metres further on, a small road bears sharply left just before a metal gate on the right. Continue a few metres to a 'no through road' sign and a footpath sign. After about 750 metres look for a 'waymarker' post and turn right through a kissing gate. Follow the fences behind Pencnwc farm. Go through a gate and turn left onto a farm lane. After approx 300 metres turn left at a country road and a little way along (10 metres) turn right (way marked) onto a track leading to a stile. Follow the hedge, cross the stile and follow the field boundary to a gate in it's far left corner. Follow the track through a field gate (pond) onto the road to Bryncws.

Go through the farm yard and down a track. After approx 250 metres, turn left at a minor road and then after approx 300 metres, at a fork in the road, bear right down a muddy track. Ignore the track on the left and carry on ahead. Before the farm buildings the road forks, take left hand fork. After another 300 metres the road forks again, take the right hand fork and head downhill to pass another farm on right. Go through the metal gate at the farmhouse and into a green lane. Go down the lane and cross a small brook, then go up the left hand side of the field and through a gate in the corner of the field. Go through another gate on then right and follow a wide green lane through several gateways until you come to two gates. Go through the right hand gate and follow the left hand field edge to the gate opposite the chapel.

Cross the minor road to the bridleway sign opposite. Go through gate and turn left at a farm track to a ruined chapel. Head through the gate and then turn right immediately after chapel. Go through another gate and follow the path to a bridleway sign by a clear track. Follow this track to the front of the farm buildings, go through gate and proceed around to the right. Go over cattle grid and then, where bridleway points left, follow footpath sign ahead down right hand side to the intersection of two fields. At junction in paths go over stile following bridleway, to the left. Follow lane turning right after about 100 metres and then go straight ahead for 400 metres before heading towards the disused coastguard lookout hut. Proceed over the 'waymarked' stile and then almost immediately cross another stile on the right, after which turn left.

Anywhere in this area is an ideal location to take a break, enjoy a packed lunch and take in the scenery. On a rough and stormy day with the wind coming from the north west it's easy to understand why a coastguard lookout building was placed here. This can be a truly feisty section of coastline.

_MG_2235
O/K….packed lunch over……
Follow the path steeply down the hill and go past ruined lookout hut and over the next stile. The cliffs here are sheer drop offs to the sea below where I regularly fish for Pollock, Mackerel and Sea Bass. The cliffs can only truly be appreciated from a boat as the strata is jam packed with stunning anticlines in the rock structure. In the photo the old coastguard hut is just out of shot (top right). FACTOID….The highest sea cliffs along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path are between Cemaes Head and Pen-yr-Afr, where there are dramatic folding and contorting of the rocks (the effects of powerful earth movements orogenies over millions of years). These reveal the structure and strata of the actual earth's crust. This walk is ideal for seeing sea-birds, particularly gulls such as the greater black-backed gull. Fulmars, cormorants, and guillemots nest on the cliffs through spring and early summer. Keep an eye out for Chough (rare crows with vivid red beaks and legs that perform spectacular aerobatics), Ravens, Kestrels, Peregrine Falcons, Buzzards, Stonechats and the ubiquitous jackdaw can all be seen along this stretch of coastline.

Follow path over several stiles for approx. 1200 metres to reach a farm yard. Follow track past campsite and car park. Now follow road for just over 700 metres to a house with a lantern on a white pillar called Cnwcau, on right. Turn left in front of the house, down a muddy bridleway to a field gate and turn left over a stile. Go down the right hand side of field heading for yellow marker post. Go up some little steps in the wall and over the stile. Continue ahead across two more fields and over a number of stiles and turn right into a lane. Follow the bridleway, back to the ruined chapel and down the farm track.
Turn right into road. After few metres there is a hidden lane on the left with a red 'no entry' road sign at top. Turn left into lane and follow it along for about 250 metres to the farm buildings. Just before buildings turn right to cross a stile and follow the left hand side of the field. Bear left after a few metres and head towards a metal gate. Follow right hand side of the field until the end of the fenced section, cross the brook and go uphill to the gate on your right. Don't go through the gate but instead, turn left and follow the track for about 300 metres. After passing the caravan park on the left cross the brook and head uphill. Pass the kissing gate on the left and bear round right. Proceed right over the stile. Turn left and head straight along the track for nearly 700 metres. Turn right and there is now a stretch of 1200 metres on a main road.

Turn right opposite a house called Glanteifi and follow track uphill for approx. 400 metres. Cross a 'way marked' stile on left and head diagonally across the corner of the field to another stile, just to the right of a bungalow. Cross the stile and proceed along in front of the imposing Victorian buildings of Albro Castle. Here's an interesting little factoid story……….The house was formerly the workhouse for the poor people of Cardigan during the 1800's and was known as the Cardigan Union Workhouse. Albro Castle is one of the least altered former work houses in Wales, little changed since its completion to the design of William Owen in 1839-40. The workhouse has a 'cruciform plan', with wings radiating from a central octagonal observatory, defining four yards or arising courts for separate classes of paupers, and for the separation of male and female rooms.

The building is of two storeys, built in a Tudor style from rubble stone with rooves of small slats and an extensive series of red brick chimneys. It has drip moulded windows, with twin Gothic entrance doorways situated on the gable entranced front, which is more formal in style. The chimney clusters of the main ranges are similar to the Elizabethan style workhouse. Additions to the building included vagrant cells in 1884, which include grading grills and chutes for breaking stone, and an extra storey to the north service range.

After 1930, the workhouse was redesignated as a Public Assistance Institution for the accommodation of the elderly and chronic sick, and vagrants. The former workhouse buildings are now used as private residential accommodation

That's the story of Albro Castle so let's continue with the walk shall we…………….
At the end of the building turn left and proceed downhill for a few metres to a footpath sign on the right . Turn right and follow this wooded track for about 150 metres to a stone stile. Cross the stile and head down the lane and left at a 'T' junction. Go down to the main road and again turn right. After approx 100 metres note footpath sign on left, cross the road and follow the sign to the left. Follow the path along the edge of the river Teifi and continue to a wide expanse of grass in front of a public house called the Netpool, carry on ahead and cross playing field to car park at St Dogmaels. Go through the car park and onto the main road. Bear left and you are now back on the St Dogmaels to Cardigan road. Proceed towards Cardigan and at the T junction turn right and proceed up the hill where you will find Coed y Bryn Bed and Breakfast on the left.

Journey done…..
Next……
A lovely hot shower, relax easy on one of our comfy beds and grab 40 winks before a well earned evening meal in one of Cardigan's relaxing pubs or restaurants.

The end to a great day out and one to remember……………

Copyright of Godfrey Evans


Coed y Bryn, Tenby Road, Cardigan, Ceredigion. SA43 3AH
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