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Bristol to Fishguard
Cyclotouring
A land of Castles and Dragons
 

 
Tour Summary

 

Seven days ride through South Wales and around the Pembrokshire coast, 516 km in total with 5670 m climbed.

 

 
Map

 

 

 
Commentary & Photos
 


Caldicot Castle

 

Be prepared for…

- Sudden downpours
- Strong Westerly winds
- Short and very steep hills
- Small lanes with high hedges and no view
- Unpronounceable town names and strong Welsh accent

Fuel for the cyclists…

Welsh cakes, Caerphilly cheese and delicious fish and chips in Tenby all helped us along the way.

 
 

Had enough of cycling, try these…

- Impressive Welsh castles at Caldicot, Caerphilly, Pembroke to name but a few

- Bird spotting on Skomer Island (shearwaters and puffins in May/June/July) and seal spotting around Ramsay Island

- Surfing in the Gower, Whitesand or Newgale beaches

- St Davids, the smallest city in the UK with its beautiful cathedral

 

Castlestatic!!! Caerphilly castle this time

 
 


(above)Go on, just try to pronounce this!
(right) A typical town in the Welsh Valleys

 

 

 
 


Newport transportor bridge


 

We started our route from Bristol, approximately following National Cycle Route No 4. The route is rolls fiercely through “the valleys” and their bigger towns such as Newport, Caerphilly, Pontypridd and Bridgend. We passed North of Cardiff to avoid too much cycling through tedious suburbs.

The landscape was green and rolly from Caerphilly onwards. We passed a few amazing castles at Caldicot and Caerphilly as well as an interesting old roman town remains at Caerwen. All would have been perfect if it was not for two things: the amount of rubbish dumped in the small lanes and lay-bys by lazy drivers and fly tippers. Terry had also a massive ranting attack on cycle route number 4. To be fair on him, the route made us lost in the midst of some boring housing estates, made us cycle three sides of a square to avoid a busy road section before dropping us back on a main A road for 6km.

The Taff trail, North of Cardiff, was also frustrating to cycle due to the frustratingly frequent gates, barriers and anti motorbike protection that were impassable without removing our panniers.

 
 

The Celtic trail before Bridgend is worthy of mention as it provided an all too short but pleasant ride alongside the river - and it was traffic free!.  We also enjoyed taking the old transporter bridge at Newport across the river Usk. Apart from that, we crossed mainly busy suburbs, passed alongside motorways, aluminium and steel smelters. We don’t rate the ride up to Swansea much and if it were to be done again, we would take the train.

From Swansea onwards, the area was less urbanised and the ride much more pleasant. We particularly enjoyed the millennium ride from Llanelli to Burry Port, a 30km ride absolutely free of cars and gates and going along a bird reserve. The towns we crossed, such as Carmathen, were pleasant and the coastal villages from Amroth Castle to Tenby absolutely delightful.

 



Three Cliffs Bay in The Gower

 
 



Hidden camping in the dunes next to the millenium ride after Burry Port

 


Tenby beach with a very British touch: colourful windscreens everywhere

 
 

We stopped at Tenby for our friends Steve and Jo’s wedding before heading towards Pembroke and then Skomer island. There is a coast walk there that is absolutely stunning. We finished the ride by going along St Brides bay, and then all around St Davids head and back towards Fishguard. From there we got the train back to Bristol: £24 each for a single ticket, which is not bad. But can somebody explain to us why it is only £27 for a return ticket? We are still trying to make sense out of British Railways pricing policy.

And for the adventurous, you can take a ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare in Ireland for £36 return. What a bargain!

 


We told you there were castles everywhere!

 
 


Dramatic coastal landscape ...

 


... opposite Skomer Island

 
 

 


 
 



A few of these each day makes for very tired cyclists!

 


Newgale Sands and a welcome downhill, the Pembrokeshire coast "Rolls a bit"

 
 


St David's cathedral, the jewel of the smallest city in the UK

 


Heather in full bloom around St David's Head

 
         

 

 

 
For more information or questions please contact us at isaetterry@mac.com