Cardigan and Cilgerran

From stunning historic attractions such as the castles at Cilgerran and Cardigan to a wealth of wildlife, the Teifi marshes and a multi purpose path, the Teifi Trail is a 4.6 mile circular route has something for everyone.

undefinedThis walk explores not just one but two castles, a busy market town, marshland, a gorge and an Abbey. It's rich in wildlife and much of the countryside has a feel of having been untouched by the centuries. It's predominantly an inland walk but does start and finish at Cardigan which is on the Wales Coast Path (you can even extend your walk along the river towards the coast).

Highlights along the way

Cardigan

Cardigan Castle is the site of the first Eisteddfod in Wales in 1176. The castle itself dates back 900 years so it is hardly surprising to learn that it is currently undergoing a spot of renovation. In the short term this means that your enjoyment of the castle is restricted to the fine views from the surrounding area. The grand castle walls kept some surprises over the years and even hid a 19th century house called Castle Green House. Once the renovations are complete, in the Spring of 2015,you'll be able to stay here and experience a luxurious side to castle living.

Cilgerran Castle

This is a great stopping off point along your walk and is also dog friendly (though it is requested that dogs are kept on leads). Standing on a high crag above the gorge Cilgerran Castle is perched in the perfect spot to repel attacks from marauders. Walk the walls, explore the 13th century medieval structure and admire the views along the Teifi Estuary before heading back to Cardigan. Open from the end of March to end of October, the whole family can visit for under £12.

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St Dogmaels Abbey

A spiritual and cultural powerhouse for 400 years, and home to the Tironensian Order of monks, St Dogmaels Abbey is a must for your visit to Cardigan. Founded in 1113 it had great wealth through the patronage of Baron Robert Fitzmartin and was famed for its magnificent library. Stroll around the Abbey for free and soak up the calming atmosphere. Visit the Coach House Museum to admire the carved stones and enjoy a cuppa in the cafe.

Spot nature at the Welsh Wildlife Centre

Teifi Marshes is a part of one of the largest areas of common reed in Wales and a haven for wildlife. Watch out for otters, kingfishers, hen harriers and curlews as they seek out food along the estuary. The Welsh Wildlife Centre is the perfect place to spot water buffalo, osprey and dragonflies. You can even hire binoculars to help you get up close and personal. Using a wheelchair or buggy? The Coed Mor Trail is one of the specially developed trails suitable for all,see our Further Information section for more details.

Teifi Valley and gorge

Teifi Valley slate can be seen all around this area, including Cilgerran Castle. It has been used since medieval times and shipped down the gorge to be exported around the world until approx 1938. The beautiful gorge is home to a wide array of wildlife and flowers. Following the gorge can be hazardous and slippery, instead why not visit the National Coracle Centre in Cilgerran to experience it or take a trip on an open canoe. If you do, you should enjoy the marauder's perspective with Cilgerran castle looming high above up river.

A map

The Resource Section below contains a straightforward map of the area. Print it out, mark up your highlights and itinery for the day and head off for an adventure!

Public transport

For help getting here or to hop around using public transport, Traveline Cymru's journey planner is an invaluable aid. If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the app from: iPhone or Android. Their journey planner is also available online at Traveline Cymru. Or you can call them on 0871 200 22 33 (calls cost 10p per minute plus 6p connection fee from a BT land line, other networks may differ and mobiles may be significantly higher).

 

undefinedEating and drinking

Seek out a local pub or tea shop in Cardigan or Cilgerran, vist the aptly named Glasshouse Cafe at the Welsh Wildlife Centre for a stunning panoramic view of the Teifi Marshes. There is also a general market which is open every day and expands with crafts for the summer at the Guildhall (it also has an art gallery) . The Farmers Market has local produce for sale and is every second Thursday at Pwllhai. Wherever you stop you will find a friendly welcome and great food.

Our thoughts

"I visited the Teifi Marshes reserve on Sunday and in the warm October sunshine we saw a kingfisher and little egret amongst the birds dotted around the estuary and also common lizards basking on the rocks next to the cycle path. It's a beautiful spot to enjoy the restoring effect the sound of reeds swaying in the wind can bring. It's also so close to and easy to get to from Cardigan - it's great that somewhere so full of nature can be enjoyed so many."

Lucy Swanell, Countryside Officer, Natural Resources Wales

Other routes nearby

Further Information

  • Find out about enjoying the outdoors and staying safe by following the Countryside Code
  • Download the Traveline Cymru App for Apple
  • Download the Traveline Cymru App for Android
  • Visit Traveline Cymru website to use their journey planner
  • Discover more about Cardigan Castle, Cilgarran Castle and St Dogmaels Abbey (and the Coach House Museum) on the CADW website. 
  • More information about the Tironensian Order can be found on the Monastic Wales project website (English website only)
  • Discover more about the Coed Mor Trail in the National Nature Reserve section on the Natural Resources Wales website.
  • Discover more about the Glasshouse cafe on the Welsh Wildlife Centre website.
  • Discover more about Cardigan and the Teifi Trail on the Discover Cardigan website.

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Resources