The Golden Road, Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire
Key information: The Golden Road, Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire
This is not a long walk, nor a particularly strenuous one, but it is unbelievably atmospheric, steeped in history and ringing with legends.
It follows an ancient Neolithic track across the ridges of the Preseli hills. Believed to have served travellers as a route to and from Ireland 5000 years ago, the wild moorland and spectacular views provide a backdrop to a walk which is spiritually uplifting and at the same time, humbling in its tones of the past. In the words of Wynford Vaughan Thomas : "Everywhere you feel the presence of the megalithic tomb-builders, of the Iron Age warriors who piled the stones for the great hillforts and of kindly and absent-minded old Celtic saints." The route takes you over Carn Menyn, a rocky outcrop of dolemite, or bluestone, the source of the stone used in Stonehenge. Maybe the Pembrokeshire bluestones travelled this well trodden byway, on their way to creating the famous landmark in the south of England. The landscape is singing with legend: Geoffrey of Monmouth, believed that Merlin the Magician may well have been involved in transporting the bluestones from these hills. Close to Carn Bica stands a ring of stones known as Beddarthur, legend claims it to be the last resting place of King Arthur and his knights. There are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on Foeldrygarn and there is a burial cairn, dating from the Bronze Age on the summit of Foel Eryr, on the Western edge of the Golden Road. Legend and history; the distinction blurs as you walk along the Golden Road and cannot help but wonder, in whose footsteps you are treading. Buzzard and Red Kite patrol the skies, wild ponies roam the slopes and the song of the skylark rises from the gorse. It was Easter Sunday. My father and I exchanged Easter good wishes with a French couple who were walking the route in the opposite direction. We shared our Welsh cakes with them under the bluestone outcrop and paused together for a moment to appreciate the magic of the past and the weight of the centuries. Then we headed on west, picking our way over the stony ground, walking amongst Kings. Sharon Jenkins Carter Easter 2012.
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest14
- Human interest12
- Negative points0
- Total rating86
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
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