Walk Distance: 2.9 km
Walk Duration: 1 hour 20
Ordnance Survey: OS Landranger 145 Cardigan & Mynydd Preseli; OS Explorer OL35 North Pembrokeshire
Suitable for: babies in carriers, good little walkers, all the family.
Walk Features: Fantastic views over the Preseli Hills and toward the sea, bronze age hill fort including remains of stone ramparts, banks and ditches.
‘The walk up to Foel Drygarn or Three Cairn Hill is one of my favourite walks in Pembrokeshire. Right from the little lay-by you park in, the whole walk feels amazingly remote and makes a good change from coastal walking. Foel Drygarn is a bit of a steep climb but our 2 1/2 year old managed it unaided, albeit very slowly and the views from the top were fantastic!
Foel Drygarn is an old bronze age fort and it is still pretty clear to see where it once stood from the rocky remains at the top. Legend also has it that there is a pot of gold hidden under the flat stone known as the Bwrdd y Brenin (King’s Table) there. We didn’t find it though Foel Drygarn is very atmospheric and made me think of Weathertop from Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring’s- right down to the birds who stood sentinel on the rocky outcrops making me recall Aragorn’s words:
‘ Indeed there are many birds and beasts in this country that could see us, as we stand here, from that hill-top. Not all the birds are to be trusted, and there are other spies more evil than they are.”
- The walk up to Foel Drygarn starts from a little lay-by on the road below allocated to parking (see directions). Cross over the road and up a track signposted with a footpath marker. The tall verges here are lovely in early summer – full of Fox Gloves, Campion and bursting with butterflies.
- At the top of the track is a gate and an information board about the area. Head to the other side and follow the grassy path that runs along the right hand side by the wall .
- A short way on and there is a clear trodden grassy footpath leaving the main path off to the left. Look ahead and you can see the whole trail snaking up the hillside ahead of you.
- Walk on up the path as it heads uphill. The last few meters to the 363m high summit are pretty steep but still manageable for little ones and the 360 degree view at the top is well worth it.
- For the best views, head for the trig point. If you’ve brought a picnic then there are plenty of spots a little below the trig to shelter from any wind behind the rocky outcrops. Kids will love exploring the hill top and remains of the ancient fort. There are lots of birds to spot here and it makes a great spot to take a break but do keep an eye on tiny ones – there are a few steep-ish drops from the western outcrops.
- When you’re ready, turn your back to the trig point and head south (or left from the top as you originally approached it). There is a clearly trodden path down the hillside that heads for the corner of a managed wood.
- The hill path meets a grassy wide track just in front of the forest boundary. This is the ‘Golden Road’ – an 8 mile section of walking that runs across the ridge of the Preseli Hills and once part of a longer ancient route that traders are believed to have used on their way to Ireland, possibly with gold.
- Turn left down the grassy track and follow it as it wends gently downhill back to the gate where you started. Finish the walk by heading back down the track to the parking lay-by.
Map of Route:
The walk up to Foel Drygarn starts from a long unsigned lay-by allocated for parking a short drive west from the hamlet of Ysgol y Preseli. The lay-by is directly opposite a footpath marked track – the start of the Foel Drygarn walk. The exact position of the lay-by is marked on the map below.
Rate this walk: