Cilgerran to Llechryd walk along the River Teifi
A nine mile walk around Cilgerran
(Photos © urban75, June 2009)
A lovely riverside amble to Llechryd on a scorchio afternoon.
You can pick up the river path easily from Cilgerran (just follow the sign posts) and within minutes you're in a deep gorge.
The hillsides were once extensively mined, and there's several disused quarries visible along the route. Here you can see an old tram rail.
The tidal river Teifi used to be navigable by lighters as far as Llechryd until the 1840s, but poor management of the slate waste resulted in the river choking up by Cilgerran Gorge, pushing the movement of the tidal limit downstream to Cilgerran Castle.
It's a lovely walk, although I imagine things would get seriously boggy come winter time .
Approaching Llechryd Bridge, on an ancient Drovers' route. The current bridge dates from the 17th century and - thanks to the efforts of 19th century quarrymen - can be wholly submerged by the river at times of high flood.
Old slate quarry by the river.
Slate was first extracted from the area in the early 17th Century, with the first known operator being a Thomas Edwards who rented land off local landowner John Symmons in 1766.
The site changed hands several times over the years, with much of the slate produced being sold to businesses in Swansea and Carmarthen, or exported to Waterford in Ireland.
Business declined from the 1840s onwards, and by 1909 slate production had finished in the Fforest Quarries, with the Cilgerran Quarries hanging on until the 1940s.
We stopped off for a picnic on the Llechryd Bridge, wolfing into fresh local bread and cheese. Lovely!
Despite being a tiny village, Llechryd boasts no less than three churches.
Llechryd gets its name from the Welsh for 'Slate Ford' ('Llech + Rhyd'), and there used to be a short canal running parallel to the river for transporting fresh water to nearby tin works.
These works were closed in the late 18th century by the owner, Sir Benjamin Hammett, and the canal has slowly been filled in over the years.
Although it was a hot day, we were constantly stalked by what looked like a sea mist on the hillsides.
By Llwyncelyn we had to pick up a permissive footpath but we got the strong impression that the landowner wasn't particularly keen on walkers - it took us ages to find the path and it was near-impassable at times.
But we persevered and eventually made it through to Penrallteifi. Take that landowner!
More lurking mist.
Some bulls giving us the eye as we neared Cilgerran.
I don't think this one liked us much.
« Wales photos home West Wales home »