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Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] [NO] [MY] Topic: PEMBROKESHIRE-WALES  (Read 3649 times)

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Offline MPG

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« on: Oct 06, 2008, 03:34 PM »
So....I'd read the stories, seen the pictures and heard peoples lyrical waxings. Pembrokeshire....the small bulbous knob of land protruding from the bottom of Wales like a stubby little peninsula. Doesn't look very big, not very hilly, not heavily populated but not too far from civilisation i.e. Morrison's and affordable groceries!

We are all set for off at 9am but find I have picked up a thorn in my new, barely scrubbed in rear tire.
Half a bottle of Ultraseal and a quick pump and we are off.
The wife on a black ER6F and me on the Versys. 4 panniers packed to the zips tips with enough gear for 2 weeks walking in all weathers, some feat, with one of the wife's panniers just taking boots and trainers.
It's Saturday, and at 10am it's getting busy. With few filtering opportunities due to the panniers, progress is numbingly slow. We don't hit Bala in mid north Wales until 1.30pm.
We hang a left off the busy A5 onto the beautiful sweeping A494 past Lake Tegid and through the pretty little town of Bala. Slipping through picturesque Dolgellau (pronounced...doll-geth-lie) onto the equally beautiful A487.
The roads throughout this area are nothing short of superb. Smooth, with good camber and very few poor repairs. I would class 95% of the main A roads as excellent.
This speeds things up and we hit Machynlleth by 3pm.

The day is warming and the sun still shines but cloud is increasing from the north-west but the sun is in the south and that's the way we are heading.
Staying on the A487 we are now in sight of the Irish Sea and follow this coastal route all the way down past Aberystwyth alongside Cardigan Bay. Sweet little villages to stop off and have a coffee with increasingly friendly people the farther south we go.
One thing to note about Wales, you 'will' pay to park just about anywhere. In some places the Welsh people are petitioning for free parking...good luck to them. By comparison, in the whole of Scotland, the only place we pay to park is in Aviemore which is 60p ($1.20) all day.
At Cardigan we turn off and head due south on the A478 now on smaller roads, more bumpy and more highly populated too so the number of large shiny manhole covers are increasing.

We hit Narberth at 8pm after many lengthy rests to absorb the scenery. Over 240 miles of wonderful scenery and picturesque villages, smooth winding roads of very high quality plus petrol had just come down to 109p per litre. The static caravan was pre-heated for us and with a flat wide-screen tv, DVD and satellite we were in for a comfortable stay and at ?190 for 2 weeks we found this hard to beat!

The whole area is littered with A and B roads of varying quality. Most A roads are excellent. Most B roads are very good 'BUT' and this is a very big and very important but....this is farming country with a high degree of cattle farming. Many of the roads are almost permanently covered in "mud". Almost every farm you pass has made the road dangerous for bikes. The main A roads are much better but can still throw a muddy surface at you unexpectedly.
We were lucky and had 13 warm sunny days out of 14 but riding around Pembrokeshire in the rain on a bike should be avoided. This is perhaps why we saw very few bikers except locals. As you move further north away from the mud the bikers suddenly appear again blasting around the phenomenally good roads that Wales has to offer.
On dry days, the coastal lanes can be superb offering exciting views with little traffic and a surprisingly good surface albeit often muddy!!
We did the Devils Staircase from Tregaron to Llanwrtyd Wells. Very narrow but mainly good roads, very twisty, very steep, lots of tight hairpin bends take you through some dramatic scenery over open mountain moorland between some large lakes and reservoirs which are just a 20 minute excursion from the main route.

Anyone who likes the great outdoors and brisk hill walking will love Pembrokeshire. The famous coastal path is nothing short of stunning. Running all the way around the coast for 186 miles it is some of the most beautiful landscape I have seen in the UK. The stories are true.
This is a good site to show you the beauty of the place just click the little pics to get bigger ones.

The unfenced path runs "very" close to the edge of sheer 300ft+ cliffs many times so care is needed as is a head for heights.
The very narrow path is mostly mud so is fine in the dry but gets very slippery when wet, so, proper walking boots with good tread are essential.
Also bus services are very scarce out near the coast in the more remote areas so expecting a bus to take weary walkers back to their car is a hit and miss affair and timetables and routes should be studied beforehand....sometimes only 3 buses per day!

The beaches have to be seen to be believed. Big and empty, not so much beaches more deserts.

Its gorgeous.
Its on your doorstep.

>35ft static caravan to sleep 4-6 can be found for ?14 ($28) per day or less out of season.
For 4 people that's only ?3.50 ($7) per day or ?24.50 ($49) per week. You would be lucky to get a 3 star B&B for one night for one person for ?25!<

Petrol prices are very good in the towns Oct-08 but not too bad in the more remote places, ?109 in Morrison's at Haverford West but only ?112 in Llandovery in the middle of nowhere!
Some of the best bird watching and whale watching in the UK.
We walked 10 miles one afternoon along part of this famous coastal path and didn't meet a single person, we had the whole place to ourselves for 3 hours.....bliss!
We stayed in Narberth
Lots of specialist shops for such a small place. Very clean, very friendly locals. Good central position for visiting whole of Pembrokeshire.
Favourite establishment:

These people print extremely vivid and ultra sharp images onto aluminum. They have a picture of some daisies on a sheet about 6ft x 4ft adjacent to their studio which has been outside in all weathers for 3 years and it still looks like it was printed yesterday!

Would we do it again? We are going to book a 2 week trip for next autumn, somewhere out near St David's just south of Fishguard. We'll go by car, take the kids, then it doesn't matter if the weather turns out a bit moist!
(Oh did I mention we didn't take the kids? One was at college and the other at school being looked after by her grandma!)
If I agreed with you, we would both be wrong!

Offline stevemersey

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« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2008, 05:58 PM »
Sounds great. My wife says Pembroke is beautiful, I have never been. Mrs Mersey and I are experiencing no kids for the first time..isnt it great!!!!.


Offline CraigyBaby

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« Reply #2 on: Mar 13, 2010, 05:52 PM »
Ye its gorg! Regually go there! Im so lucky to live in South Wales with such amazing roads and scenes, if your in pembroke again its worth a bit of travelling to brynamman,ammanford and take on the black mountain! Top gear are ALWAYS filming there and its a road that will REALLY test your skills, also Elan valley a bit further up in aberystwyth but again the most amazing scenes.

Totally unspoilt lands, good challenging roads!

Offline Woody1966!

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« Reply #3 on: Oct 19, 2017, 10:44 PM »
Great area to visit.... just dont get a hotel in Tenby...if you want to get any sleep before you ride your bike. If your plans are to do something other than riding your bike then Tenby is your place !


Online Bart

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« Reply #4 on: Oct 19, 2017, 11:00 PM »
As I live there and concur with your findings I'm going to ask Admin to remove this thread, then perhaps it can be kept a secret a bit longer :001:
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Offline Woody1966!

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« Reply #5 on: Oct 21, 2017, 10:05 PM »
*Originally Posted by Bart [+]
As I live there and concur with your findings I'm going to ask Admin to remove this thread, then perhaps it can be kept a secret a bit longer :001:

 :001: :001:

Offline Clunkyboy

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 22, 2017, 11:16 AM »
Great report, thanks
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Offline runtothehills

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« Reply #7 on: Feb 16, 2020, 11:08 PM »
old thread but worth revisiting..... like Pembrokeshire. 
12  1/2 years later, strangely unchanged it still mostly resembles that accurate and delightful description by MPG. (Kinda hoping he sees this and replies, come back!)
It is pretty special round here, and you get to spend time in another country, without even needing your passport.
When you go back across the border be sure to tell everyone that the roads are dangerously destroyed by tractors & tankers (Mansel Davies), it rains constantly and horizontally, the locals are surly, truculent and as welcoming as a rugby scrum.
And leave it for those of us who love it all the time.
See you on the roads round here, on summers evenings it can be like the howling...... the wolf's call to hunt in the sunset light,
engines harmonise in the chase of the thrill.
Ride into the thunder.
Sometimes it takes a winding road to get your head straight.

Offline Shandy

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« Reply #8 on: Feb 19, 2020, 01:25 PM »
Just been exploring on Google maps, and it does indeed look wonderful.

remember this one for a weekend with the wife in the future  :37:
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Offline jim ballantyne

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« Reply #9 on: Feb 20, 2020, 10:09 PM »
Glad you enjoyed it lots of great riding in Wales and I will certainly be back there again come summertime