Foel Drygarn

Foel Drygarn

We hadn’t planned this walk up Foel Drygarn but it was a nice day and it seemed a shame to waste it.  And besides, there’s something really good about throwing some gear in the back of the car and setting off first thing on the spur of the moment isn’t there?  Unplanned and unscheduled, but freeing and liberating.  It just felt right.

It had rained the night before so we were expecting it to be wet or boggy but didn’t really care.  The sun was shining and that was all that mattered.  And as it turned out the feet didn’t get wet anyway!

The drive over the Preselis at that time of the morning was an absolute delight.  And, apart from a really nice couple of fellow walkers on their way down, we had the place to ourselves.

Whatever the feeling or circumstances, the Foel Drygarn walk will give you that sense of remoteness without having to work too hard for it.

This is just a short hike – roughly 35 mins of walking in total and a little over one and a half miles.  But it’s no less enjoyable for it.

You can have a lot of fun up here and it’s a great place for a picnic or just a coffee with plenty of places to sit.  Just sit and stare.  On clear days you also get a 360 degree panoramic view.

It’s a really interesting place too, with a huge amount of ancient history and some incredible rock formations.  If this sounds like your kind of place here are some tips on how to do it.

How to get to Foel Drygarn

From the North 
  • Take the A478 from Cardigan to Crymych. 
  • Drive through Crymych and just as you leave the village take the turning right towards Mynachlogddu. 
  • Stay on this road (up and over the hill). 
  • At the bottom of the hill there is a sharp corner left. 
  • You will find some laybys on your left just a few hundred yards from this corner.
From the South or West or East 
  • From the A40 and at the Penblewyn roundabout take the A478 to Crymych.
  • Just at the edge of the village of Crymych there is a turning left to Mynachlogddu. 
  • Take this road and stay on it (up and over the hill). 
  • At the bottom of the hill there is a sharp corner left. 
  • You will find some laybys to park on your left a few hundred yards from this corner.

Where to park for Foel Drygarn

There’s no real car park here but enough room for several cars in the layby right opposite the start of the walk near Blaen Llethr Farm.

  • Map ref. SN165 330
  • Grid Ref SN16497 33020
  • Nearest Post Code SA66 7SN

The Foel Drygarn walk route

Right opposite the layby is where the walk starts.  Cross the road and follow the signpost up the track.  It can be quite wet here so waterproof boots are advisable in dry weather.  They’re essential when it’s been raining!

Carry on up the lane until you reach the information board which is well worth a read.   

You’ll see a gate in front of you here.  Head through it and stay to the right initially before bearing to your left.

The path is fairly tricky to identify at first but it’s obvious where you are headed.

It’s actually quite difficult to get lost here unless you’re under a lot of cloud cover.  But on a clear day it’s impossible not to find your way to the top.  It’s even easier on the way back down as the path is far more distinguished. 

You’ll come across a couple of nice streams which you’ll have to hop over on the route.

As the path steepens you’ll find yourself passing through some pretty interesting rock formations.

Foel Drygarn Cairns

Then you’ll see the summit.  The plateau is large enough to have no concerns of falling off here.  So large in fact that there’s enough room for a trig point as well as the 3 cairns.  These make for great photographs, if you can just fit them all in somehow!  A drone would probably be of great help here.

Foel Drygarn Trig point

If you’re anything like us you’ll be drawn to the trig like a magnet.  The views are spectacular from here.

What you can see

To the West most of the Preseli Hills range.  Right along the Golden Road from Carn Menyn up to Foel Feddau and on to Foel Cwmcerwyn (the highest point in Pembrokeshire).  Further to the West on a clear day you can see right out to Dinas Head and the Irish Sea.

Foel Drygarn walk statistics

  • Summit = 365 m 
  • Prominence = 46 m
  • Distance = 1.7 miles approximately
  • Walk Time = 35 minutes approximately
  • Total Time = At least 1 hour
  • Map Ref SN 15762 33600

Thoughts

You can do this as walk on its own or combine it with Carn Menyn (about a mile from here) or as a detour on the golden road route.  Chances are you’ll meet some really nice like-minded people doing the same things as you.

The half an hour of walking easily becomes an hour by the time you’ve taken some photos.  More if you open the flask.  But you could spend longer here too. Sitting and staring at those views.  Observing – sheep and birds and clouds. Studying – rocks and paths and direction and even a bit of climbing. We’re no climbers but we just can’t help ourselves here!

It’s easy to feel connected to nature in this place.  Quiet, peaceful, remote and desolate.  Just the birds and the sheep and the rocks for company and green fields for as far as the eyes can see.

There’s also a real sense of power here.  Maybe this is why the fort and dwellings were built here.  Or perhaps it’s because they were.  We don’t know.  But we do know that this is an awesome place in the true sense of the word. 

More Info

Foel Drygarn is an Iron Age hillfort with three Bronze Age burial cairns and translates into English as – hill of three cairns. 

It’s the most easterly summit of the Preseli Hills which is within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Other walks in Pembrokeshire nearby include:

If you are visiting Pembrokeshire now or in the near future please be aware that social distancing rules still apply in Wales.  Please keep yourselves and others safe.

gov.wales/coronavirus-social-distancing-guidance

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8 thoughts on “Foel Drygarn”

  1. Another great informative post on great places to visit in Wales. Will add this to my never-ending list for when I return!

  2. Just you, the birds and the sheep. That sums it up doesn’t it. What more do you need. Trig points always mean great views don’t they. Another lovely hike.

  3. Love this hike! Though I didn’t see a welsh waterfall did I? 🙂 but either way, I love the feeling of remoteness without trying too hard 😉 hehe

    More outdoorsy posts please!

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