The Landsker Borderlands Trail
A short LDP in South Wales that explores the Landsker Borderlands of Sir Benfro / Pembrokeshire and Sir Gaerfyrddin / Carmarthenshire.
Where does the Landsker Borderlands Trail Start and Finish:Canaston Bridge, Pembrokeshire
Landsker Borderlands Trail Weather Forecast:
Where is the Landsker Borderlands Trail ?
South West Wales – between Sir Benfro / Pembrokeshire and Sir Gaerfyrddin / Carmarthenshire.
How long will it take to walk the Landsker Borderlands Trail ?
The trail can be walked in 3-4 days, or longer if you wanted.
How Long is the Landsker Borderlands Trail ?
Just over 90km
How hard is it to complete the Landsker Borderlands Trail ?
As a short LDP, its a reasonably straightforward proposition.
Recommended Landsker Borderlands Trail Maps:
What’s Public Transport Like on the Landsker Borderlands Trail ?
You can get to the start at Canaston Bridge with wither the 322 – Carmarthen to Haverfordwest and 382 – Tenby to Haverfordwest. More info – Pembrokeshire Bus Timetables
Much of the route is rural and public transport will be limited and the route is best walked in one trip.
The town of Whitland is on the West Wales line from Swansea, and makes an alternative starting / end point for those looking to use the train.
The Landsker Borderlands Trail Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download
Download file for GPS
The Landsker Borderlands Trail
The Landsker Borderland Trail is a Long Distance Trail in southern Sir Benfro / Pembrokeshire and Sir Gaerfyrddin / Carmarthenshire. It was devised by The South Pembrokeshire Action for Rural Communities to attract walkers from the busier coastal honeypots to the quieter parts of the region. Only the first section of the trail from Canaston Bridge to Cresswell Quay lies inside the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, with the remainder exploring the beautiful countryside of south Sir Benfro / Pembrokeshire and Sir Gaerfyrddin / Carmarthenshire.
The Landsker Line is an imagined boundary between the once primarily Welsh speaking areas to the north and English speaking areas to the south – also known as the Little England Beyond Wales. This anomaly came about partially when the area was settled early on in the 11th and 12th centuries when the Flemish resident in England were repatriated here, though there are possibly differences that predate this as it was settled by the Irish and the Norse. Whatever the true origins, it’s quite staggering that this linguistic boundary has remained in place for near on a thousand years, with the differences clearly apparent in today’s Census data.
Landsker Borderlands Trail Route Summary
The entire trail is only around 90km in length and can be split into 4 convenient sections which we outline below. However, the strong walker could easily complete the route in 3 days by extending the first day to Reynalton (29km) and then onward to Llanboidy (35km) and the final day to Canaston Bridge (29km).
The walker will need to be aware that apart from a few villages, facilities along the Landsker Borderland Trail are few and far between. There are few options for a leisurely pub lunch on the way, which means you’ll need to be reasonably self-sufficient between the nightly stops. Likewise, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve stocked up on water as there may not be easy re-supply points on the way. While modern water filters are very effective, I wouldn’t want to drink water from lowland sources unless I was desperate.
Following the route shouldn’t prove too difficult to the experienced walker. It does have its own distinctive way-marker
1 – Canaston Bridge – Cresswell Quay
Distance – 23.5 km, Height Gained – 385 metres, Time – 7 hours
The initial section is the only part of the route in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The Moryd Daugleddau, or Daugleddau Estuary sits apart from the rest of the National Park to the north of Penfro / Pembroke. Rather than the rugged coastal terrain that forms the vast majority of the park, here we get an estuarine environment that’s more rural and gentle in nature. The estuary of the Afon Daugleddau heads far inland, a river valley that flooded after the last ice age that has split the county in two. While crossed today by a number of bridges, the walker will pass numerous former ferry crossings on this section such as Landshipping and Lawrenny Quay, none of which operate today. Except for one short section, the walk follows the shore of the estuary closely for the most of the route.
2 – Cresswell Quay to Tavernspite
Distance – 20 km, Height Gained – 375 metres, Time – 6 hours
The second section crosses southern Pembrokeshire, leaving the estuary of the Daugleddau behind and keeping inland for the remainder of the trail. This section, in common with much of the Landsker Borderlands Trail, passes no facilities on the way with the walker needing to be self sufficient. The route passes through the small hamlet of Reynalton where you can visit the Grade II listed St James’ church before heading to the end of the section at Tavernspite where you’ll find the only hospitality on this section at the Alpha Inn.
3 – Tavernspite to Llanboidy
Distance – 20 km, Height Gained – 410 metres, Time – 6 hours
This section heads north and into Sir Gaerfyrddin / Carmarthenshire. Setting off via the hamlet of Llanpeter Velfrey, the trail soon leaves Pembrokeshire as you enter Hendy-Gwyn / Whitland. Thankfully, this section does provide some facilities for the weary walker, with the walker spoilt for choice at the metropolis of Whiltand! From here, the trail takes you to Whitland Abbey on the way to the day’s end at Llanboidy, where you’ll find the Lamb Inn.
4 – Llanboidy to Canaston Bridge
Distance – 28 km, Height Gained – 660 metres, Time – 8 hours
Setting off from Llanboidy, the final section is also the longest of the trail. The first village it passes through is Login, which is today just a few houses but used to have a station on the long defunct Whitland & Cardigan Railway. After around 10km – you’ll arrive at the village of Efailwen which boasts a popular roadside cafe, Caffi Beca, hospitality the Landsker Borderland Trail walker should greedily accept. The village is associated with the Rebecca Riots, when local farmers with some dressed as women, decided to attack the toll gates, as they believed the tolls were an unfair taxation. Towards the final few kilometres of the trail, while it doesn’t pass directly through Llawhaden, it’s a worthy diversion to see Llawhaden Castle. This is another testimony to these lands having been a frontier land, much in the same way as the Welsh Marches.
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