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Wild moorland with an ancient history

The Preseli Mountains

The Preseli Mountains, or Preseli Hills, whichever you prefer, rise out of the landscape to 536m in the northern half of Pembrokeshire and are in complete contrast to the relative lowlands of the south.

The landscape is wild moorland, heath and grassland and is home to a wide range of plants and invertebrates some of them quite rare.

The hills are the ideal location for some great walking away from the coastline. For the best views in Pembrokeshire, pull on your sturdy shoes and take the short walk to Foel Eryr where the 360-degree panorama leads the eye across the sea to Ireland and Snowdonia, if it’s a clear day.

For a longer stroll right across the spine of the Preseli Hills try The Golden Road. At 8 miles, this ancient track follows a route that is said to date back to the Neolithic period, 5,000 years ago and the main route for travellers in prehistory to and from Ireland.

Dotted across the hills are prehistoric remains, burial cairns dating back to the bronze age and Iron Age hill forts. The fantastic hilltop of Foel Drygarn is a real must see. The Bronze Age remains of stone ramparts, banks and ditches circle the crest adding to the surrounding landscape of natural cliffs and crags.

The Preseli Mountains are sparsely populated but there are a few hamlets and villages dotted over the hills.  The village of Pontfaen in the Gwaun Valley is home to the famous ‘Bessie’s pub where beer is still served from the barrel and in a jug and also Rosebush, with its community pub made of zinc.

The Preseli hills are not high – just 536 metres at their highest point – but they make up for lack of stature in austere drama.

Kevin Rushby, in The Guardian