Crymych and Boncath
Crymych and Boncath
Crymych is a large village in north Pembrokeshire in the shelter of The Preseli Mountains. Crymych sits astride the A478, the road that connects Tenby with Cardigan.
Boncath, from the Welsh for buzzard, lies 4 miles to the north of Crymych and is surrounded by many fine manor houses, the most impressive to be seen being Ffynone designed and built by John Nash in 1792 and Cilwendig, a Georgian house built by Morgan Jones.
Crymych is widely regarded as the capital of Preseli, the area around The Preseli Mountains. This is a place where the Welsh culture is strong and where the Welsh language is the first language of most of the residents.
Crymych grew up around the railway in the 19th century. Although the railway has long gone, it is today a busy agricultural centre and an ideal base for exploring the surrounding Preseli Hills. Nearby, Y Freni Fawr presents a challenging walk to its summit at 1300 feet where Roman Emperor Magnus Maximus allegedly came to hunt.
Boncath also grew up around the railway and became a larger settlement with the extension of the Whitland & Taf Vale railway to Cardigan. Boncath railway station, opened in September 1886, was a two-platform stop between Crymmych Arms and Kilgerran Halt on the Whitland and Cardigan Railway, known as Cardi Bach. The line was closed due to the 1963 Beeching Axe.
Crymych straddles the Celtic Trail, a long distance cycle route created by Sustrans. The Celtic Trail starts at the Severn Bridge and carries on to loop around the coast of Pembrokeshire. It follows little-used country lanes and links together as many interesting places and landscapes as possible.
Crymych also has a small leisure centre with swimming pool.
Crymych is the best starting point for a walk over The Preselis called The Golden Road, an ancient trackway along the ridge of the mountains. Highlights on the route include Foel Drygarn, a Bronze Age and Iron Age hill fort and Carn Menyn where you can see outcrops of spotted dolerite, thought to be the place where the Stonehenge Bluestone originates from.
In Boncath a fabulous concert hall has been built at a nearby mansion house, Rhosygilwen with a varied programme of classical and folk music.
The Cilwendeg Shell House Hermitage, to the east of Boncath, is a most remarkable ornamental grotto, and a rare survival in West Wales. It was built in the late 1820s for Morgan Jones the Younger (1787-1840), who inherited the Cilwendeg estate upon the death of his uncle.
The Cilwendeg Shell House Hermitage and the Capel Colman Church are both open for public viewing
Food & drink
Crymych has a pub and rugby club open for visitors as well as a cafe and takeaway. There is a small supermarket in the village.
Boncath has a pub offering meals with further pubs in Newchapel (1 ½ miles) and Abercych (4 miles) Boncath does have a small village shop.
The accommodation in Crymych and Boncath is limited. There are a few B&Bs and guesthouses in neighbouring villages but the nearest hotels would be in Cardigan or Llechryd. There aren’t any campsites and touring caravan parks very close but there are quite a few good self-catering cottages in neighbouring villages. Search for accommodation.