This is another difficult section. Footpaths are often in poor condition and this section has not been checked for some years.
Leave Carmarthen by the Johnstown road. Just after the bridge over the dual carriageway, turn right along the Alltycnap Road, which goes through a small industrial estate. Climb the hill through the woods and past Penlan farm. After about a mile, turn left down the strangely-named Heol Smyrna, then at the next farm take the waymarked footpath to the right. Turn left at the metalled road and left again at Ffordd farm to follow another waymarked and stiled footpath past Lanygors, across the fields to the lane past Ystradwalter and the standing stones (actually a Stone Age burial mound) at Dolaumeinion.
Follow the footpath down to the local big house, Fern Hill. Here you cross the parish boundary and there are no more footpaths: the lanes past Glogue, Pengelli-uchaf and Waundas are deliberately blocked or overgrown and impassable. If you follow the road down to Penycoed, at the T junction it is possible to go through the gate straight ahead and along the lane to Coomb Hendre, but this is not a public right of way.
The lane rejoins the road and goes downhill. Ignore turnings to the right and left and cross the stream to walk up a steep slope through the trees. Where the drive to Pentrewyn goes down straight ahead, turn right, then at the next crossroads bear left down the lane to Abercowin. The ruined church of St Teilo, Llandeilo Abercywyn, is through the farmyard. There are detailed descriptions of this and its sister church, Llanfihangel Abercywyn, in Lost Churches of Wales and the Marches.
Traditionally, pilgrims forded the Taf and Cywyn estuaries here on foot. We were assured by the farmer that the crossing was possible at low tide, and that he often walked it. It isn't safe, and you do in any case need the permission of the farmer, as there is now no right of way across.
The OS map shows a footpath across the marshes but this is difficult to follow. Go back up the road following the Coast Path signs looking out for two more standing stones on the marshes to your left. The road bears left at Ty-rhos and crosses the Cywyn.In about ¾ mile the road bends sharply to the right. Take the drive down to Trefenty farm. Turn left through the farmyard and go through the gate ahead of you and to the right, then follow the track down to St Michael’s Church.
Go back up the path to Trefenty farm, looking out for the remains of the castle to the west of the farmhouse. About ¼ mile along the drive the Coast Path turns off to the left and leads over stiles and across the fields to Pantdwfn Farm, once part of the grange, then on to the track to the St Clears footbridge. You can follow the Coast Path from the road above Trefenty if you do not want to visit the second church.
|Carmarthen to St Clear’s|