Foel Eryr is the second highest peak of the rolling Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, translating as the ‘Hill of the Eagle’ in English. While you’re unlikely to see an eagle, it's worth keeping your eyes on the skies for the buzzards, kestrels, ravens, skylarks, and kites that swoop overhead.
This walk isn’t as wooded as others on this list - so there will be fewer leaves crunching underfoot - but in the crisp autumn air, there aren’t many places on earth that can compare to the summits of the Preseli Hills. This is often something of a windy walk but the view from the top is utterly spectacular, the 360 panoramic taking in views that stretch out to sea and miles and miles of glorious open countryside.
Start in the car park and just off the B4329, which cuts over the Preseli Hills. Cross over the road to follow the grassy footpath. Follow the path up to Foel Eryr, which is clearly marked, so it's fairly simple to find your way. You won’t be able to take in those panoramic views right away - you’ll need to stick with it but on the way up you’ll pass through Bronze Age cairns on the hillside. As you make your way up the views gradually become broader and broader until you reach a National Park observation point, from which you can see as far as Ireland on a clear day.
It also marks where all the various landmarks are on the horizon - which is great fun pointing them out with the children. Also at the summit is a Bronze Age burial site marked out by a stone enclosure. Make you’re way back down again the way you came once you’ve taken in the views.
Distance: 3-4 miles, about two hours
Start/finish: You can walk from the Bluestone resort or from Blackpool Mill
Refreshments: Pop into Blackpool mill
for a drink and a spot of lunch or dinner (booking for evening food is required).
Minwear Wood is another autumn walk on our doorstep, just to the west of the Bluestone resort. Like Canaston Wood, you can walk to Minwear Woods from Bluestone - take the same route from Bartholomew Rise, turning right when you met the bigger path and then turning left onto the path into the woods. From there you’ll meet the Knight’s Way, but this time turn left and it will take you to the beautiful Blackpool Mill, which dates back more than 200 years.
Head left, to the south of the banks of the picturesque Eastern Cleddau, and you’ll be walking into Minwear Woods - a mix of conifers and broad-leaved trees - oak, ash, and hazel. It is a great place to see woodland birds, including tiny long-tailed tits, great spotted woodpeckers, and treecreepers. There’s a choice of paths to take, but the main one will take you in a loop of the woods and back to Blackpool Mill - you can download a map of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s official walk here - but it’s a simple circle to follow.
The main path will take you near Minwear Farm and the 12th-century Minwear Church, once controlled by the Knight’s of St John - who created the Knight’s Way. Keep an eye out for the medieval ruins of Sisters’ House (not open Savour the breathtaking moment you arrive and enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Bosherston Lily Ponds