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Circular Walk; Houghton, Port Lion, LLangwm Ferry & Hill Mountain

This is an attractive walk, of just over 6 miles, which has the attraction of starting quite close to Haroldston. There is a mixture of woodland, open countryside and river, with some cracking views.

Directions to the Start of Walk; OS Map Ref 985072

Turn left out of the end of the drive. Go to the end of St Issells Avenue and turn left at the Tee junction. Drive for 5 miles, through the villages of Freystrop, Sardis and Hill Mountain (not particularly hilly or mountainous) until you reach Houghton. A short distance after the village sign, turn left into Rhoose Ferry Road. In about 100 yards, this quiet lane widens out. Park here.

The Walk

houghton map

Continue down the lane, in the same direction for nearly a mile, passing Benton Farm and two small lakes. Turn left opposite Rhoose Ferry Farm into the driveway to Benton Castle. In about 100 yards, the driveway branches. Take the right hand branch and follow this well maintained road for about mile. Pass Benton Castle and follow the waymarks to a grassy lane. Continue on along the wooded track through Benton Wood, going straight on at the junction, until you arrive at a sharp left hand bend with double gates. Before reaching the gates, bear right and cross a stile into a large field.

View of The PreselisFollow the right hand hedge, noting the views of the River Cleddau and Preseli Mountains beyond, and then proceed through a gateway and cattle grid onto a wide farm track. Follow this for a short way until you reach 3 gates, which are side by side. To the right of the centre gate, there is a stile on a bank. Cross this and follow the narrow path through the trees (watch out for low branches!), continuing over a second stile until you reach a forestry access road.

Turn left here, then immediately right down the path indicated by a finger post. At the bottom of this path, the stile leads onto Port Lion beach. Turn left and follow the margin of the beach until you reach a house (if the tide is in, this beach will be covered but there is an alternative path which winds through the trees).

Bear right across the bottom of the lane and head towards a waymarked path which climbs alongside a chain link fence. The path curves to the left and terminates at a stile which leads to the road at the end of Llangwm Ferry. Cross this road, bearing slightly left to a stile which leads into a field. Follow the left hand hedge to a further stile and onto a quiet residential lane.

Turn left and follow the lane for quarter of a mile to the tee junction, where you turn right. Before reaching the river bridge, turn left, as indicated by the finger post and walk with the stream on your right to the footbridge. Cross here and then in a few yards turn left and cross back again via a further bridge. Follow the concrete service road to the kissing gate at the end, which leads into a field.

Follow the right hand hedge, crossing a bridge and going through 2 bridle gates. Bear slightly right, aiming for a gap in the trees marked by a post. Continue in the same direction, across the next field to where the hedgerows converge. There is a bridle gate here, concealed by the bushes and is about 10 yards to the left of the farm gate. Go on with the hedge on your left, to the end of the next field, passing through another bridle gate and over a footbridge.

Turn immediately left, as indicated by the waymark, and follow this steepish path to a large field. Officially, the path goes straight across this field but you may find it easier to follow the left hand margin until you reach the farm at Little Dumpledale (at this point, it is worth looking behind you at another excellent view). Follow the waymarks through 2 bridle gates then turn right onto a track which shortly leads to the main farm access road. Turn left and follow the road to Ashdale Lane.

Turn right and walk to the tee junction. Turn left and then in a few yards turn right, before reaching the chapel, into the tarmacked drive as indicated by the finger post.

When you reach Hearson Farm, keep to the left of the yard and follow the track for 75 yards to the waymark on a post. Pass to the right of the post and continue in the same general direction through a bridle gate to another bridle gate which is to the left of the lake. Go through the gate and follow the grassy avenue to a further gate which lets into a field. (On one occasion, at the end of a wet winter, this avenue has been flooded. However, you can divert around this via the field to the left). Cross the field in front to a farm gate which leads to a further field. Then, follow the hedge on your left to the corner where you will find a path which crosses two footbridges to a farm lane.

Turn left and follow the lane to the village of Houghton.   When you reach the road, continue in the same general direction, past the school to the crossroads.   Cross over and return to your vehicle.