Cresswell River

Half Day + Walk

DISTANCE/DURATION: 5.3 miles (8.5 km) 2 hours 30 minutes
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Service bus Cresswell Quay 361, Bloomfield Dial a Ride (01834 860293)
CHARACTER: Moderate grade, river crossing (stepping stones), river bank, open fields and livestock, steep paths in woodland areas, 2.8 miles (4.5 km) quiet lanes, can be wet and muddy in places
LOOK OUT FOR: Waterbirds • panoramic views • St Caradog’s Church • fly gate used for sheep dipping woodland birds
CAUTION: River crossing at Cresswell Quay can only be undertaken approx. 2 hours each side of low tide.

Thanks to the branching network of creeks around the Daugleddau nowhere in mid Pembrokeshire is more than 10 miles away from tidal water.

The Daugleddau and its tributaries are a classic ria, a series of river valleys formed before the last Ice Age that were then “drowned” when sea levels rose.

The rise and fall of the tide was a boon to the people of the county in the days before the arrival of the railways as small ships could sail far inland.

Goods like coal and quarried stone were transported from small quays like the one at Cresswell and its neighbour Lawrenny.

Villages like Landshipping, Reynalton, Loveston and Yerbeston had their own coal pits that kept the quays busy.

The route between Cresswell Bridge and Lawrenny crosses rolling farmland and offers panoramic views of the Cresswell River.

When the tide is low its mudflats and salt marsh are a perfect habitat for wading birds and wildfowl.

There are nearly always herons, while if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of the brilliant blue and orange of a fast-flying kingfisher.

At Lawrenny, a picturesque village close to where the Carew and Cresswell rivers join the Daugleddau, look out for the Anglo-Norman church.

Built in the 12th century, St Caradog’s towers above its little community.

Like Cresswell Quay, Lawrenny’s landing stage was once a busy port.

Ships were built at Lawrenny Quay and local coal and limestone were exported to harbours along the Bristol Channel.

Coastal trading declined after the Victorian railway age and Lawrenny is now a leisure sailing centre.

From the church there are stunning views of the Carew River and the village of West Williamston.

Find this Walk

Grid ref: SN032071


  • Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work
  • Guard against all risk of fire
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Keep your dogs under close control
  • Keep to public paths across farmland
  • Take your litter home