Llangwm/Blacktar Point

Short Walk

DISTANCE/DURATION: 3.5 miles (5.6 km) 1 hour 30 minutes.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Service bus Llangwm 308/309.
CHARACTER: Easy to moderate, fields and livestock, woodland, can be muddy in places, 0.6 mile (1.0 km) minor road walking.
LOOK OUT FOR: Views of Foel Cwmcerwyn (the highest point in Pembrokeshire), woodland and estuary scenic river views, waders, ducks, herons and yachts.

The landscape around the village of Llangwm is classic Daugleddau country, rolling farmland, woodland and great views over the Cleddau, part of the network of river valleys that were flooded by the rising sea at the end of the last Ice Age.

The walk is very different depending on the state of the tide. When the water is at its lowest point mud and marsh are exposed attracting wading birds like redshank and curlew to feed.

The names Black Tar and Blacktar Point are a reminder of the days when the river around Llangwm would have been busy with fishermen. Tar was used to keep boats waterproof.

Herrings were big business for the ports of western Britain until the huge shoals of fish became steadily less common around the end of the 19th century. Pembrokeshire had a large fleet of small boats that chased the little fish during the summer months and Llangwm was one of the herring ports.

Once landed the fish had to be processed in a hurry. The majority would have been salted in large barrels, while some would have been smoked.

Both the men and women of Llangwm were involved in fishing. As well as herring, the locals caught salmon and sea trout and shellfish – especially oysters.

Pembrokeshire historian Brian John says the women had control of the way the catch was sold and that ‘the whole village was organized on matriarchal lines in a tight, almost closed society with its own dialect’.

So peaceful today, the waterway must have been a very busy place during the 19th century. As well as the many small fishing boats there were barges full of coal coming and going to be loaded onto larger ships in deeper water at Llangwm Pool.

Find this Walk

Grid ref: SM990093


  • 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