River Teifi Trail
1 From the town centre, head towards the bypass on the outskirts, taking the wide pavement on the right-hand side. Enjoy the splendid views of the nature reserve – look for wintering ducks and herons. After about five minutes, walk down a flight of steps on your right, and walk underneath the bypass bridge.
2 Once through the gate, you are on the Teifi Marshes nature reserve. Look out for huge numbers of wintering wading birds and ducks, such as wigeons, teals and pochards, as well as cormorants, herons and snipe.
3 Continue along the path next to the river, watching the reeds for warblers including the striking reed bunting with its distinctive black head and white collar. Listen for the elusive Cetti’s warbler and look for geese flying overhead. Stop at the three hides you pass, which overlook the estuary. The path winds through woodland, so keep an eye out for the tiny and brightlycrested goldcrest and the red-breasted bullfinch.
4 Where the driveway joins the main path into the reserve, turn left towards the Wildlife Trust visitor centre. After about a minute, turn right here to follow the Squirrel Trail, looking for sparrowhawks, great spotted woodpeckers and other small woodland birds among the trees. You may also spot deer in the fields. Follow the yellow arrows of the trail until the path leaves Wildlife Trust land and, after about 15 minutes, reaches a road. Turn right here, and again at the next junction, crossing a stream and passing some houses. Further into Cilgerran village, pick up the signs for Cilgerran castle and follow a small woodland path. Signs direct you from here to the Coracle Centre. It is worth stopping to have a look at this small but impressive 12th century castle, where you might see pipistrelle bats at dusk.
5 The coracle centre is a good place to stop if you plan to return by retracing steps 4 to 1. In the summer, it is worth checking the date for Cilgerran festival and the annual coracle races for a fun addition to your walk! Note: some parts of this next stretch of walk may be impassable after a heavy spell of rain.
6 Follow signs to Llechryd village for about two miles. This is an easy stretch of riverside walking, where you may see dippers, grey wagtails, herons, kingfishers and ducks. If you are early or quiet enough, you may even spot an otter. Goldcrests, tits and finches are numerous, including noisy groups of unmistakeable pink and white long-tailed tits in the mixed woodland.
7 As the path approaches Llechryd, you will pass Hammet House, a striking Georgian mansion that dates back to 1795.Opposite the stable buildings along the path, there is a series of stone constructions in the river, now frequented by mallards, wagtails and various small birds. These used to be salmon traps and there is a small cave beneath the path you are walking on, where these fish were stored centuries ago.
8 Cross Llechryd Bridge to admire the river views and watch for herons and kingfishers, as well as swifts, swallows and martins in large summer gatherings. At this point, you can either retrace your steps to Cardigan (steps 6 to 1) or head left up the main road into the village to catch a bus. The Carpenter’s Arms pub offers meals at 11.30 am–2 pm and again 5.30–8.30 pm. There is also a post office and garage further on in the village.