Cresswell River

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Cresswell River

Distance - 5.3  Miles
Duration - 2 hours 30 minutes

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.

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