From Whitland you can follow the Landsker Trail as far as Llanboidy. Just before you reach the village centre, a footpath to the right takes you down a hollow lane past Llanboidy Castle, along the hedge and across a field to the drive of the old parsonage. Turn left and walk up the hill.
At this point the footpaths come to an end and there is a long stretch of metalled road. The route you take depends largely on where you can find to stay. This is is very pretty countryside, with deep, wooded valleys and streams which once powered dozens of mills. (If you find ‘melin’ or ‘felin’ in a place-name it means there was once a mill there - either a corn mill or a weaving mill.)
We walked along the road to Cwmfelin-mynach, where the modern building on the site of the monks’ mill has a millstone set into the drive wall, then past the grange farm of Cilgryman-fawr and on to Cwmbach. Walk past Cwmbach School, over the bridge and up the hill. Ignore the road to the left but look for the very overgrown beginning of a bridleway at SN 25783 25961: the bridleway had allegedly been cleared in 2005 but we had to untie the binder twine holding the fence across it. From this point the path was clear up to Llanwinio church.
The green lane past Llanwinio Church (a Victorian building but in an old circular churchyard) to Felindre is steep but passable. At Felindre, as the name indicates, was another mill. Capel Bettws is now an inaccessible ruin (see link below). We walked through Trelech and along the side roads through Tanglwst to Dre-fach and Felindre. Here a local project has waymarked trails between dozens of old weaving mills.
On the road east from Tanglwst, turn left at Maudland House and right at the next junction to join the most southerly of the weavers’ trails. Just after the end of the forest to the left, a footpath is waymarked to the left, running along the left side of the hedge and eventually cutting across a rough and boggy field to the forest edge. The footpath becomes a track along the forest edge. After about a mile, just before Pen-y-parc Farm, turn sharp left over a stile and bear right, still on the edge of the forest, then in another ½ mile go left again and into the forest.
Turn right along the Nant Esgair and follow the stream down past the Esger View mill (still working in the 1950s) to Cwmpengraig. Here there were several small mills and workshops. Walk up the hill past the chapel and take the first waymarked path up the steps to the right. Follow the path up through the trees to pass below Penlangribyn Farm then around the forest edge, across a forest road (not marked on the map) and across a small stream.
Eventually the path climbs up out of the trees and around the fields to meet the road at Penhiraeth. The family here in the nineteenth century were farmers but, like so many othere, supplemented their income by knitting stockings.
After about 200 yards, just before the next belt of trees, turn right and zigzag down through the trees past Ffynnon Gybyddion and Rebecca’s Well to rejoin the road at Llwynbedw, another small handloom-weaving workshop. Turn right and walk past the information board through Felindre and across the bridge to Drefach.
The Museum of the Welsh Woollen Industry is ahead to your left. This is no sanitised heritage experience but a working mill with heaps of dyed and undyed wool in corners and cloth in all stages of production.
|Whitland to Dre-fach and Felindre|
© Y Llwybr Sistersiaid / Polisi preifatrwydd