Total steps: 6
Total steps: 6
Castle Dock Wood car park, SR 979965
Start at the National Trust car park in Castle Dock Wood where you will find a welcome sign and map on the wall of an old woodsman’s hut. Follow the main track through the gate to the north out of the car park. The track will gradually take you uphill, passing a timber processing bay and an old smokehouse before turning sharp right for a short steep climb to the top. Follow this shared-use path, staying close to the woodland edge as the trail becomes narrower and weaves between trees and stumps before reaching a T-junction by an old bank.
Turn left, following the path alongside the bank to traverse the slope. As the trees open up on the right, look out for where we have replanted thousands of native broadleaf trees. Continue to descend along this path before reaching a section of beech woodland which is dense with bluebells in the spring. Turn left here to climb for a short while before peeling right onto the first section of purpose-built single track.
Continue on the single track, descending again through tight trees to a stream crossing and dog-leg right then left to join the main track by a timber processing bay. Continue up the track through more newly planted trees until the stream runs directly alongside the path, where you will turn left (straight on will take you to Stackpole Cheriton Church, a worthwhile short diversion) to climb into a conifer block. At the top of this first climb, you will cross the single track descent before turning right to continue the climb to the top of the woodland by the edge of a field.
At the start of the descent, a left option takes you on a shorter, steeper route while the right option is less steep, a little longer and has a small root-drop. As the trail emerges from the mature woodland, cross the climb path and continue on a wider open descent with a jump over a stump, some tight berms, a wooden bridge and a final set of corners bringing you onto a narrow climb overlooking the stream that was crossed earlier.
The trail climbs into a previously undiscovered valley, crossing a small rustic bridge before taking on some challenging hairpin turns. At the top, the path traverses the slope, crossing a bank before dropping into a gulley where you need to keep your speed to make it over the roots as you climb the other side. This shared-use path presents a challenging, root covered traverse – take care when it's wet. As the beech woodland and bluebells appear once again, take the trail to the left which winds down over a small jump and steep bank back down to the entrance to the car park.
If you have one more climb in you, the final part of the loop will take you to the right on the road out of the car park, before turning right again at the first gateway back into the woods and up a hill which will become increasingly steep before emerging at one of the former lodge houses for the estate. As the trail continues uphill past the two houses, a fantastic vista to the west opens up at the gateway by the path. An even better view awaits around the corner at the site of the Belvedere, a former folly – keep an eye out for carved wooden bench on the right just before you pass through an old bank and begin to descend. The final long descent is shared with walkers and horse riders, so please take care as this trail can be fast. Following all the way to the bottom, emerge onto the road and turn left to return to the car park.
Castle Dock Wood car park, SR 979965
This route explores the shared use and single-track trails of Castle Dock and Cheriton Bottom Woods on the Stackpole Estate. Natural and constructed trails mix the feel of this relatively short ride, with opportunities to repeat sections easily once you know your way around.
The trail includes over 4 miles of climbs, twists, turns and jumps to test even the most experienced rider.
Castle Dock Wood, Stackpole, Pembrokeshire
Pembroke station 6 miles (9.7km).
Follow the B4319 from Pembroke to Stackpole. You’ll find the Castle Dock Wood car park on your left-hand side just after passing the turning and signs for Stackpole Court.
National Trust car park.
The nearest toilets are at Stackpole Court site (SA71 5DE).
For refreshments before or after your ride, visit the Boathouse Tea-room at Stackpole Quay or Stackpole Walled Garden near Lodge Park Woods.
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