Neyland - Brunel's railway town
6:58pm Saturday 22nd April 2006 in Town guides
The history of the South Wales Railway is inseparable from that of Neyland, whose origins date back to April 1856 when the railway opened in the small town, which at that point had fewer than 200 inhabitants.
Not surprisingly then, Isambard Kingdom Brunel has become an icon for the town after choosing Neyland as a railway terminus. This led to the dramatic transformation of the town which included knocking down many of the existing buildings which were replaced with new ones for the railway workers.
Under the name 'New Milford' a new pontoon was built and the area became a major trading route with Ireland, Portugal and Brazil and a boom period began which lasted for 50 years.
However, by August 1906 Irish trading with Neyland came to an abrupt halt as it transferred to Fishguard, then a further blow came in the form of the 'Beeching Cuts' in 1964 which stopped the 108 year old railway service in its tracks.
Traces of the old railway line can still be seen today in the form of the picturesque and peaceful Brunel Cycle Route which winds snake-like from Neyland's Brunel Quay towards Rosemarket.
Totalling 14 miles in length the track passes close to the Westfield Pill Nature Reserve and offers outstanding views across Ddaugleddau estuary and the Haven waterway. The town itself has much to offer with free parking just off the principal shopping street, a library and sports centre.