We often think of Snowdonia as the go to place for stunning scenery. This Clwydian range walk holds its own and provides a few surprises too.
The Clwydian Range which is an area of outstanding natural beauty and covers three counties. The walk starts off from the Loggerheads Country Park just off the A494. There is plenty of parking and also a pub across the way, but unusually they do not allow dogs so be advised of this information.
Foel Fenlli or Moel Fenlli is a hill in Denbighshire, North Wales. With a summit at an elevation of 511 meters (1,677ft) it is the second highest peak of the Clwydian Range.
Moel Famau is the highest hill within the Clwydian Range 555 meters (1,821ft). The hill which also gives its name to Moel Famau country park, has been classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1985. It is also surrounded by several well-preserved Iron Age hill forts.
A Northern part of the Offa’s Dyke footpath, one of the UK’s most popular National Trials, crosses the summit of Moel Famau and the Jubilee Tower.
With a good turnout for this walk we headed across the road from the car park to the right and across the footbridge over the River Alun. We headed for Ty’n-Yr-Ynn Farm and this part of the walk is small lanes and dirt paths. Once past the farm you will pass Cascade Wood before reaching a bridge. Keep to the left of the bridge and follow the way-markers across the field which can be a little confusing at first to navigate.
After crossing the fields, you will come to a country lane and you will head right along it until you meet the A494. Cross over the road and to the left of the Druid Inn pub and along Rectory Lane. This will take you past houses until you reach a dirt path, which you will follow. I went a little off course here but you can either diagonal across the sloping field or follow the farmers track given they will both lead you to the next navigation point.
Where the track bends off to the right you will see a field in front of you with way-markers, head through the field and soon there will be a forest to your right. This is a very wide field and the path is visible and this will lead you to the right of another little forest before you catch sight of your first summit, Foel Fenlli. Head down the steep path before having a look at a direct 500m ascent. The ascent is not easy and will get your blood pumping that is for sure. Some of our group had to stop several times to catch a breath.
At the summit of Foel Fenlli there is a pile of stones which act as a shelter. We decided to have something to eat and drink whilst catching the amazing view of our next target in the distance, Moel Famau. It is very prominent on the landscape and you will have no worries knowing which direction to head in next. The path from Foel Fenlli takes you downhill and into forestry until you reach the car park of the visitors centre for Moel Famau. There are toilets and a little shop here and it tends to get busy given it’s the most popular place to start an ascent up to Moel Famau.
The path to the summit bends around to the right at first, but then opens up and it is impossible to get your navigation wrong. After the first part of the walk from Loggerheads, you will find this area very busy and especially at weekends.
Unfortunately, from the top of Moel Famau is were i lost all the images from my memory card, so there are no images of the last part of the walk. But from the summit stone walls ahead straight through and down the path that takes you towards the left of the forest. At the end take the path to the right so the forest is now to your right-hand side. This path is now long in distance (possibly a few kilometres) and will eventually lead you to a country lane. At the lane take a left and follow it downhill until you reach another lane, cross straight over and look for the way marker which will lead down through a field which can get very boggy and will have farm animals grazing.
When you get to the bottom of the field you will have to cross the River Alun and, on our visit, it was flooded and caused us all sorts of problems trying to get across. We did manage, but if you struggle go back up the field and at the lane take a left and follow until you see another left turn and follow that which does have a bridge across and will bring you back on path.
Once across the river you are basically following the path back to the car park from which you started. The path is easy to follow and you have two choices of where to cross back over the river but they both lead to the same place.
I did this walk nearly one year ago and i am working of my memory for most of it, so i apologies in advance. Overall this was something very different and enjoyable and it was nice to do a lot of low-level walking in between the two main ascents. North Wales is beautiful and i would recommend this walk if you are a 15K walker and can work your way across lanes, paths and rivers.