Don’t forget your Grisport Boots for your country walks!
As the weather warms up and, hopefully, the sun begins to shine, we may be encouraged to take up those early-evening country walks again! Dust off those winter blues and take advantage of the lighter nights, as the British summer time begins.
Do consider that North Wales offers great opportunities for country walking and is, in fact, described as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. You could, if you wish, drive yourself to notable locations for walking within North Wales, such as Bwlchgwyn, (Which is the highest village in Wales!), or the small beautiful historical town of Ruthin or, perhaps, Llangollen, which is a delightful historical picturesque town, famed for hosting the annual International Eisteddfod. If you visit any of these areas, weather permitting of course, you are guaranteed to experience outstanding views and breathtaking sights.
There are many short country walks and indeed long walks that will offer you spectacular views – and will take your breath away! Below are some our favourites.
Our favourite North Wales country walks:
1. Bwlchgwyn – Nant Y Ffrith – Ffrith – Bwlchgwyn
Bwlchgwyn is situated approximately 5 miles from Wrexham and 10 miles from Ruthin. It is often described as both picturesque and quaint. Meaning “White Pass” when translated into English, Bwlchgwyn is believed to be the first and last place that snow settles during the Winter. Established as the highest village in Wales and boasting a height of up to 1200 feet above sea level, on a clear day in Bwlchgwyn, it is possible to see the Cheshire plain, Jodrell Bank and indeed the Post Office Tower in Liverpool, with some walkers suggesting they can even spot Blackpool Tower! (Visible from the Penllyn Mountain).
The Bwlchgwyn to Ffrith circular walk is approximately 5 miles and at a steady pace will take up to 2.5 hours to complete. This country walk is classed as ‘moderate’ and therefore suitable walking boots or walking shoes, will be necessary.
There is a lot to look out for on this walk, including outstanding waterfalls, beautiful scenary, historical settings such as Nant y Ffrith Hall Estate, architectural bridges and viaduct and of course wildlife. If you stay until dusk, you may be lucky enough to see long-eared bats that live locally.
As you walk past Glascoed Cottage and Glascoed Lodge, there are many species of trees and shrubs to look out for – and many Hazel trees dominate the hedgegrowth!
There are also many stiles to cross and forests to venture into, therefore wheelchairs and pushchairs are not recommended for this route.
2. Moel Famau – Jubilee Tower
Moel Famau Country Park is at the heart of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is classed as the highest hill within the Clwydian Range. Moel Famau Country Park offers numberous well kept trails with varying difficulties. For an ‘easy to moderate’ trail, try the well maintained path from the Southern car park. This trail, within Bwlch Penbarras, is situated between Foel Fenlli and a point 1.2 miles from the summit of Moel Famau!
At the summit of Moel Famau sits the Jubilee Tower. This tower was built in 1810 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of George III. The views are oustanding from the summit with the North Wales coast, Snowdonia, Dee Valley, the Wirral and Merseyside all visible on a clear day!
The trail up to the Jubilee Tower expands over beautiful heathered moorland where wildlife flourishes. You may be lucky enough to spot skylarks and black grouse whilst walking up to Moel Famau.
3. Llangollen – Canal – Castle
Llangollen is well known for its spectacular views along the River Dee. This small historical town has a wealth of shops, cafe’s, hotels, B&B’s, restaurants and bars. In fact, just about everything any visitor would need!
If you enjoy history and would like to enjoy a 3.5 hour walk packed tight with historical sights and architecture, then the Llangollen historical walk is what we suggest. At a distance of 6.5 miles, the Llangollen historical path offers many attractions to enjoy, from historical monuments and ruins such as the old castle, the abbey and the ancient ‘Pillar of Eliseg’. Starting at the heart of Llangollen, this path leads you to the canal where horse drawn canal-boats operate. Continuing on this path you will pass Llangollen’s motor museum, the full-size steam railway, the Eisteddfod Pavilion, along with some ‘arts and crafts’ outlets and many excellent secondhand bookshops.
Overlooking Llangollen, this walk will take you to an area whereupon sits the medieval Castle Dinas Bran, thought to have been built in the 1260s. There are two paths to the castle, one from direction of the Llangollen town centre and the other from the ‘Offa’s Dyke Path’ on the north-western side of the hill. Due to the terrain and slope up to the castle, it is recommended that suitable walking boots or shoes are worn!
The Llangollen path follows the well kept canal path which is deemed suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Graded as ‘moderate’, parts of this path are considered rough terrain and so suitable footwear is recommended!.
The Walking World website is a great tool for any walker! For a small annual fee, the Walking World website gives you access to thousands of walks all over Britain, with an expanding range of walks available abroad. Plus you can, if you wish, connect your downloaded Walking World walks to your mobile using various apps, such as ViewRanger! This means you have access to your walks ‘on the go!’
Being equipped with the right gear is vital for a safe, comfortable and enjoyable walk!
Below is a list of recommended equipment:
- Walking boots with plenty of ankle support
- Padded socks for a cushioned walk
- Lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket such as a Hoggs of Fife Green King Jacket which is light enough to wrap up into your rucksack
- Lightweight walking trousers or shorts for freedom of movement
- Anti-wicking baselayers to draw sweat from your body to prevent catching a chill
- Hat (Sun hat or thermal hat depending on when you plan to go walking)
- Rucksack to carry a picnic
- Camera to enjoy/record the magnificent views
- Binocular to view even more!
- GPS or map
Stay safe…… and enjoy your country walks!