11-15 August 2015: Offa’s Dyke Catch-Up – Part 1
When we first started out on Offa’s Dyke in 2007 I was unable to walk on three days as I had bad knees. Now I have walking poles to help, it is not such a problem. Nevertheless, I still needed to complete these sections to be able to say that I had walked all round Wales. There was also another section of Offa’s Dyke we missed in mid Wales but that would be the subject of another trip.
I found a nice hotel in Wrexham that gave good access to all the start and finish points and arranged for a taxi to pick us up at the end of the walk to take us to the start. As the original walks were quite long and there would only be the two of us, I decided to take an extra day to walk.
Clywd Gate to Llandegla: 5.8 miles (9.4km) +323m -356m (11 August 2015)
In the morning we drove up to Llandegla, had lunch and at 1pm the taxi arrived to take us to the Clywd Gate Hotel. This was where we stayed 8 years ago and I would have used it again but it was closed.
We left the Clywd Gate and climbed part way up Moel Gyw and followed the footpath to Moel Llanfair.
We then went past Moel y Plas and through farmland down to Llandegla.
Llandegla to Trevor: 11.4 miles (18.3km) +552m -680m (12 August 2015)
The following day’s walk started at Llandegla. It was a sad day for the village because the post office, the only shop in the village which was also a general store, was closing. In future everyone in the village would have a long commute to find a shop.
After we had chatted to people around the post office we started the walk by crossing the A525 and then walking through Llandegla Forest, much of which had been felled. We continued over open moorland until we reached World’s End. No idea why it had this name but it was apt.
We then got to the most exciting part of the walk, along the scree path around Eglwyseg Mountain The path, see below, is narrow with a steep drop on one side and continues for nearly 3 miles.
We then joined the “Panorama Walk” which led us down to Trevor and the canal which crosses the River Dee on an aqueduct. But more of this later in the week.
Tremeirchion to Meol Arthur: 7.5 miles (12.0km) +663m -543m (14 August 2015)
The following day we had a day off to explore Chirk Castle. It was very interesting but too much knowledge would haunt us in a couple of days time.
On the Friday we moved north to complete the first walk I missed from Tremeirchion to Moel Arthur. The taxi took us the junction where we finished walk 1. The junction wasn’t easy to find but we managed in the end. It had been raining heavily all the way there and continued for the rest of the morning.
There was a steep climb up Cefn Du and then through a place called Sodom, which is just what I was thinking in the rain! Eventually we arrived at Bodfari where we had lunch in a bus shelter. When we restarted the rain eased but by the time we had regained height on the moors there was little to see due to the mist. This continued for the remainder of the walk as we walked over the hillfort at Penycreddiau and around Moel Arthur where I was very pleased to see the car.
Trevor to Craignant: 8.9 miles (14.3km) +472m -288m (15 August 2015)
For our final walk of the week we were back to Trevor where we had to cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which takes the canal over the River Dee. It is very spectacular.
After crossing the aqueduct, we followed the canal for a time and then turned away south west across farmland until we came to the northern edge of Chirk Castle. Officially the Path runs around the estate but I thought it would be much better to walk through the grounds and pick up the path on the other side. So we walked up to the castle and had a pleasant lunch just outside. After lunch just as we set off I noticed a path to our right but I knew better because we had been there only two days previously. We walked on the very long driveway which took us to the ornamental entrance gates and then on to the road. At this point I realised we were going east, whereas we should have been going south! I looked at the GPS and realised we were miles away from the Path. Luckily there were a couple with a dog who knew the way and took us back to the road at Pont Faen and pointed us in the right direction. We picked up the Llwybr Ceirog Trail which crossed Offa’s Dyke a mile further on. We were then back on the right path in the right direction after a 2 mile detour.
From here the path was actually on the Dyke.
It was then just over a mile to where the walk ended. But that wasn’t the end of our troubles because for the next 15 minutes were searching for the car. I had forgotten were the car park was.
The end of a walk which perhaps could have gone better!
Total walked in the week: 33.6 miles
Total around Wales: 495.8 miles
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