Earlier in February I ventured out for a walk on the hills in North Wales to celebrate my birthday. It was the day after a severe storm which had brought trees and some power lines down and whilst the force of the winds had dropped we didn’t venture onto the high mountains but explored a corner of the lesser known Clwydian hills.
The Clwydian range is only half an hour’s drive away from Wirral being located in north east Wales. The range runs from Llandegla in the south to Prestatyn in the north dividing the valleys of the River Dee and River Clwyd, with the highest point being Moel Famau at 1,817 feet (554m). The range is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The summits of the Clwydian hills provide extensive views across north Wales, to the high peaks of Snowdonia, eastwards across the Cheshire Plain, Peak District and towards Manchester and Wirral and more distantly Liverpool to the northeast.
For this walk we started from Colomendy Outdoor Education Centre near Loggerheads on the Mold to Ruthin road and walked through woods and past old and still active quarries around the old mining village of Maeshafn.
Some of the paths were blocked with fallen trees and where they crossed many fields they were a quagmire of mud given the high rainfall we have had this winter. Our lunchtime stop off point at the Miners Arms in Maeshafn had to be abandoned as the pub was closed having no electricity supply due the gales.
The ‘high point’ of the walk was ascending Moel Findeg which has some extensive views for quite a small hill. Views of Moel Famau, Foel Fenlii and Moel Eithinen can be clearly seen from the top of the hill. The area is a local nature reserve and was saved from quarrying some years ago when local residents raised the funds to buy the site.
Walking down from Moel Findeg we passed an eerie old disused farmstead before we descended back down to the valley from where we started.
We arrived back to our starting point with the gentle glow of late afternoon winter sunshine.