Walks in the Hidden Heart of North Wales
[ISBN 978 1 908748 42 3]
Our Price: £4.95
22 walks/40 pages
Lying between the Vale of Clwyd and the Snowdonia National Park is a little known wild, beautiful, unspoilt upland area, generally by-passed by walkers and tourists alike as they head to crowded Snowdonia. At its heart is a large undulating upland plateau containing an expansive heather moorland, now designated Open Access land, and several large lakes, most notably Llyn Brenig, with its Visitor Centre and nearby Alwen reservoir. On its eastern side is Clocaenog Forest – an important habitat for red squirrels – and elsewhere are delightful open hills.
The area has been occupied by man since about 5700 BC. when a better climate and woodland habitat first attracted nomadic hunters. It contains important Bronze Age ceremonial and burial sites and Iron-Age hillforts. From the Middle Ages to the 19thC black cattle, often from Anglesey, were grazed on the upland pastures before being taken by drovers to distant markets in England. Cerrigydrudion is the largest settlement, lying on an important drovers route and the original 18thC London-Holyhead turnpike coach road, later improved by Thomas Telford, now the A5. In 1854, George Borrows, the eminent traveller and writer of ‘Wild Wales’ walked this way.
Easily accessible, the area offers excellent walking with a great sense of space and superb views, especially of the mountains of Snowdonia from the western part of the area. The 22 circular walks in this updated third edition of the book explore its moorland, hills, river valleys, lakes, woods and forests. They follow old drovers’ roads and visit ancient communities and sites of historical interest, whilst providing an insight into the area’s history. They include sections of the waymarked Hiraethog Trail linking the area’s scattered villages, the popular circuit of Llyn Brenig and the Alwen Trail.
The routes, which range from a 2½ mile Archaeological Trail to an exhilarating 10½ mile moorland challenge, follow public rights of way, permissive paths or cross Open Access land. A key feature is that most individual routes, as well as containing shorter walk options, can easily be linked to provide longer and more challenging day walks, if required.