Friday, 10 April 2009

Another day, another walk !!
This time I went to Wales again but not the popular Snowdonia, I went to the Clywdian Range near Loggerheads. I had been looking at the weather forecast for the past week, and to be honest it wasn’t looking good. However Friday was looking the best, sunny with showers and a bit windy, that was an understatement!!!
Set off early again and met Pete at the services at about 7.45 and we set off in the sun towards our route. I had decided to do a linear route from just north of Moel Finili to Moel Arthur and back again but Pete suggested taking two cars, dropping one off at the finish and driving to the start and walking a true linear route. This made good sense as back tracking along an already walked route would not be the best. We decided on Moel Finili up to Bodfari , a distance of about 9 ½ miles across the middle peaks of the range, taking in Moel Famau, Moel Dywyll, Moel Arthur, Mound Penycloddiau and past the West side of Moel y Parc to Bodfari.

famau start

The start of the walk was in great sunshine although VERY windy, definitely not a day for heading to Snowdonia!! We parked up a very steep tarmac road which took out some tedious climbing at the start but we were soon climbing the few hundred meters up to the summit of Moel Famau and the Jubilee Tower.


As we climbed the weather that we expected rolled over the Snowdonia hills and down the Vale of Clwd. Fortunately the wind was coming from the NW and the shape of the valley funnelled the weather down past us, great !!

weather from snowdonia

jubilee tower

tower along route

marker post

We were soon on the summit and the Jubilee Tower remains were sat on top and in reasonable repair given how popular this hill is with day walkers who merely go up and down and no further. The Offa’s Dyke rouĂ© we covered was marked with very clear posts so getting lost was never an option, which I have form for , some of my walks do turn into mystery tours!!!

pete in sun

tower along route

We spent ten minutes or so on the tower which has brass plates showing the peaks and interest points in all directions, over to Snowdonia and the Cheshire plain. Looking along the route the weather looked a bit grim but it cleared up fine and we walked for the most part in sun.

cairn and tower

We past a distinct cairn, shown on the OS Explorer maps in between Moel Famau and Moel Dywyll, (pronounce that if you can !), and the tower soon disappeared. The path was course, compacted gravel and we made good time, soon Moel Dywyll was upon us. Not an inspiring peak and the path went by over the top. Good views were seen back to Jubilee Tower.

cairn in sillouette

Silhouette of the cairn and the view back.

path back to tower

path back to tower

The weather dictated that high peaks were out for the day however even thought he walk was at lower altitude, the ups and downs were no less energetic as the grass sloped were harder going that the climbing in the Snowdonia range. My knees I am talking about anyhow, younger people will have no problem with the descents, I just need to sort mine out !!

slope up to arthur

arthur to mound

All along the path are Iron Age hill forts, the remains of not the actual forts !!, and on top of many of the hills we were on the ditches are visible that would have surrounded the forts. None are better than Moel Arthur which is a very round peak and as can be seen would have provided an excellent military vantage point.

pete in ditch

fort ditch

The ditches shown here are from the Mound Penycloddiau and we were now hungry. Pete was looking for a lunch spot on the leeward side of the hill but the wind was so strong that even here we wouldn’t get lunch out as it would have been too cold to sit for a long. We plodded on and rounded a hill on the East side and found shelter with views over the Cheshire plain to Fiddlers Ferry power station, Helsby and Beeston Castle. None however showed up on photos as the sky was too grey for a camera lens and all blended into one big haze. After lunch we completed the circuit of the hill and stepped back into the wind which we were sure ad increased in speed. Pete tried leaning into it and it held him for a while but the pies eventually took their toll and the wind gave up !!

pete leaning

path back

route all the way back

No time for long stops and the miles ticked by quickly, not because we were hurrying, but the wind reduced the temperature so much that walking was far warmer! The weather was being very kind and all day we had literally had four drops fall on us and the route back to the tower was clear , but the tower was only a dot.

Bodfari was our next stop and only a mile or so away. We were mostly and thankfully out of the wind o this part and descended through farmland with new born lambs everywhere. Some so new that the umbilical cord was still visible and when running they were very unsteady on their feet/hooves, (delete as applicable).

path to bodfari

bodfari church

We went lower until finally reaching the roads and up a short route to the car. Bodfari itself was a picturesque village with a white washed church, sorry about the angle but had to cut out a transit van!), and rectory next to it. The only let down was the closed down pub so no port walk refreshments this time and we drove to pick up Pete’s car and head for home.
Another great day out!!