Monday 16th July 2018
|Our Day Ascent Moorland Summit Christmas Logging Railway Evening Maps Read Me|
Our walk today was just over 8 miles (13 Km) in length, but we reached 565 metres above sea level, one of the higher points in the Llangollen area. We made our steady ascent out of Llangollen along the North Berwyn Way, which actually goes south of Berwyn! We had nice views towards Llangollen and the Dee Valley. The weather started out well, but as we approached Ceiriog Forest it gradually started to cloud over. We were lucky to reach the metalled logging road which led down to Glyndyfrdwy.
As we waited at Glyndyfrdwy station for the train, it started to rain in earnest. No matter, we stayed dry! We had the opportunity to ride the heritage steam railway back to Llangollen. In the evening, we all came together at the Bridge End Hotel for our final - celebratory - communal dinner.
We made our steady ascent out of Llangollen along the North Berwyn Way, which actually goes south of Berwyn! It was getting cloudy, but the dry weather held, and as we went, we had nice views towards Llangollen and the Dee Valley. There was a lot of summer greenery before we got onto the open moors and the public access land.
Eventually we reached the open moors (public access land) with their expanses of heather and ferns. The landscape was punctuated by - for obvious reasons - well-hidden and disguised grouse butts. Shooting game is obviously a well-practiced pastime in these regions. However, the grouse shooting season is normally 12th August (the "Glorious Twelfth") to 10th December, starting this year on 13th August because of Sunday. So, the moors were quiet for us - no grouse shooting!
The summit suddenly "crept up on us". There appeared to be an old tumulus or burial mound, harking back to ancient times when it was thought that prominent individuals should find their last resting places high up in the landscape. Perhaps it was thought that this would get them closer to "heaven". We enjoyed the distant views and posed for the obligatory "we woz here piccies".
We still followed the North Berwyn Way. We descended from the summit of Vivod Mountain onto a high-level ridge. On one side was Ceiriog Forest which seemed to be full of Christmas Trees of various shapes and sizes. Many of the Christmas trees seemed to have curly tops which would have to be straightened out if the trees were ever to reach their festive customers. On the other side there was a wide valley which descended to Glyndyfrdwy and offered us some north facing views across the Dee Valley towards Llantysilio Mountain. Anyway, it was time for lunch. Then we set off through fresh aromas of fir trees and eventually reached the logging road into the Dee Valley.
There was a choice of paths for the descent to Glyndyfrdwy. However, because the sky had become cloudy and overcast and we had already felt a few drops of rain, it seemed prudent to take the metalled logging road into the valley. We had some good views on the descent despite the clouds coming lower. We were impressed by the layers of rock on the right-hand side of our route. Further down we went through some lush forest where bright green larches held sway. Eventually we reached the fairly busy A5 and then descended further to catch our steam train back to Llangollen.
Glyndyfrdwy Station had been lovingly restored to its Great Western Railway (GWR) splendour, even down to the last detail of the typical GWR "Pagoda Shelter". This shelter was to prove useful as the rain came down in earnest. A member of the station staff was busily sorting out back numbers of railway magazines and I chatted to him for a while about railway topics. Eventually there was the tinkling of a bell in the signal box, the level crossing gates were closed, and our train came. It was headed by a GWR "Large Prairie" Tank Engine of 1934 vintage. We decided to add to our experiences of the day by seeing some more of the scenic Dee Valley. So, we travelled the full length of the steam railway, out to Corwen and - staying on the same train - back to Llangollen. By the time we reached Carrog, the rain had gone and, for a while, the sun shone.
This was our last evening together, so we had a communal meal in the Bridge End Hotel. As the name implies, it is located at the north end of the Llangollen Bridge, and as down-town Llangollen is quite compact, the Hotel was easy to reach. Before we left for our meal, Nigel displayed his musical skills by playing some tunes on the piano. It's at times like these that we often learn what interesting skills Cloggies have! Suitably regaled - musically - we headed for the hotel where we had some pleasant fare over which we could recount our respective experiences of what had been yet another interesting and enjoyable Clog away break. Of course, we took the opportunity to thank our event organizers, Dan and Adrian, according to the time-honoured custom.
And so, it's Goodbye until our next CLOG away break!
Thank you Dan & Adrian!
Thank you event organisers! Thank you everybody!