Archive for the ‘worlds end’ Tag

Life on the Edge   8 comments

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Im catching up on my outings and we are now into October so at least I’m posting in the same month as activity that created it. A cracking forecast and a plan to meet a few of the gang for a mid-Wales walk in the hills to the north of Llangollen. In the end it was just me TJS, TBF and Uncle Fester from Manchester. A hearty breakfast in the Ponderosa cafe atop the Horseshoe Pass started a stunning day, all clear blue skies and fog filled valleys

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A short drive to the rather splendidly named World’s End for a walk along the Limestone edges of Eglwyseg Mountain

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A superb clear morning perfect for this easy although long ramble in this secretive corner of Wales. The Horseshoe Pass itself is famous but tucked away to the east, almost unseen is a long limestone escarpment with some cliffs to rival anywhere else in the UK. There are no actual paths or rights of way marked along the edges but its open access land and thin paths are there if you seek them out. The views from the rim of the precipice across green valleys to the dark and contrasting brown and heather clad Llantysilio Mountain are fantastic. We’d only been walking half an hour before we stopped for a brief rest to take it all in on the edge of Craig Arthur

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The walk along the edges is easy and superb with wide ranging vistas and a real sense of air. The edges are sheer and dramatic

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We weaved around amongst the various terraces and eventually the hilltop Castell Dina Bran came into view. We dropped down a very narrow and steep gully to reach the the terraces of long abandoned quarries (you can see them on the left of the photo below)

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This lower terrace was equally superb, an easy stroll on a grassy path with views of the castle always focusing the gaze

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On a warm, clear, sunny autumn day it was an absolute delight

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Lunch was planned for the castle although its a short steep pull to the top

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The views from the castle on its very steep and isolated summit are unsurprisingly superb

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It was busy as you’d expect but we found a quiet sheltered spot and spent a very happy hour enjoying the warm sunshine and admiring the views.

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I’m a fan of views from up high over towns and cities so I was particularly impressed with the view over Llangollen, as well as westwards towards Llantysilio Mountain and beyond

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The ruins are scant but very evocative and I believe its one of the many, many places linked to the legend of King Arthur, he did get about that fella’.

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The trees were in autumn berry cloaks and the gorse was still flowering – some real colour contrasts to enjoy

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We returned via some linked paths and roads that follow the base of the cliffs. Equally impressive and quite staggeringly deserted

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The path follows the indents of the various gullies that scythe the face of the limestone, perched below the cliffs and screes and above the farmland. It was an exceptionally enjoyable stretch of walking as fine as any in the UK and as i said its seems very little known

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It finished with a long rising traverse across the slopes to reach the edges near Craig Arthur where we sat for a few minutes to enjoy the last of views before the short walk back to the car

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A memorable day, and a long one at 12 miles, finished off in the appropriate style with a slap up meal at the rather excellent Corn Mill in Llangollen. Early start and late home but justly rewarded

It’s the end of the world as we know it…   3 comments

Worlds End and Eglywseg Mountain – 26th February 2011

J, D & L had spent a few days with our old university friends (M & J) and their kids (Z & E) who were taking a half-term holiday in Llangollen. As J had booked a motel room for a couple of nights I thought I’d drive up after work on Friday night for an impromptu mini-break. After a pleasant evening in M & J’s holiday cottage we agreed to meet up in the morning for a walk with all the kids.

It didn’t look promising as we drove up from Oswestry with the rain battering down, M had assured us that it was due to brighten up from 11am although he always says that. This time however, on cue, at 11am it stopped raining and stayed dry the rest of the day. We all met up at a place called Worlds End, which is out to the East of the Horseshoe Pass and is the starting point of a little known but magnificent limestone escarpment. Me and UF discovered it last summer (photos here) so I was more than happy to go back and take another look.

We set off down the road where you reach a ford and stepping stones which the kids of course loved.

Ford over the Worlds End Stream

The path then traverses under the limestone cliffs and steep slopes of grass and scree for a couple of miles. It’s a really superb and in places quite narrow path but easy for kids with lovely views across the valley to Llantysilio Mountain and above to the cliffs. (At this point it’s actually the Offa’s Dyke long distance walk).

Offa's Dyke Path below Eglwyseg Mountain

In places the edges are cut by deep valleys leading up to cliffs, some accessible others impassable.

One of the un-named valley's cutting into the edge

The path is pretty much level all the way and in several places opens out into some lovely spots for a sit down or a picnic lunch. There were babbling streams running on this day after the heavy overnight rain but I guess they would dry up in summer.

The weather continued to improve as they day went on with some lovely sunny spells although with a cold wind. We stopped for lunch where the patch hits the road on a bench with great views back to the cliffs and a plentiful supply of dog poo. Anyone who has kids will know their unfailing knack to tread in it wherever it might be so it was a relief that despite D’s best efforts no-one collected any extra “mud” on their boots

Team Photo

After lunch, the girls and the kids headed down the road into Llangollen while me and M walked back to collect the cars. We headed up one of the gaps in the cliffs to an almost hidden valley with a lovely stream complete with new deposits of Tufa.

M on the way through through the hidden valley

Once you reach the top there are several paths along the edges that reveal spectacular views over the edges and across towards Snowdonia as far as the Berwyns and what we thought were the Arenigs above Bala. Some of the paths run right along the cliff edge with some hair-raising views down. There are no rights of way but there are several permission paths and stiles so it’s easy going all the way back to where the edges meet the road at Worlds end just a few yards from the car park

Looking South along the edge

I was surprised on both my visits at how quiet this walk is considering what a fabulous walk it is. Anywhere else and it would be crowded with walkers. It’s similar in character to Malham and anyone who has visited there will know how popular it is. I suppose it’s a result of being a little known spot in a little-visited area for walking. Most people will give it no more than a passing glance on their way to Snowdonia and the Welsh coast which is pretty much what I’ve been doing. I know better now. The area can be linked with longer walks taking in some of the other hills in the region or as part of a grand traverse from Corwen to Trevor at the far end of the range.

Late afternoon (& late winter) sunshine

All the photos from the day are here

Posted March 1, 2011 by surfnslide in Family Trips, Llangollen, Wales, Walking

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