A Cracking Walk up the Llantysilio Mountain from the Horseshoe Falls

I wake to another cracking morning with the temperatures set at high again.  One of the difficulties being away alone with Crosby during such a heatwave is finding a way to shop.  I don’t want to leave him in the back of the car for even five minutes when it is so hot.  So I head off soon after 7.00 to get some provisions before the sun gets too high.

After my walk from Llangollen yesterday I am keen to return to the area and explore some more.  I have read about the Horseshoe Falls on the River Dee and I am keen to visit there and also walk up onto the Llantysilio Mountain.  So today we head towards Llangollen, this time I drive through the town on the A5 then at Berwyn take a turning right signposted to Ruthin and the Horseshoe Pass.  After crossing the River Dee I park in the car park for the Horseshoe Falls.

Starting my walk I head through the car park, passing the toilet block and then going through a metal gate to join the path heading downhill to the Horseshoe Falls.  There are plenty of people about so I decide to keep going and take a closer look on the way back.

The path runs close to the road and soon reaches Llantysilio Church; an information board explains that the church was probably built in the 15thcentury whilst some parts possibly date from earlier.  Apparently inside the church there are plaques to the poet Robert Browning and the also the actress Helena Faucit (Lady Martin) who lived at nearby Bryntysilio Hall.

At the church I join the road and soon pass the gated entrance to Llantysilio Hall and then continue on at the junction just after Llantysilio Farm.  On entering Llantysilio I turn right up a lane by the former school which closed in 2010 after seven of its ten pupils moved to senior school.  It is sad to see rural schools closing, but it is amazing that it survived with just ten pupils.  In the 1980’s I was a governor of a school with nineteen pupils and we fought hard to retain it in the village.  Thankfully we were successful and it is now thriving.

I leave the single-track road at a fork to join a footpath along a steep uphill track from where I get cracking views of the Llantysilio Mountain.

The path continues uphill through a gate and onto the edge of moorland covered with thick bracken.  Occasionally a sheep pops its head up to observe us walking by.  It is becoming very warm and humid so I stop to look at the view over the River Dee.

There are various paths through the bracken, but I keep to the main path continuing uphill to reach the spoil from the Berwyn Slate Quarry.

There are a network of paths at this point, I continue in a westerly direction towards the summit of Moel y Gamelin.

On reaching the summit of Moel y Gamelin I stop at the cairn to take in the stunning vista.  I am 1,653 feet above sea level and despite it being a bit hazy I can see for miles in every direction.

I now go south-westerly on a clearly defined path along the ridge.  It looks straightforward, but this is a rollercoaster of a path with many false summits before I eventually reach Moel Morfydd.

Walking along the top of the Llantysilio Mountain towards Moel Morfydd I do not spy another person anywhere. It is amazing that on such a cracking day I have the whole area to myself.

Eventually I make the final ascent to Moel Morfydd where the trig point has been seriously eroded by the weather conditions.  It looks like a dragon has been chewing at its base.

This is the seventy-ninth Ordnance Survey trig pillar I have visited and I cannot recall one with more outstanding views.  It really is a stunning spot.

Reluctantly I tear myself away from the view, I can see low cloud sweeping in and don’t want to get caught out up here.  I continue by walking southwest descending steeply from the summit to reach a crossing of paths where I turn left towards Mynydd-bychan.  There are a number of paths leading from this path but I keep on it until reaching the junction with the Dee Valley Way.  Here I turn left to follow the Dee Valley way-markers towards Cymmo.

The path soon becomes a tree-lined track with an amazing dead tree stump in the middle of the pathway.

The track continues downhill through the trees to eventually join a tarmac lane.

I now follow the lane past a few cottages and the remote Sun Inn at Rhewl.  It is tempting to stop for a pint, but I still have a little way to go. Further along the lane I pass the Hebron Methodist Chapel, originally built in 1826 and then rebuilt in 1845 and 1903.

My route continues along the road through Rhewl to Llantysilio where I retrace my steps to Llantysilio Church. Looking behind me I see that the top of the Llantysilio Mountain is now shrouded in cloud.

At the church I follow the path down to the River Dee to take a closer look at the Horseshoe Fall.  This is a cracking spot with significant industrial history.

The fall is a weir designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1808 to ensure that there was a constant water supply to feed the Llangollen Canal, a feeder canal supplying water to the Ellesmere Canal beyond Pontcysyllte.  The weir is 460 feet long and is an impressive sight even with the current low water levels.  It is not surprising that along with the canal it has been designated a World Heritage Site.

From here it is just a short walk back up the hill to the car park.  It has been a cracking walk on a very hot and humid afternoon.  Crosby and I have covered eight miles but it has taken quite a while over the tough terrain in this unusually hot weather. We are both ready to head back to the caravan to rest in the shade and cool down.

To view this 8 Mile Walk on OS Maps Click Here

To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 255 – Llagollen & Berwyn

12th July 2018

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2018)


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