This was a long day as I had extra mileage to rejoin the ODP and a long detour at the end to get to my B and B in Ruthin. The day started fairly brightly. I bought some lunch and crossed the river Dee and climbed uphill back to the Path.
I circled uphill around to the north of the Castell Dinas Bran to get back to the Panorama walk. I followed the road for about two miles. Thre were good views across the Dee valley and the cliffs of Eglwyseg mountain ahead and to the right. The road followed the coutour to keep below the scree slops. Eventually I took a narrow stony path that continued below the scree and subsequent cliffs.
After a further couple of miles it dropped down through a wood to rejoin the road at World’s End. I have been unable to find out how the valley got its name.
I climbed steeply out of the valley along the road and followed it for about a mile and a half across open moorland. There was thick cloud overhead but the rain held off and, as I turned on to a path consisting of stone slabs to cross the moorland, the sun came out. As I arrived at Llandegla forest I could see the Clydian mountains to the North, the final barrier between me and the Irish sea.
Unlike most of the woodland I have walked through this trip, the Llandegla forest consists of conifers arranged close together. The trees are farmed for the paper industry and there had been some harvesting of the wood so there were quite a lot of clearings with some views. I passed two girls and their teacher. The girls had huge packs and were doing a D of E expedition, I am not sure how much they were enjoying it! A little further on I met another teacher on her way up the hill looking for the group. The forest is an extremely popular site for mountain biking. The trails are well organised, the walking and biking trails have been kept separate as much as possible and there are warning signs for walkers when you are about to cross a bike trail.
As I emerged from the wood it began to rain, heavily at first. I descended across fields to the village of Llandegla. There is a holy well, St Tegla’s well, in the village whose waters are said to cure epilepsy. I had my head down in the rain and I missed the turn to it. There was a village shop with tables outside, I decided not to stop as I had lunch with me. Big mistake! Apparently there were tables inside and they served excellent home-made mushroom soup.
The path now entered farmland. There were odd bumps in the fields that I understand are due to limestone outcrops. Two women passed me (who told me about the soup) who were running(!) the ODP.
The rain stopped but it remained overcast. The path crossed a stream and climbed uphill to join the Clydian Mountains. I followed a road for half a mile and the joined a service track that led to a radio mast on the side of Moel y Waun.
The track became a delightful path that went over the shoulders of Moel y Plas, Moel Llanfair and Moel Gyw. I could see Ruthin in the valley to my left. After Moel Gyw the path descended to a farmhouse at Pen-yr-allt where I left the ODP for a rather tedious 3 miles descent along farm tracks and lanes into Ruthin where I stayed at Sarum House. This was a lovely Georgian townhouse in the centre of Ruthin, well worth the detour. The owners, John and Helen, were perfect hosts. Helen is a keen cyclist and told me that before she settled down she cycled to Istanbul with a friend of hers. Quite an adventure!
Ruthin is an attractive medieval town. I was staying in the centre, near St Peter’s Square.