Day 13 Sunday 26 June Ruthin to Bodfari

I returned to ODP along the lanes and the farm track that I descended yesterday and continued up the path to Clywd Gate, the site of an old tollgate. I followed the road for a short distance and then climbed across farmland to pass around Moel Eithinen and reach the main ridge of the Clwydian mountains. There were good views back along the ridge that I had followed yesterday.

I contoured round the hill fort on Foel Fenli with good views down to Ruthin.

Ruthin from Foel Fenli

Ruthin would dominate the valley for several miles. The weather forecast was not good and I could see showers all around but fortunately they all missed me. I descended steeply to a car park at Bwlch Penbarra and suddenly there were a lot of people! This was a shock to the system after walking in virtual solitude for the best part of two weeks.  Moel Farnau and its Jubilee Tower are a popular day walk and, despite the inclement weather and high winds, day walkers were out in force.  I followed them, up to the summit of Moel Farnau.

descending to Bwlch Penbarra with Moel Farnau in the background
Jubilee Tower, Moel Farnau

The Tower was built in 1810 to commemorate the jubilee of George III. It was never completed and, after it was damaged by a storm in 1862, it was reduced to the base as it is today.

It was extremely windy on the top of the mountain which is the highest peak in the Clywdian range. I sheltered in the lee of the tower to have lunch. The view was limited by the low cloud.  Liverpool could be seen to the east and I thought I could see the South Peninnes in the distance. It was cold stopping in the high wind so I soon set off, descending to the west, before turning north again to follow the ridge over several lower tops. Ahead of me was Moel Arthur with its bronze age hill fort on top.

I saw no point in climbing to the summit today so contoured round the upper slopes. I should have had a good view of Snowdonia but it was shrouded in mist.

There was now a steep descent to another road and carpark before a further steep ascent on the edge of woodland up to the summit of Penycloddiau. On top of this hill is one of the largest hillforts in Wales. It dates from the iron age and the ramparts and ditches are clearly visible. (The article about the fort on the Clywdian web site depicts an extended iron age family enjoying a picnic; I think this is a very idealised picture of what life must have been like then).

I had my first view of the sea.  The Great Orm of Llandudno could be seen in the distance. I am nearly there. 

Bodfari and the Irish sea from Pennyclodiau

There was now a long descent to Bodfari.  The path dropped steeply to the hamlet of Aifft. It then climbed over the shoulder of another hill before descending to a road.  I had not bothered to look at the map for a bit and I thought I was nearly here.  The only building at the road was Grove Hall, which used to be a residential home and I still had another mile to go.  Finally I reached the main road at Bodfari where there was the sad sight of another closed pub.  It was by now about 6:30 pm and my B and B was about half a mile further uphill along the path towards Prestatyn.  I telephoned them to say I would be late and headed into the village centre and the Dinorben Arms where I had a really good roast dinner and beer.

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