Thursday, 19 January 2012


A solo walk saw me parking at the Ponderosa Cafe at the Bwlch Yr Oernant (Horseshoe Pass) at 8.15 a.m. I picked up the track behind the cafe for the short climb to the summit of Cyrn-y-Brain.

The recent weather had been very cold during the day,but clear and sunny,and very hard frost's during the night,last night being no exception.The temperature when i left the car was reading minus 4 degree's C.The sun was just starting to rise and the sky was turning a lovely colour as i gained height.

Continuing up the track i could see the aerial's that despoil the summit of this lovely mountain.

I wasn't paying much attention to them as i couldn't stop looking at the sky.

I finally reached the summit of Cyrn-y-Brain and it's ugly mass of metal.

Summit cairn and Clwydian Hill's in the distance.Cyrn-y-Brain has 3 summit cairn's and this one is the highest at 1,853 feet (565 metres).

The concrete path has been built for the service of the aerial's and soon run's out as i headed for Sir Watkin's Tower above the Llandegla Forest.

There alway's use to be a lovely little path through the heather that takes you to the tower but since the cycle track's have been established in the forest a lot of cyclist's have been cycling this way to reach the forest and i could not believe how bad the path had deteriorated.I assume because this narrow path had been getting badly rutted and water was gathering in it that the cyclist's started to go a little wider,so the same thing happened again and again and in places there were no heather for about 10 metres wide and the peat has been eroded resulting in large hollow's and dip's.With the heavy overnight frost the rut's made for an ankle breaking traverse and it took me ages to walk the half mile to the tower.

Close up of Moel Famau from the tower.

Sir Watkin's Tower,well what's left of it.It was an 18th century folly built by the local landowner.I don't know how big it was and i have never seen any photo's/drawing's of it but there is a lot of dressed sandstone lying around which would suggest it was quite big.

I continued skirting the edge of the forest to reach the Offa's Dyke path where it enter's/leaves the forest.

I followed this path along it's boardwalk to reach the minor road that run's from Minera to Llangollen.

I have never heard or seen so many grouse as i did this morning,this heathery area was teeming with them and the noises they were making was lovely to hear,they were flying in all direction's but i couldn't get any decent photo's of them.Picking the road up i now headed for World's End.

With it being a steep valley there was still a lot of frost on the ground.

A tricky crossing of the ford was now negotiated.

The Offa's Dyke path now head's for the Eglwyseg but i continued down the road passing Plas Ucha Yn Eglwyseg which was built in 1563.

I left the road by Ty Canol and now picked up the Clwydian Way LDFP with a lovely view back to World's End.

Decisions decisions.

Moel y Faen above the Horseshoe Pass.

Leaving the Clwydian Way i joined the Pentredwr road for the short walk back to my car.One last photo looking back to Cyrn-y-Brain left and World's End in the distance,right.

This walk was 8.5 miles long with 1,800 feet of ascent.

MILEAGE      30.5
ASCENT       6,950
TOPS            12.

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