Day Four: Monday, 30th April, 2012 – Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd to Llangollen

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of......
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of……

Twas a miraculously bright and sunny start to the day. After the previous day’s deluge, we took up the landlady’s offer of taking our luggage to our next port of call. She also took us by car back onto the Way at Clwyd’s Gate – a mile or two beyond Bwlch Penbarras, but more importantly beyond two hefty hills – Foel Fenli and Moel Eithinen. After the previous day’s experiences, we felt disinclined to begin the day with too much exertion.

 

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Even so, we were soon climbing the gentle hills that represented the end of The Clwydian range – Moel Gyw, Moel Llanfair and Moel y Plâs. The views were magnificent; looking back to the higher peaks of The Clwydians, they looked majestic and benign; but we knew better! As we reached lower land, the progress became slower as we had to negotiate flooded fields and boggy pastures.

Flooded fields as we approach Llandegla
Flooded fields as we approach Llandegla

Within a mile or two of Llandegla,  we passed sheep who seemed excited and vociferous beyond that which would normally be caused by our presence; the stimulus for such mayhem soon became apparent – a buggy from which the driver was dispensing feed. The farmer stopped to chat; he was familiar with our home ground, as he had married a lass from Biddulph. He seemed genuinely interested in our walk. He was phlegmatic about the floods, confident that they would recede as quickly as they had arrived.

St. Tecla's Church
St. Tecla’s Church
Llandegla itself is a sleepy unprepossessing village in which the post office/general stores was closed for a luxurious two-hour lunch. Fortuitously, St. Tecla’s Church displayed a sign proclaiming that it was open for hot drinks. The church was deserted, but, lo and behold, there was all that was required to make hot drinks laid on for weary walkers. We sat at the back of the church munching the packed lunch that Jill had prepared for us, and sipping coffee and tea. Most importantly, the church had provided us with respite from our feet! Thanks, St. Tecla.
A rest and a hot drink courtesy of St. Tecla
A rest and a hot drink courtesy of St. Tecla
This unusually brazen lamb interrogates Julia
This unusually brazen lamb interrogates Julia

The afternoon started more arduously than we would have liked with a long climb up through Llandegla Forest. Emerging from the woodland, we found ourselves on open moorland. Naturally, this was very boggy, but the worst bits were traversed on raised wooden walkways. We descended to the pretty stepping stones at World’s End, before traversing the scree slopes below the  Eglwyseg (pronounced Igloo-sig, I think) Crags. The weather had remained bright if bracing, and this was a spectacular part of the walk.

Stepping stones at World's End
Stepping stones at World’s End
Scree Slope on The Eglwyseg Crags
Scree Slope on The Eglwyseg Crags

Not far from Dinas Bran, we descended to a country road at Rock Farm. This is where we were leaving the Path, and we telephoned our hosts at The Britannia Inn, who kindly agreed to pick us up. However, purple-grey clouds suddenly appeared over the aforementioned crags, and we decided to walk Britanniawards. We had nearly reached the inn when Tony, the proprietor, found us. He had thought that Rock Farm was further north than it actually was; the fact that we were on the move had not helped him! We apologised, and on reaching our destination placated him with a pint of his own Guinness.

I had booked The Britannia as it is a couple of miles north of Llangollen, and I worried that walking on into the town would have proved too much for the day. It sits on a beautiful spot with good views down the valley; the adjacent A452 is not at all intrusive. It’s beams have been dated to the eleventh century.  The evening meal was wholesome but unexceptional, but the room was very cosy and the ensuite included a wonderful bath!. The hosts, Ann and Tony were kindness itself.
Well! The last day of April was most enjoyable –  a ramble through varying terrains; not without its challenges. Spring seemed to have sprung. But unfortunately, the forecast suggested that May would usher in another dramatic change in the weather!
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