Those Iron Age folks sure knew a good location when they saw one. In fact, I think all hill walks should be based on whether the people of the iron age bothered settling there! This walk to the ancient Penycloddiau hill fort is nothing short of spectacular, indeed if there’s a better walk in North East Wales then please let me know!
When I was 5 years old, my parents took me on a walk and I distinctivly remember loving the views (I’ve obviously always been a sucker for views!). Over the years, I’ve questioned them about this walk but all they could remember was that it was near a place called Nannerch. Fast forward 30+(++!) years and I went on this walk and realised this was the place!! It was just before our second lockdown and it definitely lived up to my memory.
However, I would pick your audience for this as the first half is constant uphill. I’ve only done this once with my boys (4 & 7) and to be honest they moaned a lot, although to be fair it was sunny and 22 degrees! But there’s an absence of trees to climb or streams to play in, you really are in it purely for the views.
The Sat Nav link in the Info Bar will direct you to the car park which if you’ve done my Coed Llangwyfan walk you’ll spot is the same car park. One word of caution for drivers - to get here you need to drive on a single track road for a good few miles so if this isn’t your thing or it causes car sickness in the kids then maybe give this walk a miss!
To begin the walk enter through this right hand gate from the car park.
After just a few metres, ignore the right hand trail (that’s the path you’ll come back on) and continue on up.
There are rows of pine trees above and below you and the gorgeous views will start to show.
Keep heading on up the path, catching more glimpses of the views to come.
When you get to this stile go through it and make your way up a pretty steep but small section of the path. If you can get up here without being out of breath then you’re doing well!!
At the top head over the stile and turn left.
Keep following this well defined path, you can’t really go wrong.
When the hill fort cairn comes into view, head for it by following the path as it curves round to the right.
Standing at 440m high, the view from Penycloddiau hill fort is a 360 degree wonder! You can see the North Wales coast, Snowdonia and The Dee Estuary, it’s nothing short of breathtaking. In 2017 excavations found 4,000 year old stone tools from the Bronze Age, leading them to believe that human activity occured here much earlier than originally thought.
For the return leg, if you’re facing the sign on the cairn, take the path on your left and follow it downwards.
You’re now on the Offas Dyke Path, which runs from Monmouthshire to Prestayn, covering 177 miles! There’s a couple of places where you’ll see other paths going off in other directions, but just keep going straight.
Eventually you’ll come to this stile.
Climb over it and continue downwards on the path all the way back to the car park (the bit just after the stile is a little steep so be careful here), once more catching bits of the glorious views.
I hope it becomes one of your favourites too.