The Berwyns provide an unusual combination of altitude and moorland, giving it a remote feel and providing spectacular views of Snowdonia in the distance. In addition to the well trodden popular routes, such as the Berwyn Ridge, there is ample opportunity to get off the beaten track, where the navigation becomes a little more demanding.
Just to the north, across the A5 and the River Dee, is the area of Llantysilio Mountain. This offers more intensely grazed hillside with panoramic views providing more leisurely walks.
Tucked away just over the boarder with England, the Ceiriog Valley lies parallel and immediately to the south of the better known Vale of Llangollen. This relatively undiscovered little gem of a valley was famously described as “a little bit of heaven on Earth” by Lloyd George. Containing stunning scenery at every turn, the valley works its way eastwards to Thomas Telford’s very impressive aquaduct (with a viaduct alongside) at Chirk, before the river joins with the more sedate River Dee.
The vast network of footpaths and bridleways in the Ceiriog Valley, enable the explorer to get into the heart of this magical place, rather than just observe from the road. It’s an ideal venue for walkers, navigation practice and training, mountain biking (although there’s nowhere to hire – so bring your own!) and the river itself make a nice trip for the competent paddler.
The River Dee (or Afon Dyfrdwy) is one of the all-time classic rivers of Welsh paddling. The canoeing sections start below Bala Lake as it winds its way through Corwen and Llangollen before crossing the boarder with England, where it heads towards Chester.