Offa’s Dyke Path – Wern Isaf – Llandegla Walk – 22.06.2011

After 5 days of walking, we had really stretched ourselves – my knee was now really painful and we both felt ready to stop.     After taking breakfast in Llangollen and a discussion, we returned to the path. So we both had a touch of deja-vu when we  walked passed the Campsite we had left in the morning to rejoin the path! From the information that we were given by the campsite owners,Offa’s Dyke was “a short way along the road, and just past the Cattle Grid”. Their information was correct, but I think I misinterpreted their word “short”, as it seemed quite a long way to me – probably as we were going uphill!

As we struggled along, little did we know that the hill that towered by the side of us held a story of Ancient History and Legend! This hill, has remains of a Medieval castle, “Castell Dinas Bran”, which in turn is built on top of an ancient Iron-Age hill-fort. This Castle has been home to the Prince’s of Powys. Despite the Castle being burnt to the ground in 1277 by, Edward De Lacy, the Castle had an impressive builder since the castle can still be seen in 2011. In fact the Castle was constructed by none other than someone who was reputed to be one of the protectors of the “Holy Grail”, his name was “Bran”.

The Legend surrounding the Castle goes on…. “Dinas Bran” is also known as “Castle Corbenic” in the legend of the Holy Grail. “Corben” is a French word for crow or raven and means Bran in Welsh the same meaning as Corbenic, the castle of the Grail of Arthurian legend. Bran became injured by a spear, and eventually he was put to death and his head was cut off. He gave instructions that his head was taken to a hill which was eventually to become the site of the Tower of London. It is said that while his head is buried there it would guard the land. Is it a coincidence that the present day ravens at the Tower are as important?

We were not blessed with seeing the Castle in full which a is a shame now I know the Legends surrounding the Castle! But I can share a photograph that I took –

From 2011 – 22.06.2011 – Offa's Dyke Path – Wern Isaf – Llandegla Walk

As we rejoined the path, well I say path, it was actually a lane that we were walking which was rather a change from fields, stiles, towpaths and hills! I was rather bemused when I heard the most horrendous noise as we were walking along. I thought we were either walking near a festival or someone had some very loud music on. As we continued on it became very deafening! In fact what we heard was not a festival but sheep!!! They were being rounded up ready for shearing. The farmer was using 3 sheepdogs, as well as his own mini tractor!

As we carried on our walk, we passed some the farm buildings, when we noticed that see one poor little sheepdog had been left all on his own 😦 – we just wanted to take him with us! In stark contrast to the farm on one side of us, rising up on the other were granite craggy outcrops. This reminded me of mountains of Glencoe – particularly when we saw the signs for climbing. We were walking in the Eglwyseg Valley.

Legends seems to be aplenty in this area. This valley is the setting for the legend of St. Collen, the Monk who gave his name to town of Llangollen. The Monk supposedly killed the giantess “Cares y Bwlch”, despite her desperate cry for help from another Giant named “Arthur”, who lived amongst the Eglwyseg Rocks. This particular tale had been told by Sabine Baring-Gould, and is recorded in the town Corwen, in Denbighshire. It is easy to see why such a legend of a giant living amongst these craggy outcrops came about…

From 2011 – 22.06.2011 – Offa's Dyke Path – Wern Isaf – Llandegla Walk

As the path carries on, we finally saw a sign for Worlds End where the route was heading. We thought that we were to continue along the road, but actually Offa’s Dyke path turns off the road at this point. The path took us through a small gate and past a small Farmhouse. It was here we got confused. There is a small Offa’s Dyke sign, but sadly, it had not been looked after and the the arrow was hanging loose *nb this was june 2011*. Assuming that this was the correct route we continued straight on. We did note that there were no more markers along the path and something did not feel quite right as the path thins out as it goes along the side of the mountain side. We therefore decided to turn back to the marker and tried two different routes but still failed to walk this section. *Warning if you do walk this part of the path the first route we took was probably correct despite being so thin in parts*. We walked back to the gate, as the Official guide suggested that by using the road to World’s End we would pick up the path again, if we used that route instead.

Walking the road is not so bad, in fact it gave some interesting insights! As we turned the corner we were rather surprised when a farmer asked us to move out of the way, so he could he could bring his cows along the road – all 3 of them! The farmer was very pleasant and explained he was taking the 3 heavily pregnant cows to the farm! I must admit this is the very first time I have ever been held up on a walk by cows!

Once we were able to continue on the road did seem never-ending to us. It just twists and turns – until we reached “Worlds End Farm” – Firstly I must point out that this is not like the “World End” in Pirate of the Carribbean… No Davy Jones Locker was here – just a small farm and trees – it was very remote indeed. I still can’t fathom why it was called World’s End quite yet but I am sure I will figure it out soon! If we had walked the way of Offa’s Dyke we would have been able to see World’s End Manor House known as “Plas Uchaf” which was built in the 16th Century. Pity we did not, as I am sure it would have been a lovely sight to see. 🙂 Proof that this was known as World’s End –

From 2011 – 22.06.2011 – Offa's Dyke Path – Wern Isaf – Llandegla Walk

We did stop along this section for a spot of late lunch. In fact we tucked into a Welsh Oggie – which we purchased from a bakers in Llangollen – very nice it was too! Refreshed we were able to continue on our journey. The road passes through a ford which is known as the “Horseshoe pass”, which has a stunning view across the valley. The path then takes a turn on to the desolate moors which are known as “Cyrn-y-Brain”. This was a very different kind of landscape that we were not used too. It was very flat and we were almost expecting some kind of mist rolling over the moors – If it did you would have expected the Hounds of the Baskervilles heading towards us!

It was here that we experienced yet more sheep. They were everywhere we looked. It was yet another tale of us encroaching on there territory. At one stage I will admit I had the “lovely fluffy sheep” image completely destroyed – because as we walked nearer a sheep it continuing staring at us and in fact stamped it’s feet at us! It was so angry… I will never look at a sheep in the same way again. They seemed to be watching us from everywhere…

From 2011 – 22.06.2011 – Offa's Dyke Path – Wern Isaf – Llandegla Walk

The path continues along this section for about 1/2 mile until the path turn us onto the moor itself to Llandegla Forest, which was near our destination. The path is well looked after and has many wooden boards to cross, it is quite impossible to get lost on this section or sink into the mud! Llandegla forest was a very intriguing to walk, it was full of mountain bikers. we felt like lone walkers! Nearly everyone was on a bike except us. The path did not remain flat here, as there is a one small hill which was quite tricky to negotiate as it is reasonably steep – we were lucky it was not raining as it was quite muddy. We eventually come out out of the forest and met with a lovely view over the fields, were we met a friendly biker who assured us it was not long before we would come across the pub for a nice drink!

In fact the path took us across a few more fields and it seemed a long time before we even reached Llandegla, where we came across the Crown Inn where we were able to refresh ourselves 🙂 It was here we ended our days walking and pitched our tent for the night in Llyn Rhys Campsite. The locals at the pub were also very friendly to talk too! I think the saddest part of the day, that by this point was my knee was in agony, it made us think again if we were going to continue the next day – particularly as the friendly locals told us of what was in store!

All the days walking photos can be seen below –

2011 – 22.06.2011 – Offa’s Dyke Path – Wern Isaf – Llandegla Walk

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4 responses to “Offa’s Dyke Path – Wern Isaf – Llandegla Walk – 22.06.2011

  1. This leg of Offa’s Dyke was my favourite – such a variety of surroundings!

    • It was very different to the rest that I had walked! I would love to return one day and see some more 🙂 The views were stunning, although I did enjoy the moorland!

  2. Pingback: Stanmore – Borehamwood Walk – 15.07.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  3. Pingback: Letchmore Heath – Aldenham Walk – 29.07.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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