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Greentraveller's Guide to Clwydian Range and Dee Valley

Posted by Richard Hammond at 02:23 on Thursday 07 April 2016

Greentraveller's Guide logoAs part of our celebration of the Protected Landscapes of Wales, we have produced a guide to the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North East Wales.

Our guide to the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) features places to stay and eat, local attractions and activities. As well as being a guide to all you need to know to get the most out of the area, we provide you with help on how to travel to the area and get around by public transport. On the guide's home page you'll find an interactive map of all the featured places to stay, eat and explore.

Canal boating along the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - the largest aqueduct in Britain. Photo: Paul MilesCanal boating along the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - the largest aqueduct in Britain. Photo: Paul MilesThe Clwydian Range and Dee Valley is the largest area of outstanding natural beauty in Wales. From the purple-heather’d moorland to limestone crags, from rushing river to scenic valley, the unspoilt landscape provides home for innumerable flora and fauna. There are over 200 miles of accessible rights of way routes, and unmissable, iconic and awe-inspiring are the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail, which runs the entire length of the area and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct World Heritage Site, which our writer/photographer, Paul Miles, chose as one of his highlights of his year in our Annual Best of Green Travel.

Greentraveller's Video of Adventures in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley:

Written and researched by Richard Hammond and Florence Fortnam, the guide includes some of the best places to stay in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, from a beautiful country house B&B with stunning views of the Vale of Llangollen where the owner provides delicious home-grown breakfasts, to cosy country cottages and smart townhouse hotels.

The beautiful Castell Dinas Bran in the Vale of Llangollen. Photo: Malcolm DaviesThe beautiful Castell Dinas Bran in the Vale of Llangollen. Photo: Malcolm DaviesRichard Hammond writes: “What’s striking about the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB is just how accessible it is. Easily reachable from Wrexham, Llangollen, Denbigh and Prestatyn, more than a quarter of Wales’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is open access with over 200 miles of rights of way routes. And what I love about it is that it’s very much a working landscape that’s distinctively Welsh in culture.”

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB is famous for the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct World Heritage Site and the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail that runs the entire length of the area, but there plenty of other Attractions in the area. Find out more about the 13th Valle Crucis Abbey just outside Llangollen and how you might be able to see black grouse - one of Wales’ rarest birds at Moel Famau Country Park. In addition, the hilly landscapes have supported settlements of all shapes and sizes: there's a medieval fortress, a Cistercian monastery and umpteen prehistoric settlements to explore atop the region's peaks.

Pop-up cafe in a traditional Shepherd's Hut at Moel Famau Country Park. Photo: The Shepherd's HutPop-up cafe in a traditional Shepherd's Hut at Moel Famau Country Park. Photo: The Shepherd's HutDon’t miss the cute pop-up cafe in a custom-made Shepherd's Hut that the owners say is "a homage to the part-time homes of 19th and 20th century shepherds" - you can find it in the foothills of Moel Famau, near Loggerheads Country Park HQ. In Corwen, you can taste the products from the land at the fabulously well-stocked Rhug Farm Shop that sells over 2,000 products with a focus on Welsh, local and organic, including products from the Rhug Estate, which has won numerous awards, including the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste Awards 2015 for its Rhug Organic Leg of Lamb Bone and Rhug Organic Dee Valley Turkey as well as the 2014 Welsh Lamb Champion Product.

Mountain biking in Moel Famau Country Park. Photo: Tom HuttonMountain biking in Moel Famau Country Park. Photo: Tom HuttonIf you’re looking for adventure, there’s a wide range of easily accessible outdoor activities throughout the region. The limestone cliffs and gorges are great for abseiling and climbing, whilst the steep wooded valleys are a real draw for mountain bikers. The region's two rivers – the Dee and Alyn – offer up some fantastic canoeing and kayaking opportunities, and thrill seekers will love the white water sports, such as body boating and stand up paddle boarding. There's plenty on offer for those after a gentler experience too: the Clwydian region is home to some of Wales's best walking and cycling, and there are heritage tours if you want to polish up on your cultural knowledge. Or learn how to keep bees on a woodland skills and craft course.

Kayaking along Llangollen Canal. Photo: Karl MidlaneKayaking along Llangollen Canal. Photo: Karl Midlane

Disclosure

Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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