Sunday, 19 July 2015

Corwen, Hint of Independence and Getting Lost

Week 6 - One long, one short and two medium bike rides

During the week I followed my usual couple of early morning rides around LLanbedr and Llandyrnog and once again I have been very lucky with the weather. I won't describe these routes at any length in this section of the article, as I have described these before, but I have added just a few more pictures out of interest, but further down is my trip to Corwen and back (37 miles)

Early morning sight of Moel Famau

Bench outside Llanbedr.

There is nothing wrong with this bench, in fact it is a very nice bench except for it's location.  It is located about 3/4 mile outside the village of Llanbedr.  There is no clear footpath to it and the views from the bench is not that particularly striking, but someone has taken care to cut the grass around it. Strange but true.

View from above Llanbedr towards Rhuthun.
Llangwyfan Shelter
At first glance you would wonder why someone would build a shelter, which is not even on a bus route, in the middle of no where.  But just up the road is the old Llangwyfan hospital which use to be a sanatorium for those suffering from TB years ago.  This shelter was built as a stopping place for those out for a walk form the hospital. 

Flowers for sale beside the road just outside Llandyrnog


View from Prestatyn towards Rhyl

Last Friday evening my daughter was singing in the choir in Rhyl Pavillion.  I had to take her there for about 6pm and then I had about an hour and a bit before the concert started.  So I took my bike with me and had a quick ride from Rhyl to Prestatyn (8 miles return).  It was a beautiful evening and sometimes I forget how scenic the beaches along this stretch can be.

Looking from Prestatyn out to sea.

Corwen and back

This was my main bike ride of the week and the weather was fair, ideal to top up my bikers tan!! My route took me through Llanynys to Rhewl and past the Drovers Arms. Have not eaten here for quite a while but the pub has a very good reputation for its Ales.

Drovers Arms
Instead of taking the back road today I wanted to get some miles in so I headed straight to Rhuthun from Rhewl.  The road then took me past an old haunt of mine, Rhuthun Rugby Club where I spent most of my Saturday afternoons in years gone by on and off the field.

Rhuthun Rugby Club

From Rhuthun the road climbs very slowly up towards Corwen through the village of Pwllglas to the small hamlet of Bryn Saith Marchog.  I think the name for this hamlet in fantastic, translated it means the Hill of the Seven Horsemen (or knights)

Leaving the hamlet, on the far hill large windmills start to appear like sentinels in the sky.  I use to be in favour of these wind turbines but now we have so many in Wales they are becoming a blight on our beautiful landscape.

Wind turbines just above Gwyddelwern 

After leaving Bryn Saith Marchog I dropped down into the small village of Gwyddelwern where reputable the oldest pub in Wales has just reopened and now serves food.  Part of the Ty Mawr Inn dates back to 1386 but there has been a building on the site dating back probably a further couple of hundred years.  For more information go to

Capel Rhug - Rhug Chapel and interior

Not far after leaving Gwyddelwern I came upon Rhug chapel, another ancient Chapel with history going back to William Salisbury and even to Gruffudd ap Cynan.  The chapel itself is quite plain from the outside but the inside is very ornate and is worth a visit.  It is now under the care of Cadw and is only open during week days.  For further information about the chapel go to  

River Dee West of Corwen
From Rhug I carry on into Corwen but not before I cross the river Dee (Dyfrdwy).  With it's source in the mountains above Llanuwchlyn and passing through Bala Lake by the time it reaches Corwen it is very much a mature river.

Statue of Owain Glyndwr
I cycled on into Corwen and by this time I was glad to get a small rest and a snack under the eye of Owain Glyndwr.  This statue dominates the square in Corwen and was proudly erected after fundraising effort by the local populace.  His links to this area are quite strong with his home located only a few miles up the road in Sycharth, unfortunately nothing remains today except for a mound where the house would have been.

Owain Glyndwr, many believe, was he last true Prince of Wales and fought for an independent Wales between 1400 and 1415 established a Welsh Parliament, Colleges and a separate Church, but finally after being defeated by the English Crown he mysteriously vanished around 1415 with no accurate record of what happened to him or where he was buried.

Dee River East of Corwen
On leaving the square I pass the old cinema and cross back over the river Dee.  I climb up to the sport centre, turn left and head off towards home.  When I reached the next cross roads I remember seeing on the map before I left the house that if I turned right and then left it would take me up onto the hills above Gwyddelern.  I could then follow a back road back home.

Looking back over the river Dee towards Corwen
Well after a steep climb I found my way up above Gwyddelwern but then obviously took a wrong turning because I was then heading down a steep road which seriously tested my brakes.
Up above Gwyddelwern
At the bottom of the hill I found myself facing the Ty Mawr Inn again.  Well as I was here I decided all I could do was put my head down and cycle towards home along the main road.  

Less than an hour later I found myself back home after a most enjoyable exhilarating ride.  Next week hills and more hills, can't wait !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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