Offa’s Dyke: Llangollen to Llandeglar

A fantastic days walking on so many accounts, with such a wide variety of landscapes and wildlife to marvel at along the way. We started just outside Llangollen, with the wide Dee Valley at our feet, where we had finished last night and finished almost 15 miles later on the moors above Llangdeglar.

For those not in the know there are many Welsh towns starting with ‘Llan’. Originally a Llan was a sacred place, but over the years Christianity took over many of these places and became known after early Celtic religious men, or saints. So the second part of the name usually refers to a local saint. Llangollen then is the church of St Collen, and similarly Llandeglar is the church of St Teglar. “Here endeth the lesson”.

The first section of the walk was along a narrow path underneath some spectacular limestone cliffs, called the Trevor Rocks. As we were walking along we were able to watch peregrine falcons calling and hunting along the escarpment above us. I’ve only ever see one peregrine falcon at a time before, but today there were four.

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The flowers are fantastic at this time of year. I’ve never really looked that closely at thistles before, and there were lots of great specimens along route. I’ll have to try and identify which species this is when I get home.

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The grumpy dog did well today. The one on four legs not the biped. In fact very well. He’s about 14 or 15 years old, and although tired by the end he was still game.

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At the end of this valley the tiny hamlet has the fantastic name of Worlds End. I can image that in the middle of winter with the sleet and howling gales whistling through the trees it must seem like living at the end of the world. But not today.

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High up here on the moor is bilberry country. And everywhere you looked there were bilberries, even growing in the remains of an old tree trunk.

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At the top of this climb we reached the start of the Llangedla Moors. Today it was sunny, the clouds were giving great contrast to the valley below, but in the wet we would have been miserable and moaning all the way! At the very least I would have been.

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From the moors we descended down through Llandeglar Forest into Llangedlar. Lots of Llans again, sorry.

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I’ve so many plants and mushrooms to identify just after today, it’ll keep me busy for the next couple of weeks. Here’s a great bracket fungus I had to photograph.

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But I think I do know this Hoverfly is Sericomya silentis, but I may be wrong.

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Tomorrow is a jaunt over the Clwydian Range.

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