Leave the car behind with these fantastic local days out
If you’ve come to The Forge to escape from all the pressures of modern life for a few days, perhaps the last thing you want to do during your stay with us is jump back in the car. You might think that being situated in a very rural area, you absolutely have to go everywhere in a vehicle but happily that is not the case. There are lots of day trips you can make from The Forge on foot, giving you the chance to fully embrace a slower pace of life and be outside as much as possible while you’re visiting. Here are out top five suggestions for car-free days out.
Pub walk to The Grouse
You can cross through our fields and woods, hop over the little bridge and the stream and you are into open countryside which leads directly onto the Dee Valley and Clwydian Ways. You can follow the path down the valley enjoying spectacular views of the River Dee and Moel Fferna before arriving in the gorgeous village of Carrog – it takes around 1 ½ to 2 hours at a very relaxed pace. Stroll along to the historic railway station to see the stream train and step back in time to exactly how things would have been years ago – the little station tea room also sells the fabulous Chilly Cow ice cream😊. Then stop off for a paddle (or a swim if you are feeling adventurous!) in the Dee before heading to The Grouse to enjoy a fabulous pub lunch – their fish and chips and homemade pies come highly recommended! Then you can wander back to The Forge to work it all off again, to make room for the campfire barbecue and marshmallows!
Caer Drewyn Hillfort
For any history buffs, we are lucky enough to be located less than 2km from the one of the best-preserved Iron Age hill forts in Wales, dating back more than 2,500 years. The stone ramparts are still very clearly visible and the view from the top is nothing short of spectacular – it is clear to see why they chose this spot given the 360-degree vantage point! You can use your phone as you walk around to access the audio guide and the AONB have even created a reconstruction animation so you can see what it would have looked like back in the day. Pack a picnic and take your time exploring and imagining what life would have been like up on the hill. Or drop down into Corwen, about half an hour from the top to to grab lunch in one of the many pubs or cafes in town.
Waking Corwen’s Giant
This year Corwen is playing host to a visual art extravaganza which started in March when the local community woke Drewyn, our resident friendly sleeping giant, who left large footprints and a number of personal effects in the valley before falling back to sleep, leaving an impression in the ground where he lies. This unique collaboration project between the AONB and local artists offers a fascinating experience for all ages who are invited to seek out what the giant left behind as part of the art installation in Pen Y Pigyn woods and enjoy the view as they look down onto the shape of the giant below. It takes about half an hour to walk into Corwen and another half hour or so to wander around the woods, plus, in my case, about three hours (and then some) to explain the concept to a four-year old!!
Corwen Food Festival
If you happen to be staying with us on the weekend of June 22nd your luck will very definitely be in as you strike foodie gold with the inaugural Corwen Food Festival. We are super excited to have so many wonderful local food, drink and craft producers coming to our town, not to mention a fantastic line up of evening entertainment! It’s only a 30 minute walk to the recreation field where the festival is being held through fields and off-road tracks, perhaps a little longer on the way home if the number of gin and cider producers in attendance have anything to do with it!
Corwen Walking Festival
This is another amazing local festival, now in its 9th year, which runs from August 31- September 1 this year. All of the walks start from the centre of Corwen and you have the option of guided or self-guided routes. Walks range from under a kilometre to 25km+ with lots of options for staying on the flat to tackling some of the big hills we have in the area. Some of the walks incorporate the steam train so you get to experience and see the valley from foot and rail. We can’t think of a better way to escape from the pressures of day-to-day life and absorb yourself in the hills for a day or two!
And don't forget that all year round Corwen also offers an indoor swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, plus a fascinating museum and stunning 13th century church to explore, a hotbed of local legend and folklore. Plus there is always the impressive River Dee - fishing permits are available or you can just sit on the banks and while away the time watching it's hypnotic flow down the valley.