The Forge

Check out these awesome autumn walks for maximum leaf crunching and great places to refuel and warm up again!

Think of autumn and one of the first things that comes to mind are crunching through leaves in woodland aflame with reds and golds. We are blessed to have so many glorious woods close to The Forge, offering not just lots of crispy leaves but some of the most stunning views in North Wales. So, pull on your wellies, grab your cosiest scarf and check out these gorgeous autumn afternoon strolls…

CLOCAENOG FOREST

If you are looking to get off the beaten track and avoid the crowds (or indeed seeing anyone else at all!) then head to Clocaenog. With thousands of acres of pine and deciduous woodland, you are pretty much guaranteed to not see a soul. But what you might see if you are lucky are lots of different mushrooms and toadstools (look but don’t touch!) and if you are super stealthy there are even lots of red squirrels living here…

Length: From 1 – 100km! (1 – 6+ hours)

Difficulty: Moderate

Refreshments: None

Leaf crunching potential: 6


LOGGERHEADS COUNTRY PARK

If a cracking good café is a must in your choice of walk, then Loggerheads Country Park is a good choice for you. With lots of parking and great maps and signposting you can wander up through the woods past the old tin works and up into the forest beyond. See if you can spot the ‘magic money tree’, an old stump where people have taken to pressing in coins – apparently it brings you lots of good luck!

Length: 5km

Difficulty: Easy

Refreshments: Caffi Florence next to the car park

Leaf crunching potential: 8


HAWARDEN OLD CASTLE

If you fancy taking in an ancient castle on your woodland walk, then head to Hawarden. Park up in the town car park and wander up past the old castle walls for great views and lots of leaf-crunching potential! The Hawarden Estate Farm Shop offers pumpkin picking all through October if you fancy picking up a lovely orange gourd on your way past. It is also a great spot for lunch!

Length: 4km

Difficulty: Easy

Refreshments: Hawarden Estate Farm Shop or The Glynne Arms

Leaf crunching potential: 7


PEN Y PIGYN

Within walking distance of The Forge is the lovely ancient oak woodland of Pen Y Pigyn. This wood shot to fame this year as part of the Deffro Cawr Corwen|Waking Corwen’s Giant project, after our local friendly giant, Drewyn, woke up for a while, leaving several of his personal objects in the wood before falling back to sleep in Dol Corwenna. If all this sounds a little surreal, check out this page to convince yourselves that I have not lost the plot!

Length: 7km (from The Forge and back)

Difficulty: Moderate

Refreshments: Local shops and pubs in Corwen

Leaf crunching potential: 9


LLYN ALWEN

This lesser known little sister to the mighty Llyn Brenig, Llyn Alwen is a stunning lake surrounding by some of the most beautiful woodland in the area. To walk around the whole lake is 11.5km and takes about 3 hours. If that all sounds a bit too strenuous you can just wander over the dam into the woods and if you are lucky you might even see some of the Cross-bill birds who live there too.

Length: 11.5km

Difficulty: Moderate

Refreshments: The visitor centre and cafe at Llyn Brenig is a short drive away

Leaf crunching potential: 7


CLWYDIAN WAY

The very last section of the Clwydian Way directly behind Carrog is a steep but stunning oak and beech woodland which affords the most spectacular views over the River Dee and the Berwyn mountain range. If you are feeling energetic you can walk part of the Llangollen Round in a loop which brings you back down the lane. Otherwise you can just wander up and back again before settling by the real fire at The Grouse Inn with a drink and a pub lunch!

Length: 2 – 10km

Difficulty: Hard

Refreshments: The Grouse

Leaf crunching potential: 8


CAPEL CURIG

If a good pub with a stonking view are high on your list of autumnal walk criteria, then head to Capel Curig just past Betws Y Coed. Park up behind the little shops in the village and head west for stunning views of the Snowdon Horseshoe. Cross over the road and drop down past Plas Y Brenin into the woods, stopping first to take a photo of the infamous ‘lonely tree’ in front of the lake. Then meander through the woods before you come back to the main road and the magnificent Bryn Tyrch Inn, perfect for warming up and refuelling after your walk.

Length: 3km

Difficulty: Easy

Refreshments: Bryn Tyrch Inn or Siabod Cafe

Leaf crunching potential: 7


PLAS NEWYDD

If you are really only up for a short dander around a lovely wooded parkland with maximum leaf kicking opportunities, then Plas Newydd in Llangollen is the place for you! Accessible to all ages and abilities, wandering down into the dell is like entering a different world! You can explore the magical hidden nooks and crannies to your heart’s content and marvel at the beautiful woodland space the two ladies of Llangollen created all those years ago.

Length: Less than 1km

Difficulty: Easy

Refreshments: Café on site or local pubs and cafes in Llangollen

Leaf crunching potential: 8


RHEWL WOOD

Another secret woodland that not many people know about, this spectacular woodland on the hills up behind Ruthin has stunning views of the Clwydian Range. Follow the public right of way around the boundary of the wood and be treated to an autumnal show of colours like no other. If you are lucky you might also get to meet one of the local woodland owners who take great care of this privately-owned wood.

Length: 4km

Difficulty: Moderate

Refreshments: Sugar Plum tearoom is a short drive away and has THE best afternoon teas in the area!

Leaf crunching potential: 5


CHIRK CASTLE

This striking National Trust property is also home to some magnificent woodland which is waymarked and available to everyone to walk around, even dogs. As the path winds its way around the estate you are treated to glimpses of this 13th century castle whilst also having access to some of the best leaf crunching in the area! Finish off in the café or have a browse through the second-hand bookstore (operated on an honest box system!) for a good read to curl up in front of the fire with when you get home. After all that walking and leaping about in the leaves, I think you deserve it!

Length: 4km

Difficulty: Moderate

Refreshments: Café on site

Leaf crunching potential: 7

Hopefully this has given you some inspiration to get out there and enjoy all that autumn has to offer in North Wales. We’d love to hear what you thought of these walks and do please send us your top tips and secret places as we are always keen to explore new places!

Posted: 04.10.19

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