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Black Pudding Gaiters

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Denbigh

Cows, cows, cows

The original plan was to go to Chipping Norton and join several Abarth owners for a meet at Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm. The locals didn’t like the idea so it was cancelled leaving me with an entire week off and no where to go.

My first thought was a camping trip Monday to Tuesday, but the forecast was poor (although it actually turned out not as bad as predicted)
Maybe try Tuesday to Wednesday, but the forecast was awful (although it actually turned out not as bad as predicted). So Wednesday to Thursday it was. 

The weather has brought some heavy rain over the weekend and at the end of the previous week, so the ground would be muddy or boggy. I took this in to consideration when I was wondering where to go. I noticed that not only did Cae Dai Wilderness Adventures have a separate, paved car park it was also as wild as it gets for a paid site. 

I do like wild camping but it’s had some idiots giving it a bad name recently, also, sometimes it’s nice to have comforts like a compost loo and drinking water. I dropped them an email and got a friendly reply saying not only was I booked in but I could turn up as early as 9am! 

Tent in Cae Dai Wilderness adverntures

After parking up I was free to choose my pitch.
There was the main field which was lovely, but, just over a wooden bridge was the woodland.
To the left was a nice spot, a smaller grassy patch surrounded by trees and the river, but I fancied something a bit more ‘wild’ .

I wandered the woods and found a few possible candidates, then I dropped down a rather muddy path to a spot next to the river.
Perfect. 
I pitched the MSR Elixir with the door opening out to the stream. then off I went on a walk. 

I’d planned a fairly long route that would take in the castle and hopefully give me a peek at the gliding club, I’m a sucker for anything aviation! 
It was nice to see so many gliders in the skies today. The purest form of flying and, having only flown powered aircraft, I admire those pilots a lot.

View on walk from Denbigh

The walk started easily enough, following a path to the south of Denbigh, then below the castle.
I was very soon looking at some very beautiful scenery. I wondered why it had taken me so long to reach this particular part of the world.

I joined the road for a little while and continued under a tunnel towards Brookhouse Pottery. This Denbigh pottery, by the way is in no way related to the similar sounding Denby pottery!

I was soon back on a footpath which followed a river.
All very pleasant.
It did become rather over grown at one point with large leafy plants that reminded me of rhubarb but it wasn’t difficult to get through.
On reaching a stile, I checked the map. It would he a straight walk to the road on the other side.
There were are few cows dotted around but they were keeping themselves busy, munching on the grass.
All was well.
Then one looked up and started heading my way.
I marched on.
Another looked up, but, this one bounded, like an excited puppy.
Very soon there was a line of large cows and the smaller cowdog moving towards me, slowly at first but gradually gathering pace.
I stopped. They continued.
Maybe I could head to the opposite side of the field to my left and pass around the side of them.
They moved to their right.
The exit was closer than the entrance. Maybe these were friendly cows, cowdog certainly looked a loveable, bouncy character. But, there was more of them and they were rather big.
I turned and headed back to the entrance, quickening my pace.
I crossed the stile, they gathered on the other side.
A few lost interest and went back to eating lunch.
I hid just around the corner for a few minutes and popped my head round to see if they had grown bored of this strange human. They hadn’t.

Oh well, I’d abandon this walk, grab a coffee at camp then head in the opposite direction to see Dr Johnson’s house which, at the time, Google Maps amusingly described as a nightclub.

This route took me alongside corn fields and up to Gwaynynog , the setting for a number of Beatrix Potter books.
As for Dr Johnson’s house…….well, I managed to walk past it!
I decided to ditch the OS map and fired up Google maps, at least then there would be a pin in the right place to find this ‘nightclub’
I returned to the stile bordering the field containing hundreds of grouse and there it was, hidden amongst the trees with a wire fence running around it. To be honest, there wasn’t much to see.
Just prior to the hunt for the house, I took a right at the junction in the woods to look for the monument, however, those pesky cows were at it again. This time three of them gathered on the narrow footpath. I decided it wasn’t really worth trying to pick my way past for a chap I only really knew from an episode of Blackadder.

Denbigh castle

As it was still fairly early, I continued past the campsite and on up to the castle.

I do like a visit to a castle. Castles and waterfalls are two things I like to hunt down on trips.
Unfortunately, this one was locked up, I later discovered it’s always closed on Wednesday.
I did manage a wander around the outside though and get a few photos.

Returning to the campsite, I’d passed a house selling eggs so dinner consisted of a hard boiled egg, cooked in the Jetboil, and a Firepot Posh Pork and Beans. Nicer than it sounds!

After dinner, I sat down with a can of Brew York beer and listened to the stream. Work seemed a million miles away. No phone signal, no light pollution, no noise.
Bliss 

Having the entire site to myself meant the night time was pitch black and as silent as it gets, all I could hear were the owls hooting. It was a real shame it was overcast as I imagine the stars would be amazing. 

I was up and out early the next day, which was a shame but, despite the walks not going as planned, it was a lovely trip and just what the Doctor (Johnson?) ordered!

Glider over Debigh, North Wales
I’d have loved to have been up there!!

Lynn Brenig

Sunday, and it was unseasonably warm and sunny for the end of September.
I had already done quite a lot of walking on the Monday and Tuesday (more about that in a later post) so I was wanting something not very technical but where I could still rack up the miles. Cue Lynn Brenig, near Denbigh.  A reservoir and one of the largest areas of inland water in Wales.
The area isn’t just for walking, fishing is popular as is cycling. Bikes can be hired from the visitors centre. There is also an  archaeological  route which passes visits a number of prehistoric burial and ritual sites.

Lake Lynn BrenigAfter parking up in the huge car park, paying the £2 parking fee  and making a quick use of the ‘facilities’ in the visitors centre, I headed toward the water which looked lovely with the sunshine shimmering.
The plan was to do the 9 or so miles around the lake, turning right from the visitors centre to go around anti-clockwise.
The path is very easy to follow, a large track designed for walkers and cyclists that follows along side the lake up to the damn at the far end, however, this track soon becomes a road with the occasional vehicle going past.

End of lakeFor about half of the walk, the path/road is some distance from the lake and perhaps the walk would have been better done in a clockwise direction as the views do become rather disappointing the other way round!
At one point, near the far end of the lake, you do have the option to leave the road for a while, however the track here can become a bit muddy.

All in all, it’s an easy walk with little in the way climbing or descending, a good way to rack up a few miles, however, it’s a shame that most of the walk is on what is, in essence, a minor road.
If I returned to the area, I would probably head out towards the Clocaenog Forest.

I stopped off at the visitor centre cafe for a quick coffee before heading home. The cafe veranda offers great views across the lake, however, given the lovely weather, it was full when I arrived. Decent cuppa  and a good choice of snacks and meals.

Download the route
 The walk can be extended to around 14 miles by continuing on to the Alwen Reservoir

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