If you read my last post about Chirk Castle and Parkland, you will know that in addition to the National trust property we also explored Offa’s Dyke Path and Chirk Castle Countryside. So much so, that I had to do a separate post so that I could share it all with you!
It is all part of our exploration of North Wales, Denbighshire and the Wirral after we had to change our holiday plans at last-minute. To a great outcome, mind you, as I could support my parents while we also got to explore and take adventures during the day. And I got to wake up to my six kitties every morning too!
Following on from the Castle
Chirk Castle is situated in the most glorious countryside with the Offa’s Dyke path just a stones throw away and even passing through the parkland. As we had time in the day, the weather was being kind and we were in the mood for a hike we headed out of the grounds. Just down a path from the castle leads you out into open fields where our adventure began. Wandering randomly around the hedge in the wrong way we got to really discover where we were! (OK, so we were lost already!)
To be honest, if you’re going to get lost anywhere then a glorious grassy field with hills for as far as the eye can see is not a bad place to be!
The gate at the other side of the field
Eventually we spotted the painted way marker in the distance i.e. the other side of the field, directly opposite the path we came down! So we trundled around the rest of the edge of the field – to make sure we really knew it – and passed through the gate.
the new path led us through the woods and out into an opening near a main road. A Large tree, split in two by something stood by the entrance. We discovered that it was the ‘Oak at the Gate of the Dead’. It is nearly 1000 years old!! It gets the name from when Welsh forces ambushed an invading English army in 1165, and the dead were buried nearby. So is a lot more interesting than it would seem by just looking at it.
Crossing the road takes you towards the pathways for the Ceiriog Valley which began with a winding walk over the dyke then a winding hill up towards some concrete steps. We said we were up for a hike, not a slog up stairs! It was certainly worth the uphill walk when we were greeted with some gorgeous horses at the top.
Not just these two either. The path took us up the next hill where we were wandering through even more horses and their foals. They, of course, kept a keen eye on us as we meandered through, just in case we had a carrot or two. And we made it to the top to enjoy the most spectacular vies of the castle, surrounding fields and the hill we just scaled.
The view of Chirk Castle
…and how far we had come! Peering over the trees in the distance you can just see Chirk Castle from the hill we were on. Can you just imagine the views from the castle windows. It got us picturing winter with a log fire burning, looking out of the window at the snow-covered hills and naked trees in the distance. For some reason we always love the idea of places in the winter – and a log burning stove! Off topic, but to help with that we’ve booked new year in a little cabin cottage in Pwhellhi and hope that we might get the right weather then for our imagination to go wild!
At the top of the hill, while we re-hydrated ourselves, we checked our location against the map. We had taken a left when we were meant to take a right way back down the track! We weren’t even on the map!
Not deterred by our numptiness, we decided to head back down and look for another walk to take. It was a pretty steep hill, but easier on the way down.
To my absolute delight, there was a lovely ginger and white cat at the bottom of the hill! Of course I had to have a bit of an impromptu photo shoot with the gorgeous one! (don’t worry! I won’t share them all!)
Back to the Castle
Once I had peeled myself away from the kitty we headed back down the path in which we came to lead us back to the first field we got lost in and back up towards the castle.
I do enjoy taking the same path the other way because you do seem to see new things that weren’t there on he first time around. I usually recommend this for short circular walks as you can double the distance while feeling like you’re doing a different walk. And all without the travel time too.
The view was equally stunning from the castle side of the field too. If you look towards the left of the following picture, you can just see some faint dots in the field. These are the horses that we met earlier. It is amazing how quickly you can make a journey through a valley and back up again.
Then back up with just enough time to have a wander around the National trust walks, some more of the grounds and back to the car. On spotting the way marked routes on the National Trust sign, we also discovered that it shared part of the route we were meant to take! Typical! We will be back to conquer it though – and to see the cat again!
Again I have so much to show you from our adventure in the estate parkland that I’ll save it for another post – I don’t want to bombard you!
If you’re around Wrexham and looking for somewhere with indoor, outdoor, hiking and gentle walking, then Chirk Castle is fantastic. There is even a bus to get you up the hill to the castle if you have mobility issues. The toilets are clean, the staff very friendly and the real walking routes very well-marked. All in all, I reckon you will have a fantastic time and want to go back again.
We’re already planning when we might be back there.
Have you ever got terribly lost? Did you find something new or get back on track?
Let me know in the comments below (there’s that poet again!)