Growing up on the Wirral, we visited Moel Famau a few times with school and Guides. Despite having been to Loggerheads, I kept promising that I would take Jit to the nearby “hill” Moel Famau. So one sunny day late last year, we made our way there.
A bit of a hill
Moel Famau is described as a ‘bit of a hill’ and when you are scaling it and enjoying the views from the top, you might wonder why it’s not a mountain. Well, to be classed as a mountain the ‘hill’ must be above 2000 feet. Moel Famau falls short of that by a mere 182 feet making it ‘just’ a really big hill. Don’t let that put you off if you’re a mountain lover though, it really had the feel of one and the views are spectacular too.
The country park is located just about halfway between Ruthin and Mold. We park in Loggerheads Country Park as it gives us a good walk to Moel Famau and an adventure in itself.
Loggerheads to Moel Famau
It’s not just about Moel Famau (well, this post is) when you have Loggerheads to explore too. I will be sure to write-up Loggerheads at some point too.
Loggerheads Country Park is the best place to start your walk because there is a cafe and shop if you need supplies. We bought a section of OS map with some predetermined walks on it to give us a starting point, we then set about making our way to Moel Famau through the woodland paths.
Having the OS map meant that we could quickly and easily take detours and try out different parts of the route over to Moel Famau. We like this because we can spot something in the distance and head over to explore without the worry of losing our bearings. It also meant that we could enjoy a nice variety or paths and terrains while we wound our way over to the hill.
On a warm sunny day, the map also offers the opportunity to choose to walk in the shelter of the trees, which is very welcome in the peak sun.
Loggerheads and Moel Famau are part of the Clwydian Mountain Range which makes is an excellent place to explore when you’re staying in the relatively flat Wirral. It is a bit misleading as Moel Famau is actually the tallest so in essence it is the Clwydian Hill Range.
The winding paths along the route meant that we had lots of nice places to stop and enjoy the views over to the other hills and mountains.
Making the ascent
Arriving at the foot of Moel Famau was quite a change from the green canopy of the trees in Loggerheads and the route over. The ground was arid and sandy with patches of plants popping up along the edges. It was rather desert-like to say the least.
At the peak in the distance up the snaking path, we could see the tiny shapes of the people who had made it up in the sweltering midday heat. Feeling hungry and eager to see the views, we opted for the harder path with the steeper incline.
Looking back from time to time, it was easy to see how quickly we had ascended and where we had come from by following the path with our eyes. It was strange the way it looked so much greener from above.
Bagging a trig
Arriving at the tip of the hill, aside from the remains of a castle, we spotted a trig pillar. And in good outdoor blogger style went over to immediately bag it and grab a photo. I was going to post the classy arty one, but opted for the cheesy grinny one instead!
The trig in the bag and many of the people leaving to make their way back down the hill, we headed over to the castle to explore and settle for some lunch.
The remains of the building I called a castle are actually part of Jubilee Tower. It was built in 1810 to commemorate the golden jubilee of George III. A rather bizarre design, it was planned to be an Egyptian style obelisk. It was designed by Chester based designer Thomas Harrison. The project was never completed though and a storm badly damaged the structure in 1862 (not as an exciting end to it as you would imagine for the age). What we have now is the safe remains of the building. If you look inside some of the metal guarded entrances, you can see where the original brickwork has crumbled.
Still, it is really fun to see and you do get some excellent views from the additional feet above sea level.
The only way is…down
Lunch and views thoroughly enjoyed, we started to make our descent down the big hill. Choosing the gentle route, even though we thought that it might have a less interesting view. We were gladly proven wrong on that assumption!
As well as being able to look back up the hill and see Jubilee Tower dwarfed by the landscape, we were treated to unspoiled views over the hills through heather moorland. Certainly not boring or uninspiring, that is for sure. I even found one of the touring rocks on the way down, which I pocketed for distributing on the Wirral.
Back down on the more level ground we made our way towards Loggerheads again (bit with a tea break at the bottom, of course) It was nice to get back into some of the shade after walking in the strong sunlight, and seeing the shadows dancing in the breeze.
All kinds of paths
The final leg of our walk included rather plain and bleak and yet others we were wading through high plants and hedgerow with little view of our navigable path.
Moel Famau is a bit of a hill
It might be a bit of a hill, but it has the feeling of a mighty mountain! The views from Moel Famau are worth heading over for a hike. I loved that both the hard and the easy routes had excellent vantage points and surroundings making it even more enjoyable to do them both.
Having written this while the rain pours down the windows in the summer storms, I am eager to get my hiking boots on and get back to the Clwydian range for another adventure.
Have you been to Loggerheads or Moel Famau?
Do you think it matters whether somewhere is a ‘real’ mountain or not?
Let me know in the comments
Loggerheads Country Park and Moel Famau
Ruthin Rd, Mold CH7 5LH