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The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer

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The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer
Author: Pub Walker, Published: 10 Apr 2017 Walk Rating:star1 The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide star1 The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide star1 The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide star1 The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide star0 The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide
Denbighshire, Bodfari
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide boot The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide boot The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide boot The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide
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0002_sunny_intervals The Dinorben Arms and Moel y Gaer Walking Guide Today's weather
6 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 13 mph NE
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A circular pub walk of just more than 3 miles, from The Dinorben Arms in Bodfari, Denbighshire. The Dinorben Arms sits proudly within the village centre, making the perfect destination for refreshments before or after your walk. The walking route climbs high into the surrounding hills, with rolling grass pastures and beautiful woodland, providing stunning panoramic views. On the return leg, your walk follows part of the Offa’s Dyke Path long-distance trail, before crossing the River Wheeler and the old rail line on the way back into the village.

The route has several long and steep climbs and descents throughout. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates, some flights of steps plus 14 stiles. Almost all of these stiles are very tall with low or narrow footplates (or, in one case, missing footplates making it a vertical wooden ladder) and have tight wire mesh fence surrounds. This means the stiles will be difficult for less agile people and all dogs will need a lift over. If you are walking with a dog that you cannot easily lift over stiles, then this walk is not for you. The paths through woodland and pastures are generally good, but can be muddy in part. You will be sharing most of the grass pastures with sheep. The final loop (which can be avoided if you prefer) involves crossing the A541 twice, within a 40mph stretch. Allow 2 hours.

Bodfari is located in north Denbighshire, on the A541. The walk starts and finishes outside The Dinorben Arms pub, which is located next to the church in the centre of the village. The pub has its own large car park. Approximate post code LL16 4DA.

Walk Sections

Start to Woodland Exit
Start to Woodland Exit

Start point: 53.2201 lat, -3.3609 long
End point: 53.2231 lat, -3.3581 long

The walk begins outside the front door of The Dinorben Arms, alongside the church gates. Standing with your back to the pub door, turn right passing through the black and white lychgate to enter the churchyard. Go up the flight of steps and you will see the small war memorial on your left and the church clock tower ahead.

The Church of St Stephen is thought to date originally from the 7th century; it is certainly recorded in a taxation document of 1254 as the church of 'Bottewara'. The church is much altered, and the earliest part surviving is this late medieval tower.

Follow the tarmac path which bends right and continues with the church on your left. Beyond the church, the tarmac path leads you out of the churchyard via a metal gate to reach a stone parking area. Turn immediately right to join the grass path, with a stone wall on your right and a fenced sheep pasture on your left. Pass through the small gate into the sheep pasture and continue ahead to reach a wooden stile (without footplates, so more of a wooden ladder). Cross this to join another stretch of fenced grass path, still heading uphill. At the top, turn right over another stile to enter a section of woodland, Coed y Llan.

A few paces along, you will come to a fork. Take the right-hand branch, staying close to the fence on your right. On your right, you will have lovely views back to the church in Bodfari. The woodland is awash with wild garlic in the spring months. The path swings left around the edge of the woodland, undulating over root mounds and rocks, so do take care. The path winds ahead to reach a stile at the edge of a hillside grass pasture.

Woodland Exit to Plesyn Drive
Woodland Exit to Plesyn Drive

Start point: 53.2231 lat, -3.3581 long
End point: 53.2277 lat, -3.3617 long

NOTE: You are likely to find sheep in all these large grass pastures (even if you can’t see them at first glance). Cross the stile and walk at about 1 o’clock, heading steeply uphill and passing just to the right of the trees in the centre of the field. On your way up the slope, you may wish to pause, catch your breath and enjoy the expansive views across the valley to your right. Tucked into the top corner of the field you will find a stile. Do NOT cross this, instead turn left and follow the top boundary of the pasture, staying close to the fence on your right.

The woodland beyond the fence on your right is called Coed Moel-y-Gaer, which translates as bald hill of the fortress. The summit of the hill is the site of an Iron Age hillfort, one of a chain of six hillforts on the Clwydian Range. Remains of a timber long house on the hill summit have been dated to the third millennium BC, and may represent the earliest human occupation of the region.

As you continue along this top boundary, far reaching views open up ahead to the north-west. When the woodland on your right ends, cross a stile on your right to enter a smaller pasture. Walk ahead, heading downhill and staying close to the fence on your left (passing two fenced white properties, Beehive Cottage and Plesyn, on your right). Take care not to slip when the section of loose flint begins. Immediately before the farm gate ahead, turn right to continue on the loose flint path. Cross a stile at the end of the path to reach the driveway for one of the properties. Bear left along this drive to reach the junction with a country lane.

Plesyn Drive to Stile with Steps
Plesyn Drive to Stile with Steps

Start point: 53.2277 lat, -3.3617 long
End point: 53.2276 lat, -3.3539 long

Turn right and follow the country lane steeply uphill. Pass one house, Gwern Hwlcyn, on your left and then, after a double bend, a second house also on your left. 20 metres later, turn right over a stile to enter a grass pasture. This is marked with an acorn, the symbol that denotes a National Trail, as you are now joining Offa’s Dyke Path.

With your back to this stile, walk diagonally left (between 10 and 11 o’clock) and cross a stile at the far side to enter a second pasture. Continue ahead, going downhill and staying close to the fence and trees on your right. In the bottom right-hand corner, cross the stile to join a stone vehicle track within trees.

Follow this track, passing a gated drive on your right and then swinging right (and ignoring the bridleway signed left). A short distance later you will reach a staggered T-junction with a tarmac lane. Bear right and, after just 20 metres, take the stile with steps on your right to enter another pasture.

Stile with Steps to Tan y Fallen
Stile with Steps to Tan y Fallen

Start point: 53.2276 lat, -3.3539 long
End point: 53.2229 lat, -3.3545 long

Walk diagonally left up through this field, to reach a stile in the top boundary. Cross the stile and turn left on the path with a wire fence on your left and woodland sloping up to your right. This is the woodland on the slopes of Moel-y-Gaer once again. Follow the path leading you up a couple of flights of steps, crossing another stile and then descending via wooden steps (passing a particularly beautiful rock formation on your right).

The next stile leads you out of the woodland and into a grass pasture. Walk diagonally left, heading steeply downhill through the centre of this pasture. At the bottom of the field you will find a stile (just to the left of the house). Cross the stile to reach a quiet lane. Turn right along this quiet lane (leaving Offa’s Dyke Path), passing the property called Tan-y-Fallen on your right. On your left here, you may see alpacas grazing in the pasture.

Tan y Fallen to Aberwheeler Farm
Tan y Fallen to Aberwheeler Farm

Start point: 53.2229 lat, -3.3545 long
End point: 53.2189 lat, -3.3506 long

Stay with the quiet lane which leads you downhill, passing through the 30mph signs to enter the outskirts of Bodfari. About 50 metres later, where the lane swings left, you have two choices. If you wish to take a short cut back to the start (avoiding the road crossings in this next section), turn right along the signed tarmac footpath and this will lead you directly back to the village church and pub.

For the full walk, follow the lane which swings left to reach a bus stop at the junction with the A541. Cross over the main road with care to take the kissing gate ahead, once again joining Offa’s Dyke Path. Follow this enclosed path ahead and then cross a footbridge over the River Wheeler (via two gates). This leads you into another grass pasture.

Continue ahead through this pasture, keeping close to the hedge on your left. At the end of the field, you will emerge via a kissing gate to a junction with a quiet tarmac road (with Aberwheeler Farm on your left).

Aberwheeler Farm to End
Aberwheeler Farm to End

Start point: 53.2189 lat, -3.3506 long
End point: 53.2201 lat, -3.3609 long

Turn right along the narrow country lane (leaving Offa’s Dyke Path again), with the pastures and river running across to your right. Follow this road all the way to the T-junction at the end. Turn right and follow the pavement through the tiny hamlet of Geinas. Before you reach the junction with the A541, cross over to join the left-hand grass verge and follow this as it turns left alongside the main road.

Continue for just 60 metres, then cross over the main road with care to turn right through a kissing gate into a grass pasture. Walk directly ahead, heading for the wide farm gate (with the village of Bodfari visible to the right of this). As you reach the wide gate, pass through the smaller kissing gate alongside and keep ahead to cross the stone bridge. This bridge is now redundant as it crosses part of the pasture, but it once crossed a rail line. Bodfari, a seemingly sleepy settlement, had a rail station until 1962.

A further kissing gate leads you onto an unmade vehicle track. Follow this up the slope to reach a junction with the village road (with the village school on your left). Turn right along the road for just a short distance to reach The Dinorben Arms for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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Uploaded: 06 Dec 2017
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