3.3 of 5 (10 votes)

Corwen, Glyndwr Country

A leisurely walk (countryside) in Denbighshire, Wales, about 9.90km (6.15 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 3:15h. It is suitable for families with children, but unsuitable for prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 206m (675ft)
Descent 214m (702ft)
Max. Elevation 300m (984ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 420m (1377ft)
Start & End
Pavilion bus stop
Distance 9.90km
Duration ~3:15h
1Created by driver 16 on 27 Jun 2011
Picturesque town nestling between the River Dee and the northern Berwyn Hills, often referred to as the 'crossroads of North Wales'. Two main routes here from North Wales, one from Lleyn Peninsula and Anglesey, other from Ardudwy and Harlech. There is also a stopping place for the A5 Holyhead to London Stagecoach (see visitorreview.com/carfreewalks for picture of the 17th Century coaching inn still in use today). Corwen means 'White Choir' or 'White Church', the name dating back to the 6th Century and the religious community founded by Breton-Welsh saints Mael and Sulien (see a picture of the church at visitorreview.com/carfreewalks).   

Walk Functions


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Walk Map

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OS Grid SJ080434
The pavilion, although not the prettiest of buildings (now under threat of demolition), is the site of the first National Eisteddfod held after WW1 and the first Urdd (Welsh youth movement) Eisteddfod in 1922.
OS Grid SJ080433
First sight of interesting buildings; Corwen Manor, originally a workhouse, was proposed at a meeting of the Poor Law Commissioners on 9th January 1837 to house 150 paupers from 7 parishes. it was completed in 1840, following the Benthamite principle of 2 wings, men in one, women in the other. Then extended to its cruciform shape to house workrooms, kitchen and Governor's accomodation. On the opposite side of London Road is 'Tramp's Rest', where tramps would have to break one hundred weight of stone per day in the quarry at the foot of nearby Pen Y Pign in order to earn food and lodging for one night. Rooms had a rope strung across them, tramps leaning on them for support to sleep (commonplace in cities at the time, gave rise to the saying "I'm so tired I could sleep on a clothesline". It is now a garage. Continue along London Road.
About 0.07 km (~0.04 miles) from
OS Grid SJ079434
And courthouse, now a guesthouse, if you so wish you can sleep in a cell complete with original door! Continue along London Road.
About 0.07 km (~0.04 miles) from
OS Grid SJ079434
Constucted at a cost of £3000 by public subscription, and opened by the Archbishop of Wales in 1931. Enter the churchyard through the side entrance of the Parish Church of St.Mael and St. Sulien. Walk along the front of the church, bear right down the path through graves and you should come out at the side of the Owain Glyndwr Hotel, said to be haunted by a beautiful but sorrowful woman who has been seen pacing the corridors after a passionate but illicit affair with a local monk. Her brothers discovered the affair and banished the monk, and the woman was heartbroken forever! On the opposite side of the road is the statue of Owain Glyndwr, one of the most famous figures in Welsh history. He dreamt of an independent Wales (even in those days), his revolt 1400-1409 was the last major rebellion against English rule. Turn left to the next corner to find the Post Office.
About 0.04 km (~0.02 miles) from
OS Grid SJ078434
Head up Mill Street to find a grassy path into Coed Ysgol (School Wood) / Coed Pen y Pigyn (Pen y Pigyn Wood). At a large carving of an axe in the remains of the tree trunk you can see a sign for "Dagger Walk". Owain reputedly threw a dagger in anger at the townsfolk, landing in the churchyard below. Follow this path through Oak Wood. You may see funghi, bats, red kites, red squirrels, hedgehogs etc. There are picnic areas on way round, the top one with a great view of the valley. Come eventually to Gorsedd stone circle.
About 0.12 km (~0.07 miles) from
OS Grid SJ076432
Not very well defined and rather overgrown, but you can go left up to the stone monument at Pen y Pigyn, originally erected to commemorate the marriage of King Edward 7th to Princess Alexandra of Denmark on March 10th 1863, and restored in 1911 to commemorate the investiture of his grandson, HRH Edward Prince of Wales. Or you can do as I did and go right to find a stream. Cross on the stepping stones and follow the path down to "The Crown", a 17th century coaching inn (see pictures at visitorreview.com/carfreewalks).
About 0.25 km (~0.16 miles) from
OS Grid SJ077434
Turn left at this old coaching inn on to Bridge Street and follow the main road to a sign for the A494 and the B4401, (waypoint 8).
About 0.24 km (~0.15 miles) from
OS Grid SJ070433
Turn right to cross the bridge over the River Dee. Follow the road to the traffic lights, and turn right - signposted to 'Rug Chapel' (waypoint 9).
About 0.68 km (~0.42 miles) from
OS Grid SJ065439
Run by CADW, and built as a private chapel for a wealthy 17th century landowner, Colonel William Salusbury, in 1637. The layout and decoration of the interior is 'high church', and simple outside. Inside is a feast of colourful decoration and magnificent carved woodwork, well worth a visit. There is a booklet with the history and colour pictures of this chapel, nearby Llangar Church (if you want to visit go back to roadsign for B4401, look for footpath sign to side of river and follow to where the Dee meets the Alwen river) and Gwydir Uchaf chapel (not on this walk, it is in Llanrwst). The booklet is available in the chapel shop, £3.50, exceptional value. Afterwards, go back to the bridge.
About 0.82 km (~0.51 miles) from
OS Grid SJ068434
Don't cross the bridge, but step over the stone stile into a meadow. There is a footpath sign; follow it to pass a rugby field, park and bowling green on your way to waypoint 11.
About 0.58 km (~0.36 miles) from
OS Grid SJ080442
Turn right on to the B5437, look for sign for Caer Drewyn (known locally as Mynedd y Gaer), turn left and follow the path to waypoint 12.
About 1.42 km (~0.88 miles) from
OS Grid SJ087444
Rises nearly 1000ft above sea level, this hill dominates the northeast skyline of the town. The Celts built it in about 800BC. It is one of the best preserved Iron Age hillforts in Wales. Unusually it has a large stone wall, within which the hillfort people would have lived in round houses. In AD64 the Romans arrived. They cultivated grapes on the south-facing slopes, possibly the reason for source name 'Trewyn' having changed from Tre win (wine town). Later in 12th Century Owain Gwynedd used it as a camp for his army, waiting for attack from Henry II advancing from across the Berwyns. Bad weather and the guerilla tactics of Owain's army led to the collapse of Henry's army at Moel y Gwynt and they retreated back to England. Two centuries later, Owain Glyndwr used it as a shelter and base for his army. We will now head for Carrog, waypoint 13.
About 0.71 km (~0.44 miles) from
OS Grid SJ104437
At the moment, the end of the line for the Llangollen Railway, but, having been granted a Transport & Works Order to extend the line another 2 1/2 miles to Corwen, including a new station which has been costed at £4.6 million, the Trust will comence work on the extension in early 2011. They hope to complete the first phase of works, i.e. lay track to the immediate environs of Corwen and establish a temporary platform terminal, in 2012. There are many benefits if one donates. Retrace your way back to Corwen, waypoint 14.
About 1.80 km (~1.12 miles) from
OS Grid SJ079437
Hope you make it and enjoy as much as I did.
About 2.46 km (~1.53 miles) from

1 comment... join the discussion!

Caroline Ellison
24 Jan 2014
Corwen Old Police Station

Corwen Old Police Station (and Court House)was bought by present owners in 2010 and has been completely renovated and is now a self catering holiday property. thank you

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