Clwyd

Dee to Sea

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Overview

One of the nicest trails in the country for those wanting to drive through stunningly beautiful countryside at a leisurely pace from the English border at Wrexham through the valley of the River Dee to Llangollen and then heading north via the Horseshoe Pass to Denbigh. There are ample places to stop and just enjoy the view or go for a walk along the route.

Wrexham

A medieval market town at the crossroads of Wales and England. Visit the 15th century St Giles church or wander the pedestrianised shopping area. Accessible in only 18 minutes by train from nearby Chester.

Erddig

Overlooking the Clywedog river the house begun in the late 17th century has formal walled gardens and woodland walks and is owned by the National Trust. The stunning gardens have been restored to their 18th century formal design.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

At a World Heritage site, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, built of 18 stone and cast iron arches carries the Llangollen canal over the River Dee and took Thomas Telford 10 years to design and build.

Ty Mawr Country Park

On the banks of the River Dee the park offers many trails running beneath the Cefn Viaduct and along the Cefn Heritage trail and a chance to see the local fauna and flora and some farmyard animals.

Chirk Castle

A medieval fortress on the Welsh Marches built in the late 13th century by Roger Mortimer de Chirk as part of chain of castles commissioned by Edward 1 to subdue the area following his successful conquest of Wales and now owned by the National Trust.

Llangollen

A medieval market town and home to the annual Eisteddford as well as a great starting point for walks in stunning scenery, or maybe catch the steam train or a horse drawn canal boat. Visit Plas Newydd House and Museum or walk up the hill to the ruins of the 13th century Castell Dinas Bran.

Valle Crucis Abbey

Founded in 1201 by the Cistercians and is now a ruin though large parts of the original buildings remain. The nearby Pillar of Eliseg dates from the 9th century but the mound it is on dates back to at least the Bronze Age.

Horseshoe Pass

The road, following a horseshoe route though the Clwydian range, was first built in 1811. It is not uncommon for sheep to gather in the road and provides many other places to stop and look at the scenery.

Ruthin

An historic market town with 800 years of history featuring many old buildings from the castle ruins, the Ruthin Gaol or Nantclwyd y Dre a timber-framed townhouse started in 1435 and believed to the oldest of its type in Wales.

Denbigh

Overlooking the Vale of Clywd the remains of the castle still dominate the agricultural town. Take a walk along the town walls and seek out its secret gardens and more listed buildings than any other town in Wales.

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Overview

1

Wrexham

2
4.6 miles

Erddig

3
8.5 miles

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

4
2.7 miles

Ty Mawr Country Park

5
3.6 miles

Chirk Castle

6
6.9 miles

Llangollen

7
2.0 miles

Valle Crucis Abbey

8
2.6 miles

Horseshoe Pass

9
11.3 miles

Ruthin

10
8.1 miles

Denbigh

What to see and do…

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About the Dee to Sea Trail

Distance:50 miles
Cities / Towns:10
Number Of Businesses:0

Start in Wrexham where nearby National Trust properties, Chirk Castle and Erddig Hall set the mood for an exploration of the Dee Valley. Take in the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct carrying the Llangollen canal over the River Dee, a world heritage site, Ty Mawr country park and then to Llangollen with nearby ruins of the Welsh fortress of Castell Dinas Bran.

In Llangollen linger on the bridge for views of the river as canoeists battle the fast-flowing water. Take in the gothic fantasy of Plas Newydd Museum & Gardens.

The road towards Denbigh opens out with views across the moorland and hills and before the winding Horseshoe Pass, a mecca for cyclists, motor cyclists, and sheep who may wander across the road.

In Ruthin head for St Peter’s Square for the older parts of the town including Nantclwyd y Dre, the world’s oldest timbered town house and the castle ruins. Head to the market town of Denbigh with more listed buildings than any other town in Wales and the ruins of the Denbigh Castle.

Child Friendly
Cycling
Free to Do
Pet Friendly
Walking
Wheel Chair Access

Stunning Scenery

Tree lined mountain valleys, open moorland and fast flowing streams. From a leisurely drive, to some excellent walking trails and cycle tracks, to canoeing on the Dee this has everything for the visitor wanting to explore this part of Wales.

Medieval Towns

Wander the streets of Wrexham, Llangollen, Ruthin and Denbigh and soak up the history, explore the shops or just partake of local food and Welsh hospitality.

Castles & Ancient Monuments

A land fought over for centuries led to the building of Welsh castles like Dinas Bran, and English castles at Chirk, Ruthin and Denbigh but also Valle Crucis Abbey and the 9th century Pillar of Eliseg.