THIS section goes through some of the most spectacular scenery of the whole path at Eglwyseg, and also takes you on a good old stomp through leg-sapping moorland.
Distance: 24.45 km
Ascent: 816 m
Time: 6 hours 30 min
Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Chirk Mill to Llandegla
Llangollen is reasonably close to the path as an option for an overnight stop for those looking for alternative options, while there are some facilities at Llandegla at the end of the section.
Keep an eye out for:
Traveline for UK Public Transport can be used to determine exact bus and train times.
Offa’s Dyke from Chirk Mill to Llandegla Details
The tenth section of Offa’s Dyke from Chirk Mill to Llandegla
Offa’s Dyke from Chirk Mill to Llandegla Route Map and GPX file
Towpath to Llangollen
A PERMISSIVE path only open seasonally offers a short cut through the grounds of Chirk Castle, following the Dyke itself, but you’ll be making your way towards the highly picturesque Llangollen Canal. Follow the towpath to Trevor Basin, where the visitor centre offers a fascinating insight into the canal’s history, and especially so of the magnificent 200-year-old Pontcysyllte Aqueduct built by Thomas Telford that stands just metres away.
The stone and cast iron aqueduct is a spectacular sight, featuring 18 arches and being 38m high and 307m long. And it would seem remiss to pass over the opportunity to cross this structure that is designated a World Heritage Site – alongside other marvels such as the Taj Mahal – on the towpath that seems to hover in mid-air. But be warned that it is not for the faint-hearted.
The aptly-named Aqueduct Inn in Trevor on the other side would seem to be a sensible place to re-settle your nerves over a coffee, a pint or a meal.
Leaving Trevor and re-joining the Path, you traverse the absolutely stunning Eglwyseg crags overlooking the verdant Vale of Llangollen. Above the town of Llangollen you’ll encounter the impressive remains of Castell Dinas Bran, built by Gruffydd ap Madog, prince of the kingdom of Powys. It was destroyed by his followers after his death rather than let it fall into the hands of the English monarchy.
Although it is a steep descent into Llangollen, albeit down a well-surfaced path, there are countless reasons for taking this detour from the Path. The town is a pretty little place on the banks of Afon Dyfrdwy, or the River Dee, offering a plethora of shops, cafes, pubs and other attractions. The full-gauge Llangollen Railway steams out of the town centre terminus, you can arrange trips on the canal, and every July the town hosts the massive Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in a huge purpose-built permanent pavilion complex.
You have now parted ways with the Dyke, and the Path crosses through a sweepingly windswept moorland area, and through the Llandegla Forest – where its Forest Visitor Centre featuring a shop, café and mountain bike hire involves a detour – until you make it to the section’s end at the village of Llandegla. The Crown Hotel offers the weary traveller a place to put his or her feet up, while the village offers a community-run shop and a number of accommodation options.