The Geography of Denbigh
With uplands, valley and the coast within easy reach, the landscape of Denbigh is like nowhere else in the UK. Its position at the centre of such a rich and diverse landscape makes Denbigh the ideal base for exploring the whole region and visitors can enjoy hill walking, fishing, mountain biking and a variety of water sports.
The town rises on a steep rocky outcrop from the rolling fields and wild moors of the Vale of Clwyd. Denbigh Castle is built on the summit of the hill with the old town walls encircling it and providing another layer of defence as well as breath-taking views across the whole Vale of Clwyd, from the Clwydian Range in the east to the Hiraethog Moors (Mynydd Hiraethog) in the west. At the southern edge of the Vale stand the Berwyn Hills with their wild, heather-clad moorland and the North Wales coast is only 15 miles in the opposite direction.
The Clwydian Range is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – the views from its high points simply take your breath away. But it’s not just natural beauty. Many of the hills are crowned with pre-historic hill forts and it’s well worth getting your boots on and seeing them for yourself. Or you can follow the route of Offa’s Dyke, the massive linear earthwork constructed in the 8th century which begins at the mouth of the River Dee and runs all the way to the River Wye in the south.
There are country parks and interpretation centres at Loggerheads and Moel Famau to learn more about this fascinating area.
Llyn Brenig is a beautiful upland reservoir in a stunning landscape only 12 miles from the centre of town. Here you can enjoy world-class trout fishing, cycle hire, woodland walks and even an adventure playground for the kids. You can let them play in safety while you enjoy a relaxing cuppa in the Visitor Centre café. The Brenig Trail circumnavigates Llyn Brenig through forest and along the shoreline of the lake. The route can also be combined with the Alwen Trail to make a longer route.
Intrepid walkers will enjoy exploring the lonely Berwyn Hills to the south. Rich with wildlife, rare birds and blanket bogland, these hills are not for the faint hearted, but visitors will feel like they’re hundreds of miles and hunderds of years from the modern world.
The Hiraethog Moors are dotted with picturesque villages, historic churches and sacred Bronze-age sites. One way of the most rewarding ways to explore Hiraethog and its settlements is on foot. The Hiraethog Trail links the villages of Pentrefoelas, Cerrigydrudion, Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr and Llanrhaeadr via public footpaths, quiet lanes and country roads. Further west are the towering mountains of Snowdonia, and some of the most dramatic landscapes in the British Isles.
And if you’ve had enough of breath-taking views and wide open spaces, the North Wales coast has miles of clean sandy beaches and traditional seaside towns.
The North Wales geography is full of variety – rolling hills and valleys, precipitous mountains, wild moorlands and coastal playgrounds – and Denbigh is the ideal base from which to explore and experience it.
Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Clwydian Range is the upland frontier of North Wales, an imposing chain of hillfort-topped summits, clad in purple heather moorland. These run north-south for 25 miles from the coast at Prestatyn to the Nant y Garth Pass.
The Range’s limestone country is notable for its rocky crags and pavements, natural grasslands and disappearing streams. Rivers and streams gurgle through magical wooded valleys, such as the River Wheeler at Bodfari and the Alyn at Loggerheads, inspiration for Mendelssohn’s Rivulet.
Loggerheads Country Park is only 15 miles away and is great place to begin exploring the Clwydian Range. There you can see many of the special features of the landscape, get advice and information about the Range, participate in family friendly activities and enjoy excellent refreshment facilities.
Moel Famau Country Park is the summit of the Clwydian Range – this area of heather moorland includes the highest point on the Range’s summit chain, to which there is straightforward access from Bwlch Penbarras car park. Atop Moel Famau are the ruins of the Jubilee Tower, the Range’s iconic monument famously visible from all directions.
THE KEYS TO THE TOWN
To get the most from your visit to Denbigh make sure you experience the Town Walls. Borrow the key from the Library at the top of Vale Street, or from the Castle and explore to your heart’s content!
Free Guided Tours & Denbigh Open Doors
Every Saturday and Sunday morning between April and September, local volunteers lead tours of the medieval market town. Tours start from the H.M.Stanley statue in front of the Library at 10.30am and last around 1½ hours.
Tours can be provided all year round for groups, at a day and time to suit, by prior arrangement. For further information about the tours or to make a group booking please contact the Town Hall, before 12pm, on 01745 815984 (Mon-Fri) or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
DENBIGH OPEN DOORS
Each September, as part of European Heritage Days, a wonderful range of interesting, unusual and beautiful historic homes and buildings will be open to the public FOR FREE.
Denbigh Open Doors will take place over the weekend 23/24 September 2017. Details of the event will be added to this website later in the year. Information and photographs from the 2016 event can be found on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/opendoorsdenbighshire/