The Vale of Clwyd and the Clwydian Range are part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or Ardal o Harddwch Naturiol Eithriadol in Welsh. A series of hills, running north to south, the Range is dotted with numerous iron age hillforts, many of which can be seen from Tyddyn Isaf. This spectacular chain of hillforts stretches from Moel Hiraddug in the north to Caer Drewyn in the south-west, forming one of the most important historic landscapes in Wales.
Our nearest town is the “Jewel in the Vale”, Ruthin. There is plenty to do in this lovely market town. The medieval town centre is home to Ruthin Gaol (where you can take part in the ‘Gruelling Experience’), Nant Clwyd Y Dre (oldest half timbered house in Wales), the award winning Ruthin Craft Centre and the newly completed Ruthin Art Trail.
Or get up close to farm animals and experience a livestock auction at Ruthin Farmers Auction on a Tuesday or Thursday when regular weekly sales are held.
The nearby towns of Mold, Denbigh, St Asaph, Chester and Wrexham are all nearby and are lovely places to stroll around with some great places to eat and drink.
We seem to be surrounded by World Heritage Sites! The great castles of Conwy, Beaumaris and Caernarfon are all within easy reach.
Nearer to home is the 18 kilometre long Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, just outside Llangollen. The aqueduct is a ‘pioneering masterpiece of engineering and monumental metal architecture’ built by Thomas Telford.
Another World Heritage Site is the historic centre and docklands of the maritime mercantile City of Liverpool. Easily reached via the Mersey Tunnel and definitely worth a day out.
The keen (and casual) walker is spoilt for choice. Offa’s Dyke runs along the top of the Clwydian Range and the views from the path are some of the best in Wales. Moel Famau, the highest peak is easily accessible and there are lots of low level walks starting out from Loggerheads Country Park.
Now, with all this activity, you’ll be getting hungry. Head to Sugar Plum tearoom in Rhewl (a mile from the cottage) for an afternoon tea experience you’ll fondly remember for a long time.
Snowdonia: 1 hour’s drive, Chester: half an hour, Bala 22 miles, Rhyl 18 miles, Llangollen 17 miles, Mold 11 miles, Denbigh 7 miles, Ruthin 3 miles, Clwydian Range: out the front door and turn left.