The DogPeople Blog
Dog friendly articles and ideas
Hamish was staying at The Hand hotel when he walked this route. It starts from a lay by / car park on the B4500 at Pontricket about 5 minutes drive towards Chirk (grid reference SJ 1863 3435).
From the car park go along the road a short way towards Llanarmon (i.e. TURN RIGHT) to the end of the green metal barrier, on the opposite side, and just before a farm with a pillar box. TURN LEFT downhill on metalled lane. Go over hump-back bridge towards a white house. Just before the house TURN LEFT on a drive to Hendre Farm (as indicated by footpath finger post). Keep ahead through farm buildings and follow a track as it descends nearer to the river (on your left hand side - LHS) and with trees and higher ground on the right hand side (RHS). Keep to the track to pass a disused quarry on your RHS - a short diversion into the quarry is possible and 'worth a look'. Keep ahead as indicated by a number of marker posts, passing a number of old quarry buildings in various stages of ruin.
KEEP AHEAD over a stile by a locked gate (Hamish scrambled under the fence to the right of the stile) into the yard of a house. Cross the yard then go through a gate to reach a metalled lane. TURN RIGHT, uphill, on the lane (you might wish to read an information board about the quarries just through a gate opposite the house before continuing). Pass house on your LHS then go through a metal gate as the lane bears right (note Pontricket 'C' walks sign) - you'll get the first of the good views on your RHS as you climb. KEEP AHEAD through a gate besides a cattle grid - keep to the main track (no longer metalled) still as indicated by a 'C' sign. KEEP AHEAD as a track forks right and downhill towards a farm. KEEP AHEAD through a metal gate climbing steadily, soon with a stream on your LHS.
At the top of the hill TURN LEFT at a cross-tracks ('C' route goes right here and can be used as a short cut). After a short distance go through a gate to reach a metalled lane. TURN RIGHT as signed to Llechrydau. KEEP AHEAD through gate by a cattle grid then, further on, past a large pond on your RHS towards a farm.
Just before the farm TURN RIGHT as indicated by a green horse rider finger post. Pass close to a barn on your LHS and go through a metal gate. At fork in tracks take the LEFT HAND FORK via a wooden six-bar gate. Some way further on, go through another six-bar gate with a white disc and black arrow marker (Llwybr Ceiriog Trail). At cross-tracks go STRAIGHT AHEAD (the main track seems to go right here - the left turn goes through a gate with stone posts). When we walked our route (ahead) was barred by a gate propped in the opening rather than on hinges. After 100 metres or so go through a metal gate with the white disc marker on its right hand post. The track soon starts to descend past a couple of mature Beech trees. Keep ahead and through a metal gate beside a large boulder. KEEP AHEAD towards a farm crossing a stream via footbridge (RHS of track) as you go (SJ 2253 3195). Continue uphill through the farm (house to your RHS, barn to the LHS) to reach a metalled drive. Follow the drive uphill to reach a metalled lane.
TURN RIGHT on the lane (note white disc marker as you go). Keep ahead past a bungalow on your LHS and follow the lane as it starts to bend left. Part way round the bend TURN RIGHT off the lane onto a track through a metal gate with the white disc marker. Follow the track uphill and through another metal gate TURN HARD RIGHT UPHILL through another metal gate with the white disc marker (almost next to the first). Continue through the next gate into a wooded area. Go ahead through another gate at the end of the wood. KEEP AHEAD at cross-tracks behind farm buildings and through a metal gate with the white disc marker.
TURN LEFT on a broad track before reaching the reservoir (keep it on your RHS). Go ahead through a metal gate into the bottom of a wood (we stopped for 'lunch' overlooking the reservoir). KEEP AHEAD at the head of the reservoir - don't cross the bridge - climb out of the wood and valley. KEEP AHEAD as a track joins from your RHS. KEEP AHEAD through a metal gate, quickly reaching the brow of the hill with more good views ahead. Cross a stream running across the track (quite deep in the middle when we walked). KEEP AHEAD through a gate (off hinges when we walked). KEEP AHEAD across a plateau where the track is a no more than a series of ruts through a grassed area. KEEP AHEAD through a double metal gate with the white disc marker on left hand post (another single gate by a sheep fold is to the LHS). KEEP AHEAD following the ruts past a finger post pointing to a footpath (left) and bridleway (right). KEEP AHEAD through a metal gate following the track with Hawthorns on either side (and more great views). KEEP AHEAD as another track forks off left (through a metal gate).
TURN LEFT at a T-junction (if you look right you'll see a cycle route sign - from where the short cut mentioned earlier would re-join). Follow the track downhill through a right hand bend. KEEP AHEAD past farm buildings to join a metalled drive. At lane junction TURN RIGHT for about 100 metres then through a metal gate where the tarmac ceases. Follow the 'D' arrow marker along the unmade track, steadily downhill (this may have been a well used route in the past as the track is quite sunken in places). At the bottom of the hill note footpath turning left (marked 'D' and 'A') but keep to the main track through a right the left hand bend. As you come out of the bend you'll see the white house you turned at early in the walk. KEEP AHEAD past the house, re-cross the hump-back bridge, climb the lane then turn right to return to the car park.
Back to The Hand for a drink and well earned meal?