Cistercian Way - Map area

Basingwerk to Ruthin

Retrace your steps to Holywell and walk up Greenfield Road. Turn left in front of a block of flats into Well Street.

This bends round to the right, past the Catholic church. Turn left on New Road, left again on the main road and right almost immediately, back into Well Street. Bear right into Cross Street, turn left where Whitford Road becomes Pen-y-ball Street Follow this up to the main road. Right then left immediately and up Pen-y-ball Hill. Walk up to the summit for the views and down to cross the A55 dual carriageway by the footbridge at SJ 17521 75188.

If you followed the high-level route to Basingwerk you will have been retracing your steps this far. Continue on the track across the golf course. At SJ 17521 75188 cross a side road and continue along Calcoed Lane. 

At SJ 17043 74848 turn left along the waymarked footpath. Cross the metalled lane and go straight on along the footpath, through the disturbed ground of the old lead mines, bearing slightly away from the stone wall to your right.

At SJ 17736 74200 cross the main road in Brynford by the telephone box. (The Llyn-y-Mawn pub to the north of Brynford claims to be descended from a medieval pilgrim hostel.)  

Take the waymarked lane past the school. At it forks, bear right around some boarded-up flats and a playing field and head south-east along a stony track. The lane leads to some cottages, then becomes a grassy track leading through a gate and straight on. Walk over the rise. At the bottom of the next slope, bear right towards the pylons and the inturned angle of the cultivated grazing. Go through the gate and bear slightly right across the field to another gate.

The footpath goes slightly west of south across the fields, with gates all the way, a stile where the fence crosses the line of the pylons, and even the occasional waymark. Across the valley to your left is a limestone quarry. The majestic buildings on the quarry edge are old lime kilns.

At SJ 18338 72690, cross the metalled road and go straight on along the waymarked footpath. The low mound in the field ahead of you is a Bronze Age burial mound.

Bear left and cross a stile, then walk diagonally to the right across the next field to a gap in the hedge. The mound ahead and to your left is another burial mound. All around you, the disturbed ground is the remains of old lead workings. The cemented piles of stones cover disused shafts.

At SJ 18541 72270, cross the stile to your left, in the corner of the field, and turn right to walk along the track round the quarry. At SJ 18541 72270 the track divides. Bear right then at SJ 18648 71415 bear left and walk towards the top of Rhes-y-cae village.

At the top of the village, turn right, walk past the school, then left at a little ruined building on a grassy patch in the road (village pound?) and walk along the track past some cottages. Take the track to the right between the cottages and walk down to the road. Turn left at SJ 19088 70610, then right at SJ 19148 70515 along a stony farm track. (This is not a right of way but is on open access land.) Just after Tan-y-Foel farm, at SJ 18861 70190, when the track bears slightly right and begins to go downhill, take the grassy track up to your left and around the flank of Moel Ffagnallt.

At SJ 18851 69970, just before Moel Ffagnallt Farm, turn right over a stile with a horse gate. You are now back on the right of way. The track bears left around the edge of the fields and becomes a green lane between hedges. (There are raspberry bushes in the hedges — was there once a cottage here?) Follow the path through the woods and down to join the metalled farm road at SJ 18671 69510.

At SJ 18716 69318 the road bears left. Take the stony track to your right, then immediately turn left through a gate. Walk across some more ‘gruffy ground’ (the disturbed ground of old lead workings) going due south to a stile at SJ 18713 69123 by Hersedd Farm. Turn right onto the road. Take the second lane to your left at SJ 18568 68740 (not waymarked in 2003 but a public footpath). Follow the track past Cilcain Hall.

At SJ 18728 68108 bear left on a hollow way into the trees and down the edge of the Coed-y-felin Nature Reserve to the A541. Ahead of you is the Royal Oak — beer, meals, singing - but alas not open in the day (in 2015).

The stony track to the right of the pub, behind the tollhouse and the engineering works, takes you back over the Clwydian range. Cross the main road,take the side road ahead and immediately turn right on  a stony track. Cross a metalled road at SJ 17771 67180. (From here, you can explore further south to Cilcain — another pretty village with a good pub, a village shop and a church with massive carved angels on the roof and glowing medieval stained glass.)



At SJ 17151 67135, just before Siamber Wen farm, turn left. 

At SJ 16151 66113 turn right on a stony track up to the pass between Moel Arthur (an imposing hill fort) and Moel Llys-y-Coed.

At SJ 14838 65908, turn left on the metalled road to cross the pass. Here you cross the line of the Offa’s Dyke Path again. Just after the Offa’s Dyke Path goes left, take the track to the left (not a right of way but on open access land) and walk down hill for about a mile.

At SJ 13586 65018, just after the start of the tarmac, take a waymarked byway to the left. The track runs between the mountain grazing and the fields. It is well waymarked and easy walking, as it hugs the contours, going some way up stream to cross the numerous little streams running down from the mountains.

At SJ 13808 63348, just after the second of these streams, a metalled road goes down to Llangynhafal - another pretty village, two pubs, plus an award-winning restaurant at Hendre’rwydd, plenty of accommodation, and a church with angels and devils in the roof and a crocodile on the pulpit. Cross the metalled road and keep to the contour path (or visit the village and climb back up).

Just before the path crosses its fourth stream, the Nant y Ne, below the slopes of Moel Famau, you pass a rather ecclesiastical-looking building, now a house, but with Gothick windows — what is it? Follow the waymarked path some way up the Nant y Ne through the bracken. Look across the little valley and you will see a waymarking post on the path across the field on the far side. Eventually, you cross the stream, go through the gate and up the far bank through the gorse bushes to the open ground.

Before you get to the next gate, bear round to the right and follow the waymarks along a slight hollow trail back across the field, going gently up the slope and through the gate at the corner of the field. Keep on the same contour through the next field, then walk slightly downhill to join the stony track at the bottom of the fields.

The track goes past some cottages. At SJ 14628 61280 cross a stream. Bear left up the far bank and go through the gate, then bear right up a grassy path through the bracken and round to the right to go through the gate at the top of the slope, at SJ 14671 61153. Follow a hollow way and the line of an outgrown hedge across the next fields.

At SJ 14668 60848, cross the track above Ty Mawr farm and follow the hollow lane along the wall.

At SJ 14823 60493, just before the woods, cross a waymarked stile to the right. Bear right across the fields to Teiran farm and walk down the farm lane.

At SJ 14101 60250 the lane bends sharply to the right. Go straight on over two stiles. Walk to the left of the hedge then straight on across the field. (The field was in crop in 2003 and I walked along a tunnel through the maize). At SJ 13928 59963 cross the B5429 and follow the waymarked path straight ahead down the lane. This lane is probably the old pilgrim way again. It goes straight down the road from Llangynhafal and Hirwaen, crosses the B5429 and into Ruthin. The farm where it crosses the main road is called Ty’n-y-groesffordd, the homestead at the crossroads.

At the end of the lane, at SJ 13821 59583, go over the stile and walk to the right of the hedgerow. At SJ 13706 59458 cross a farm track. Keep straight on across the first field then down to the stile at the far left corner of the next field.

At SJ 13588 59378 turn right and walk along the lane to the metalled road. Turn left and walk along Greenfield Road into Ruthin.


Basingwerk to Ruthin

Places to visit along this route


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