This walk covers Chirk, Chirk Castle, crosses into Shropshire and follows the Ceiriog River under the aqueduct and viaduct before taking you back to Chirk village. There is a large variety in this walk: open pastures, woodland and riverside. It is about 6.5 miles long and takes approximately three hours.
PLEASE READ THIS DISCLAIMER BEFORE STARTING THE WALK
How to Get There
Go south along the A483 as far as the junction with the A5. Take the third exit at the roundabout and the first exit to Chirk at the next roundabout. Turn left before the Hand Hotel and then right into the car park. You can also get there by the No 2 (Oswestry) bus from Wrexham – buses run every 30 minutes. There are regular trains to Chirk station from Wrexham General station.
Leave the car park by the Hand Hotel car park exit opposite the health centre. Cross the road using the pelican crossing and go right. Turn left onto Station Avenue by the Chirk Tandoori. Walk to the end of the road passing the Cadbury factory on the right. Go straight over the mini roundabout and cross the railway bridge.
Go through the gate on the right, just past the Canal Wood Industrial Estate. Turn left almost straightaway over the canal. Continue along the woodland trail for about 150 yards and turn left along a path just after the fence to your right finishes.
Go through the kissing gate at the bottom of the dip. Walk across the field and exit through the kissing gate in front of you. Turn right onto the road and then immediately left onto the drive of Snowdrop cottage. Go through the kissing gate straight ahead (1) and into the grounds of Chirk Castle. Listen out for woodpeckers here.
Carry straight on past the sheep field on your left with the metal fence with wooden poles. Use the wooden way-marker posts with the green arrow and oak leaf symbol to follow your route. Ignore the different fork to the right by the sheep field gate and continue dead ahead. You’ll then start to walk past a coniferous woodland on your left. Go through the gate on your left with the blue-topped post (2).
Take the path into the woods and follow this for about five minutes. You’ll arrive at a “four-path” junction (3). You want to turn right here and go through the gate with the red-and-blue-topped post. Turn right and follow the limestone chipping path that bears left after about a minute.
Continue along the path until you reach a kissing gate with a blue-topped post. Turn left and walk down the slope. You’ll see the tarmacked road leading to the visitor centre and car park.
Walk up the road. After about five minutes, you’ll be able to make out the castle ramparts above you to your right, including a splendid turret with a spire. Shortly afterwards, you’ll reach the visitor centre and the car park beyond. The castle itself rises to the right.
Turn left into the car park and follow the left-hand edge straight on. You should go through two kissing gates and be walking on a grassy track with a field to your left. You’ll see the distinctive Chirk Castle fencing of wooden poles, wide metal netting and two top rows of barbed wire running alongside you to your left. There are eight oak trees in front of you (4).
Go through the kissing to the left of the right-most tree. Carry straight on up the field and then through the green metal kissing gate just to the right of the houses up ahead.
Offa’s Dyke Path
Once on the lane, turn left onto the path immediately after Rose Cottage (5). You are now following the Offa’s Dyke Path. Walk up the stony track, which quickly turns into grass. Go through the metal kissing gate and continue straight up, ignoring the way-marker with the red arrow advising you to go left.
Take a few minutes here to look around at the spectacular views and listen out for the many pheasants in the area.
Continue in the same direction and after clearing the rise, go through the metal kissing gate. The slope leading down to a stile becomes quite steep here, so be careful if it has been raining. Once over the stile, turn left (6) and continue in the same direction down the lane. You’ll pass several houses before arriving at the main road.
Before crossing, walk a short way to your left and pass through the arch that leads to the three display boards describing the battle of Crogen that took place here in 1165 (7). A short way to the left of the boards is “The Oak at the Gate of the Dead”!
Once back on the main road, cross carefully onto Castle Mill (8). Walk up the slope and cross the stone bridge. Note the red commemorative plaque on the bridge wall. You are now in Shropshire! Go up the steep lane and turn left at the T-junction.
Note the four arches on your right after a few yards – these arches were once lime kilns. Continue along the lane. Pass the splendid “Old School” on your right, noting the impressive weather vane on the mini-steeple (9).
Follow the lane as it bears left and then straightens. After a couple of minutes, you’ll see a white house on your right with a large lawn in front of it (Brookside Manor). A few yards further on, you’ll see a break in the stone wall (10) and a path down into Pentre Wood. Take this path and follow it downwards until you reach the River Ceiriog at the bottom. Be careful if it’s been raining as I imagine it could get quite slippery.
Turn right into a water meadow and follow the river until you reach some houses. Over the river to your left, you will see the Chirk Trout Fishery fish ponds in Wales as the border runs along this stretch of river.
The Viaduct and Aqueduct
You will eventually reach a field with some houses up the rise ahead of you and to your right. Go up the slope between the trees, over the stile and onto the lane. Walk straight on past the telephone box and left at the T-junction. Cross the bridge and go down the steps to the left of the metal barred gate on your right. Cross the field towards the impressive viaduct and aqueduct (11) and pass underneath.
You’ll see a brown shed with a rusty corrugated iron roof (12). Take the stony path to the right to exit the field and cross the road. Go through the gap between the gate and the hedge to the left of “Seventh Heaven”. Follow the path, which rises very steeply, and exit onto the road just below Chirk High Street. Follow the street to just after the pelican crossing and then turn right at the Castle Bistro to return to the car park.
Congratulations you have finished your walk!
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