Home Outdoors Wuthering Heights Above the Minera Lead Mines

Wuthering Heights Above the Minera Lead Mines

by Adam Howarth, Editor
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We’re back in the northwest of the county this month to tackle some of the highest land Wrexham has to offer – above the Minera Lead Mines!

It’s a breathtaking four hours or so as the walk takes you across some of its most historically rich and diverse areas.

You’ll be cursing me along one particular stretch, but, as I always say, the view at the end of the climb is more than worth it. The ground underfoot did get very soggy at times, which is obviously understandable given the amount of rain we’ve had. Bearing that in mind, don’t attempt the walk without a pair of sturdy ankle-high boots.

I would say the degree of difficulty of this walk in terms of a need for some agility and the challenge of some steep slopes means it could be unsuitable for some.

The total ascent is just under 985 feet or 300 metres, with the highest point being 1,295 feet or 395 metres.

The map is available online at if you have an OS Map subscription.

Starting Point

I parked in the car park at Minera Lead Mines (01978 757 524) on the B5426. The postcode is LL11 3DU and the What3Words reference is what3words.com/sudden.drum.obstinate

Overview

The route is reasonably dog-friendly, although you do pass through areas of horses, sheep and cows. Field exits were shared equally between gates and stiles.

The walk is about 6¾ miles long and should take about 3¾ hours.

Important, your safety is our top priority: You must read and understand the disclaimer at love-wrexham.com/walk-disclaimer before attempting any of our walks.

Walk Directions

Beam Engine House

Walk up the concrete ramp from the car park towards the visitor centre. Turn right at the junction toward Taylor’s Shaft so you’re walking along the track with the Beam Engine House and chimney on your right.

Turn left at the engine house (1) and climb the wooden steps cut into the bank. Cross two tracks and walk up some more wooden steps to the red phone box.

Turn right here and walk along the lane through the tiny village of New Brighton. It only takes a minute or so to leave the houses behind and turn left off the road onto the path between the green sign for Minera Lead Mines Country Park and the yellow grit bin.

After about a minute, cross the road, go through the gate and start walking along the gravel path. The village of Minera is down to your right, with its attractive church on the left.

** You’ll now be walking along a “dismantled railway” for about 1.3 miles or approximately half an hour. It used to carry lime from the quarry a bit further on to the lead mines now behind you. **

1. Turn left here
(1) Turn left here

Lime Kilns

After a few minutes, you’ll pass through a couple of gates either side of a lane (2). As you continue along the path, you’ll notice old wooden sleepers, the tips of metal bolts, and other railway line remnants.

A short way further on, you’ll also go through a kissing gate next to a couple of cottages, one of which is called Lynwood. Walk straight on across the car parking space with the lime kiln arches built into the huge stone wall on the left. Go through the metal gate.

2. Walk straight across the lane here
(2) Walk straight across the lane here

You’ll pass some more arches built into a stone wall on your left, and shortly afterwards, you’ll see the huge quarry walls on your right as the land opens out to your left, with a stream running through it. Ignore the gate directly in front of you and take the metal walker’s gate to the left of the larger metal gate slightly to the right (3). You’ll walk up a tarmacked track with overhanging trees on either side. Ignore the stile on your left after a minute or so.

The track bends round to the right. You’ll see a dilapidated cottage on your right and a walker’s gate on your left. Go through the gate and straight on past the stile on your left.

3. Go through the metal walker's gate
(3) Go through the metal walker’s gate

Bwlchgwyn Old Road

Walk on until you reach the gap between the two wooden fence posts and continue up to the end of the short, narrow, grassy pathway between the two fences (4). Use the stone block either side of the short fence to step over it and exit this stretch.

Once over the fence, follow the left-hand hedge line, passing the green prefabricated shed on your right, until you reach the wooden stile with the ancient stone and timber stile behind it. Hop over the stile and follow the left-hand hedge line again until you reach the stile that takes you onto the B5430 or Bwlchgwyn Old Road.

Use the stile to exit the field and turn left. Walk a few yards along the grassy verge, leaving the main road and taking the single-track lane in front of you.

4. Hop over the stile at the end of this narrow track
(4) Hop over the stile at the end of this narrow track
Llandegla

Pass the very well-kept garden of the house on your left and walk along this lane for about 10 minutes. Enjoy the beautiful views around Llandegla on your right. Ignore the first public footpath sign that takes you up to Bryn Eitha and instead take the second one that takes you over the stile on your left just before the “Unsuitable For Motor Vehicles” sign.

Walk diagonally left towards the metal walker’s gate to the right of the telegraph poles. About 50 yards further on, go through another metal walker’s gate. Now, head towards the left of the farm outbuildings ahead of you. Exit the field through the metal walker’s gate next to the fine example of the feeding trough on the external wall of the stone barn (5).

5. Turn right on the farm track
(5) Turn right on the farm track

Stand of Conifers

Turn right up the farm drive and walk past the farm on your left. Admire the beautifully organised stand of conifers away to your right.

Continue along the drive and, after about five minutes, follow the track around the left of the next set of farm buildings, one of which has “Lynard” written on the side. There’s a “Citroën Cemetery” to your left. The path leads you to a rusty gate with a sliding bolt across the top.

Walk out onto an open grassy area and follow the left-hand barbed fence line past the abandoned cottage and the double yellow arrow waymarker. There’s the curious sight of the stile standing alone to your right. Walk through the gateway without a gate, following another yellow waymarker arrow.

The Gorse Bushes

Exit the field over the wooden stile. After a short distance, the fence to your left veers away to the left at 45°. Ignore this and continue in the same direction. Walk down the slope just to the left of the gorse bushes. Follow the path round to the right after the gorse, then immediately left and across the stream.

Walk up the other side of the slope and exit the field over the stile with the yellow waymarker arrow. Turn diagonally left and walk to the right of the first telegraph pole you see. As you reach the crest of the hill, look down the slope to the second telegraph pole in the sequence. Head towards the stile to the left of it.

Soggy Terrain

You’ll walk over a few patches of soggy terrain. The fencing either side of the stile has disappeared, so you can simply walk around it. You can then use the narrow concrete block to cross the stream in front of you.

Follow the path up and to the right of the gorse in front of you. As you reach the top of the short rise, you’ll see you have to negotiate the steepish slope on the other side. Take care with your descent. You have to step over what looks like a fallen telegraph pole on your way down.

At the bottom of the slope, you’ll see a “Danger” sign in front of the wire fence. Turn right here and walk along so the fence is on your left.

Step over the stream and walk along the path with two fences on your left-hand side. The stream is on your right. Follow the path as it moves away from the stream at the yellow waymarker arrow. Walk past the large moss-covered boulder and continue up the slope over the three mossy stone steps (6).

Carry on up the slope beyond, following the barbed wire fence on your left. Turn left when you reach the path that runs across you from left to right (or right to left), and stop at the end of the short, narrow section of the path.

6. Walk up these 3 stone steps
(6) Walk up these 3 stone steps
Minera Quarry

To continue the route, turn right over the stile and go through the narrow gap in the dry stone wall. However, you may wish to turn left through the metal walker’s gate and then right to see the view over Minera Quarry, which we walked close to earlier.

Once back on the route and through the gap in the dry stone wall, follow the path as it leads you close to the left-hand fence line. Walk up the grassy slope to the left of the telegraph pole.

Walk past the old stone building with the partially collapsed roof on your left. Go through the gap between the end of the dry stone wall and the barbed wire fence on your left. Take a second to look at the remains of the old farm equipment.

Rusty Metal Roof

After a few minutes, the track takes you onto the lane to the left you’ve been walking parallel to. Turn right up the lane and past another abandoned stone building with a long, sloping rusty metal roof. After a few minutes, you’ll walk past a raised section of land with a small fenced-off square. A few yards further on, there’s a telegraph pole on your left.

Look to the right here and you’ll see the first of a group of old, gnarled hawthorn trees on your right. You’ll also see a path deviating from the track you’re on. Walk up the path and past an older and larger gnarled hawthorn tree. Follow the grassy path up the slope between the gorse.

You’ll rejoin the track and hop over a stile next to a repaired cattle gate with two wheely bins next to it! Walk up the slope to the road and turn left. Walk down the road for about 15 minutes. You’ll pass two public footpath signs and an electricity pylon on your left. Walk over a cattle grid.

Frondeg 1⅓

Take the narrow, almost disguised path to the right of the green metal footpath sign on your right that says “Frondeg 1⅓”. Follow it as it rises to the left in between two sets of fences. Hop over the stile with the yellow arrow waymarker and turn left.

Follow the path that runs along the left-hand barbed wire fence line. When you pass the end of the white house down to your left, you’ll notice a barely susceptible path that goes diagonally right off the path you’re on. If you reach the first tree on the bottom fence path, you’ve walked too far.

Start up the path, but be alert! It is narrow in places and angles quite sharply from left to right (or right to left!). Walk to the right of the collapsed tree (7) and the left of the one immediately afterwards. Aim for the left of the following tree. After passing that third tree, follow the black plastic water pipe uphill for a few yards until it disappears beneath the ground.

7. Walk to the right of the tree on the slope
(7) Walk to the right of the tree on the slope

Grove of Silver Birch

You then head around the right edge of the heather outcrop and towards the two trees further across the slope. Walk between more heather, to the right of the first tree, and the left of the second one, a hawthorn. Hop over the stile in front of you to exit the area. Walk along the path, passing the two “Danger” signs to your left. After a minute or so, hop over the stile in the right-hand fence line.

Turn left, walk up the short slope, and follow the remains of a dry stone wall to your left. After a couple of minutes, you will reach a grove of silver birch (8). Turn right and follow the cart track round to the left. When you walk between the old wooden posts, you’ll see a stile in front of you to the left, but the fencing on either side has gone so you can just walk straight into the field. For reference, there is a shed with a corrugated roof to your left as you enter the field.

8. Turn right at these silver birches
(8) Turn right at these silver birches
The Bridge

Walk over the short bridge into the open grassy area. Follow the left-hand fence line. The views around here are spectacular. Walk to the right of the electricity pylon and hop over the extended stile on your right.

Turn left and walk along the narrow path to the left of the small stream. The public footpath carries straight on here but is blocked by gorse, so I simply hopped over the stream and carried on in the same initial direction. You’ll see the bridge over the stream that you would’ve taken if you’d stayed on the public footpath as you reach the stile you use to exit this area.

Follow the left-hand barbed wire fence line. When you reach the first tree, leave the fence line and walk right up and around the large patch of gorse in front of you. You could carry straight on, but the gorse is simply too close to the left-hand fence line for it to be a comfortable option.

Small Breeze Blocks

Follow the right-hand edge of the gorse. Step over the dry stone wall that runs across in front of you. Rejoin the left-hand fence line once you’re past the gorse. You’re now walking along a pleasant area of clear grassy land, and you exit this by taking the metal kissing gate.

Be careful here. To reach the path beyond the marshy ground in front of you, you have to jump across a series of small breeze blocks.

The vegetation of the area you are in now is markedly different from the one you have just come from. You are now in a large zone of bracken with little visible grass.

Ticket of Silver Birch

Turn left and follow the track downhill for a few minutes. Again, the views in front of you are simply incredible. As the track bends round to the right, go straight on through the metal walker’s gate with a yellow arrow waymarker.

Take the path between the fence on the left and the bracken and the rather stunted trees on the right downhill for a minute or so, and then follow it as it bears round to the right. You’ll pass a thicket of silver birch on your left. Leave the track after a few yards as it bears left and downhill and head instead straight on towards the electricity pylon with the yellow signs.

Brookfield Farm

Pass the pylon on the right and walk through the gap between the gorse into the open grassy area. Cross the tiny stream. Walk towards the left side of Brookfield Farm ahead of you. Go through the metal kissing gate and turn left when you reach the tarmacked lane (9).

Walk downhill for about five minutes or a third of a mile. You’ll come to a small wood and rusty metal shed on your left and a yard with cars and a barn on your right. The area to your right has seven tall metal posts along the front of it where it meets the lane.

Carry on down the lane for around a minute and turn left over the stile by the green metal public footpath sign. The stile step is separated from the frame, so you’ll just have to use the rungs to climb over it. The posts either side give you something to hold onto so it’s not too difficult.

9. Turn left on the lane in front of the house
(9) Turn left on the lane in front of the house
New Brighton

**You’ll be on the following path for just over a quarter of a mile, or about eight minutes, until you reach the gate marking the beginning of New Brighton.**

After negotiating the step-less stile, follow the path around the left of the house. Hop over the stile and carry on along the narrow track flanked by bushes and gorse. Go through the large metal gate with the yellow waymarker arrow. Continue along the woodland track, hopping over the ladder stile with the yellow waymarker arrow. Follow this path, negotiating the fallen tree, for about five minutes and go through the gate into New Brighton (10).

After about two minutes, the steps back down to the Minera Lead Mines car park are on the right by the red telephone box.

Retrace your steps straight on to the Beam Engine House and chimney, turn right, and almost immediately left, and you’ll be back at the car park.

Congratulations! You’ve completed the walk! If you’d like to see some more of our walks, click here.

10. Walk into New Brighton and turn right at the red phone box
(10) Walk into New Brighton and turn right at the red phone box

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