Ruthin

Ruthin is a historic Welsh market town nestled in centre of the Vale of Clwyd. Flanked by the Clwydian Range to the north, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the Hireathog hills to the south, including Clocaenog Forest.

Ruthin benefits from central access to all North Wales has to offer, with the nearest beaches only 20 or so minutes away and the nearest mountains of Snowdonia within half an hour’s drive. Plenty of parking, a choice of supermarkets and coffee shops make Ruthin a great place to start and end circular walking and running trail routes in North Wales.

We love enjoying the countryside in this part of the world, walking and running here weekly, so this blog post is regularly updated with new routes, videos and photos. Please check the rest of our Blog for more places to visit in North Wales.

Moel Famau from Ruthin

Moel Famau is the highest peak in the Clwydian Range and also the highest point above sea level on the Offas Dyke path, making it a popular tourist location for visitors to North Wales.

What most people miss out on however is the incredible Welsh countryside that be enjoyed on a circular trail route to the summit from Ruthin town centre. Our routes enjoys some of the quietest footpaths in the area, meandering through ancient woodland, farmland and overgrown drovers paths.

The most direct from Ruthin’s historic town square to Jubilee Tower, the most iconic hilltop in the area. 4.6 miles of wonderful Welsh countryside.

Distance 4.6 miles (9.2m there and back)

Time 2 hours (walking) 45 mins (running) each way

Total Ascent 1,693ft

OS Maps click to open this route on the OS Maps website

Summits Moel Famau.

Views to the south: the Vale of Clwyd and Snowdonia’s peaks, and to the north: the Welsh coast, the Wirral & Liverpool.

1. From the town centre head north towards Tesco, crossing the roundabout and taking the residential street behind the supermarket. This road soon leaves the houses behind and joins the public footpath as the road bends sharply to the left alongside the last house.

2. It’s farmland and rising views over the valley for the next section, briefly crossing a back road near the village of Llanbedr and always aiming for the right of Moel Famau itself.

3. This footpath snakes around the hillside to the popular Bwlch Pen Barras car park for Moel Famau. The quickest route up from here is unfortunately the path most trodden.

4. From the summit of Moel Famau it’s possible to return the same way or combine with one of our other routes.

A stretch of farmland and minor woodlands start this 16 mile loop, crossing many south Clwydian peaks before reaching Moel Famau and dropping back down to Ruthin town centre.

Distance 16.6 miles

Time 7 hours (walking) 4 hours (running)

Total Ascent 3,197ft

OS Maps click to open this route on the OS Maps website

Summits Moel Famau, Moel  Y Plas, Moel Llanfair, Moel Gyw, Moel Eithinien, Foel Fenlli.

Views to the south: the Vale of Clwyd and Snowdonia’s peaks, and to the north: the Welsh coast, the Wirral & Liverpool.

 

1. From the town centre head through Cae Ddol public park, crossing Corwen Road and the A525, eventually leaving the town across farmland towards the village of Graigfechan.

2. Just before Graigfechan the footpath turns left and ascends through the beautiful woodland of Coed Henblas. A short distance after this brings us to the first hill summit of the day, Moel Y Gelli, known locally as “The Shelf”. It’s noticeable for the huge communications tower at it’s summit. There’s a little bench we love to sit on near here, always a great spot for a coffee break.

3. From Moel Y Gelli it’s a simple case of following the Offa’s Dyke signs all the way to the summit of Moel Famau, crossing four other hill tops en route.

4. From the summit of Moel Famau we continue north on the Offa’s Dyke path for a short distance, then taking the footpath through acres of heather towards Llangynhafal. A short section of back roads gets us to the village of Hirwaen before rejoining the footpaths down to the River Clwyd. It’s a riverside footpath all the way back to Ruthin town centre from here.

This 15 mile circular ascends to Moel Famau summit first before heading north along Offa’s Dyke towards Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau, before an idyllic riverside farmland wander back to the town centre.

Distance 16.6 miles

Time 7 hours (walking) 4 hours (running)

Total Ascent 3,197ft

OS Maps click to open this route on the OS Maps website

Summits Moel Famau, Moel  Y Plas, Moel Llanfair, Moel Gyw, Moel Eithinien, Foel Fenlli.

Views to the south: the Vale of Clwyd and Snowdonia’s peaks, and to the north: the Welsh coast, the Wirral & Liverpool.

 

1. From the town centre head through Cae Ddol public park, crossing Corwen Road and the A525, eventually leaving the town across farmland towards the village of Graigfechan.

2. Just before Graigfechan the footpath turns left and ascends through the beautiful woodland of Coed Henblas. A short distance after this brings us to the first hill summit of the day, Moel Y Gelli, known locally as “The Shelf”. It’s noticeable for the huge communications tower at it’s summit. There’s a little bench we love to sit on near here, always a great spot for a coffee break.

3. From Moel Y Gelli it’s a simple case of following the Offa’s Dyke signs all the way to the summit of Moel Famau, crossing four other hill tops en route.

4. From the summit of Moel Famau we continue north on the Offa’s Dyke path for a short distance, then taking the footpath through acres of heather towards Llangynhafal. A short section of back roads gets us to the village of Hirwaen before rejoining the footpaths down to the River Clwyd. It’s a riverside footpath all the way back to Ruthin town centre from here.

Easy Walks from Ruthin

Ruthin has an amazing network of public footpaths, like an enormous spiders web across the floor of the valley. There are an infinite number of ways of creating trail routes from the town centre to enjoy the fairly level surrounding countryside, but here are some of our favourites.

Wonderful valley floor wander over farmland and along cute back roads, with a little woodland thrown in for good measure.

Distance 6.2 miles

Time 2 hours (walking) 50 mins (running)

Total Ascent 601ft

OS Maps click to open this route on the OS Maps website

Summits (none)

Views countryside views of the Vale of Clwyd. Best enjoyed in spring, summer and autumn.

1. From the town centre we head down Castle Walks to Cae Ddol park and follow the footpath along the river, crossing the river, the Corwen road and eventually walking a short section on the A525 before crossing more agricultural land towards Llanfair DC.

2. Bypassing Llanfair village itself, we head towards Pwll Glas, crossing the busy Corwen road on a blind bend. The stile is clearly visible across the road and leads into a reasonably steep section of woodland.

3. This footpath soon levels out and descends to the village of Efenechtyd. Bearing right through the village we take the back road to Llanfwrog church and continue back to Ruthin town centre.

Very little ups and downs on this Ruthin trail route, a lovely wander across footpaths from Ruthin town centre to the village of Rhewl and back. The Drovers Arms in Rhewl is a popular place to stop.

Distance 4.6 miles

Time 1 hour 30 mins (walking) 35 mins (running)

Total Ascent 140ft

OS Maps click to open this route on the OS Maps website

Summits (none)

Views countryside views of the Vale of Clwyd. Best enjoyed in spring, summer and autumn.

1. From the town centre we take the one way street past the Post Office, crossing the main road through a stile and onto the public footpath alongside the River Clwyd.

2. A couple of fields after the sizeable Plas Y Ward farm (on the left) we cross a stile next to a traditional bridge and turn left on the back road. Turning right at Telpyn farm we cross back onto a footpath that leads into Rhewl village centre and the Drovers Arms pub.

3. After a couple hundred yards on the A525 road we cross through a small new build estate and back into public footpaths all the way back to Ruthin.

A straight forward 925ft of ascent, across the valley floor from the town centre and nibbling at the feet of the Clwydian hills between Foel Fenlli and Moel Eithinien.

Distance 7.1 miles

Time 2 hour 45 mins (walking) 1 hour 20 mins (running)

Total Ascent 925ft

OS Maps click to open this route on the OS Maps website

Summits (none)

Views countryside views of the Vale of Clwyd. Best enjoyed in spring, summer and autumn.

1. From the town square we head out of the houses via the quickest footpath to Moel Famau, taking this all the way to Llanbedr DC village. 

2. We extend this walk here by taking the footpath to the north east into the valley between Fenlli and Eithinien.

3. The main Mold link road has to be briefly crossed before using footpaths across agricultural land all the way back to Ruthin itself.

Clocaenog Forest from Ruthin

Using ancient Drovers paths, bridleways and public footpaths, it’s possible to explore the depths of Clocaenog Forest directly from Ruthin. Each trail route is circular, starting and ending in Ruthin town centre.

These are all quite demanding on the legs, with the terrain changing frequently. We find if we keep up a real pace on the back roads and more open paths, it gives us more time to wander more leisurely through the areas of woodland and natural beauty along the routes.

COMING SOON, for now watch this Clocaenog Forest video:

COMING SOON, for now watch this Clocaenog Forest video:

COMING SOON, for now watch this Clocaenog Forest video:

Ruthin Photo Gallery

Completely unique photos from our own walking and trail running adventures in Ruthin and the surrounding Welsh countryside.

All photos in this gallery were taken on the many trail routes listed above on this page.

How to Find Ruthin

The post code for the Post Office in the main town square is LL15 1YL.

Parking in Ruthin

There is on street parking around the town square and it’s surrounding streets, however it’s not the best. The Market Street public car park (chargeable) is found just off the square at LL15 1BE.

Just away from the town centre, opposite Tesco supermarket, is Ruthin Craft Centre at LL15 1BB. This car park is free, public and generally empty on weekdays. Ideal for leaving the car or van in a quiet corner while out wandering for the day.

Ruthin Walking & Running Videos

Some of our adventures in motion from the Vale of Clwyd.