Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Coed Clocaenog

This is our last walk from our guest blogger Julie Brominicks the author of The Edge of Cymru.  They are all accessible by public transport and each one will have a simple map for you to follow. We want to inspire you explore our beautiful part of the world that little bit deeper.

Suddenly – hot rich silence. A thick fragrance of needles and moss and the merest kiss of breeze on wet skin. From here – the highest point in Coed Clocaenog – in the west of the county, the views across Dyffryn Clywd to where Bryniau Clwyd rise in the east like an extraordinary suite of skateboard ramps, are spectacular.

I am resting against the Pincyn Llys monument which was erected in 1830 not to brag about a battle, but to celebrate instead, the birth of a conifer forest. Those first trees were felled for trench and coal-mine props in the First World War, after which the forest was re-planted. Land-use change often causes heartache, and early conifer plantations – when land, homes and farms were requisitioned by the Forestry Commission – were no exception. Wetland and moors were lost.

Meanwhile, different habitats were created and one mammal to have benefitted from Coed Clocaenog has been the red squirrel. The reds moved in during the 1950s to feed on the sitka spruce seeds. A relict population remains, protected somewhat from grey squirrels (which carry pox the reds have no immunity to) by Coed Clocaenog’s altitude and remote location surrounded largely as it is, by farmland and moors. A recovering population of pine martens perhaps, which predate happily on ground-feeding greys but find the reds too nimble to catch, might prove helpful. Time will tell.  

You are unlikely to see any red squirrels on this walk. Despite the rich silence at the monument (and that you might possibly on your route via quiet lanes and Coed y Fron Wyllt have met no other humans at all) you are merely tickling the edge of a vast forest that extends much further west. The squirrels are secreted further in. But it is comforting to know they are not too far away.


In order to reach the village of Clocaenog you need to book the Fflecsi bus from Rhuthun in advance. It is available from Monday to Friday between 9.30 and 2.30 so save this walk for a weekday. Download the app from the Transport for Wales website ( or call 03002 340300 to book it. Ruthin is served by the X51 from Dinbych and the T8 which runs between Chester and Corwen.

For more information about public transport in Sir Ddinbych see

To plan your journey use

Don’t forget that a 1bws ticket for £6.50 gives you unlimited travel in North Cymru on all services including the Fflecsi.


This is a great walk for summer if you’d like to escape the crowded coast and seek woodland shade – but not advisable in a heat wave because it includes some exposed lanes and a steep climb. It is an 8-mile figure of eight walk around two contrasting woodlands; the ancient woodland of Coed y Fron Wyllt and a conifer plantation at Pincyn Llys Monument. Both form part of the wider forest of Coed Clocaenog, which will eventually form part of the nationwide Coedwig Cenedlaethol i Gymru (National Forest for Wales). If you want to cut the walk in half, note that the Fflecsi bus also serves Bontuchel at the edge of Coed y Fron Wyllt. Both woodlands are connected by quiet Sir Ddinbcych lanes.

  1. Alight from the Fflecsi bus at the Clocaenog Village bus stop and take the lane signposted for Bontuchel, passing the school and the church. Where the stream flows under the road, pass Swn yr Afon and turn right onto the lane that skirts the edge of Coed Cooper.
  2. Leaving the woods behind, keep on the lane, pass the farm on your left and then turn left at the junction. Turn left again when the road splits, passing Pangalltegfa. Keep on the lane, following signs for Tyddyn Cook.
  3. Having passed Tyddyn Cook, follow signs for the Cilffordd/ Byway leading you into Coed Fron y Wyllt. This is largely ancient woodland, dense in birdsong and diverse vegetation. If you have time and wish to see Bontuchel village, continue through and out of the woods.
  4. Otherwise turn left onto the waymarked track. This is such a pleasant woodland, unless you are pushed for time, it is worth doing the waymarked loop walk along the stream. Otherwise head straight for the carpark.
  5. On leaving the woodland, follow Taith Clwyd up steep quiet farm lanes all the way to the edge of Coed Clocaenog, where you will see signs for the car park.
  6. Follow signs up to Pincyn Llys Monument from where the views are spectacular. Note that you have now left Taith Clwyd and joined Llwybr Hiraethog.
  7. Zigzag down through the conifers on Llwybr Hiraethog, and keep to this trail as it leaves the forest and delivers you back to Clocaenog village.