Clwydian Range

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Moel Arthur, one of the Clwydian Range's hill forts. Seen from Moel Llys-y-Coed
Clwydian Range from Abergele showing from left to right-St Elmo`s Summer House, Gop Hill, Moel Hiraddug and Mynydd y Cwm

The Clwydian Range (Welsh: Bryniau Clwyd) is a series of hills and mountains in north east Wales that runs from Llandegla in the south to Prestatyn in the north, with the highest point being the popular Moel Famau. The range is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Now that the AONB has been extended to include the Dee Valley around Llangollen, the highest point is now Moel y Gamelin at 577 metres (1,893 feet).

The summits of these hills provide extensive views across north Wales, to the high peaks of Snowdonia, eastwards across the Cheshire Plain, Peak District and towards Manchester and Liverpool to the northeast. The AONB has been extended to include the Dee Valley around Llangollen including the Horseshoe Pass and Castell Dinas Bran, extending the area to 390 square km.[1]


The Clwydian Hills are formed from an upstanding block of Silurian age sandstones, mudstones and siltstones. The range's rocks are intensely faulted; the major Vale of Clwyd Fault is responsible for the impressive west-facing scarp of the Clwydian Range. It downthrows the rocks to the west and separates the younger Carboniferous and Permo-Triassic rocks of the Vale of Clwyd from those of the hills.[2]


The range includes a number of hills possessing Iron Age hill forts, including (from the north) Y Foel (Moel Hiraddug), Moel-y-gaer, Penycloddiau, Moel Arthur, a second Moel y Gaer and Foel Fenlli. There are, as with many places in the west of Britain, a number of legends associated with King Arthur surrounding these hills.

There are a number of tumuli and cairns on the hills. [3]


A wide range of wildlife thrives in the range, including red kites and red foxes, which both prey on rabbits and voles. There is also one of the few Welsh populations of Black Grouse.

Recreation & Access[edit]

The Offa's Dyke Path follows the Clwydian Range, although Offa's Dyke itself was not constructed on it. The Clwydian Way long distance footpath passes through the Clwydian Range, and the North Wales Path follows the foot of the scarp between Prestatyn and Dyserth. Moel Famau is the focus of a country park established in the range.

List of summits[edit]

Peak Elevation (m) Grid reference Status
St Elmo`s Summer House 239 SJ084817 Sub HuMP
Gop Hill 251 SJ086801 TuMP
Moel Hiraddug 265 SJ063782 TuMP
Mynydd y Cwm 305 SJ073767 Marilyn
Moel Maenefa 289 SJ087744 Sub HuMP
Moel y Parc 398 SJ119700 Sub HuMP
Penycloddiau 440 SJ127678 Marilyn
Moel Arthur 456 SJ145660 HuMP
Moel Gyw 467 SJ171575 Marilyn
Moel Famau 555 SJ161626 Marilyn
Foel Fenlli 511 SJ164600 Marilyn
Moel Llys y Coed 465 SJ151654 TuMP
Moel y Waun 412 SJ171541 Sub HuMP


  1. ^ "Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB". Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ British Geological Survey 1:50K map sheets 107 'Denbigh' & 108 'Flint'
  3. ^ Ordnance Survey 1:25K map sheet 265 'Clwydian Range/Bryniau Clwyd'

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°11′N 3°15′W / 53.183°N 3.250°W / 53.183; -3.250