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Review - Excellent little guide to walking this beautiful area of North Wales


Written by: markos9

Product: Walks on the Clwydian Range - David Berry

Advantages: Very good value for money and well written.
Disadvantages: None.


The Clywdian Range is a chain of hills stretching twenty two miles from Prestatyn to the Nant y Garth pass in the south. The range's highest point is Moel Famau, which at 1820 feet high almost qualifies as a mountain.


The area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; a classification which gives some idea of the gorgeous scenery the visitor can expect. Offering a huge diversity of landscapes such as heather moorland, woodland, limestone crags, and rolling green hills, the Clywdian Range is a Mecca for walkers.


Being located close to the population centres of the Wirral, Liverpool and Chester, this is a much visited location, but sixty square miles can hide a lot of people and, as long as one avoids the 'tourist routes', peace and solitude is only a short car journey away.


The Kittiwake guide to walks on the Clywdian Range gives the reader a choice of twenty two walks to choose from, spread across the whole of the range. All walks are circular and between four and seven miles in length. Ranging from easy to energetic, there are walks for almost everyone, described here.


Some walking guide books give extensive descriptions, and marry the text to gorgeous, evocative, colour photographs: this is not one of those books. The guide consists of only forty two pages, so each walk is allocated only one half to two pages. This is not a criticism, however. The descriptions are more than adequate to allow the walk to be undertaken and each page is packed with relevant information on the walk and the local area.


This is a cleverly and thoughtfully designed book. The back page contains a colour map of the area, with all twenty two walks marked on it. The inside cover summarises the walks showing length, difficulty, grid reference/starting point, and brief remarks about the area. These two pages allow a walk to be chosen almost immediately, based on location and interest. All walking guides should have information presented in this way (sadly, they don't).There is a small information box at the beginning of each walk description. This gives a brief summary of the walk, the start points, length, and suggested time taken. 

There is, of course, a map for each walk. Unlike more expensive walking guides, these are not taken from the Ordnance Survey (or equivalent), but are hand drawn. These are perfectly adequate to follow the route, but it is advisable to have an OS map of the area, too. The route description is divided into sections with 'waypoints'; the text of the route describing each waypoint in turn. The text details not only the route to follow, but describes the local area, too.


The Clywdian Range is steeped in history, with no less than six Iron Age hill forts; one of the highest concentrations in Europe. Industrial history is evident, too, with lead and zinc mines, as well as limestone quarries, dotting the area. Each walk has something of interest to see, and the author has carefully planned the walk to coincide with many of the places of interest on the range. I find visiting such sites fascinating and the author should be congratulated for informing the reader about the local area, rather than just detailing a walk from A to B. Many of the walks are adjacent to others in the book, so longer walks can be designed by linking walks together. Where there's a good local pub or restaurant local to the walk, its location and any other relevant information is given.


This is an excellent little guide, and will be invaluable to anyone looking to walk the Clywdian Range. I've been walking here for five years, retreading all the popular routes. Owning this book has allowed me to branch out and see new sites I would not have otherwise known about, enhancing my enjoyment of this beautiful part of North Wales. At £4.95 from Amazon, this book is a bargain and I highly recommend it to those who want to walk the lovely Clywdian Range.

Summary: Packed with information with well designed walks for us to enjoy.





David's books are available from local tourist information centres, all good bookshops, outdoor shops and other local outlets which vary from area to area. Alternatively any book can be ordered direct from Kittiwake