Walks – Foel Friog Easier Loop

A short (~ 1.5 miles) woodland, farmland & village loop with only a small climb. A quiet rural walk with interest for wildlife spotters.

Park in the Picnic site car park at the southern end of the village of Aberllefenni; this is a lovely spot for a riverside snack, before or after your walk. This circular walk is probably best walked in the direction that I describe it in (an anti-clockwise direction). Conditions under foot can often be wet, muddy and slippery, so stout footwear is suggested.

Exit the parking area heading in a southerly direction with the river on your left. Having noted the information board, turn left and cross the river bridge, then proceed gently uphill along the forest track / farm drive. When you reach the gates at the high point of the drive (Point 1 on the map) keep right on to the footpath at the woodland edge. Please take care not to turn left downhill on the stoned track, this is a private farm access track.

Image right – ‘1’ Keep right on to footpath

Having passed through a gateway across the footpath, keep walking ahead with farmland on your left and the forestry rising up on your right. This oak shaded path is a good place for spotting wildlife. Speckled Wood & Meadow Brown butterflies are common in summer, you may notice the scurrying of a wood mouse or hear the calls of Buzzards as they look for thermals high above. Across the farmland on your left, you will see the modern day position of Foel Friog farm, built at the change of the 19th to 20th Century.

As you progress along the path you will come across an old dilapidated stone barn (point 2 on the map). Turn left just after the way marker post and descend to the stile. Once over the stile walk straight ahead down across the field, taking care not to touch the electric fencing.

Image right – ‘2’ Turn left beyond way marker & climb over stile

There are various flowers within this grassland, such as Selfheal & Celandines. Look out on the Cuckoo Flowers, on warm days Green-veined White butterflies like to feed on them. There are often Meadow Pipits looking for worms on the paddocks and at the right times of year, beautiful Pied Flycatchers can be seen busily searching for their offspring’s next meal.

When you reach the net fence line at the bottom of the field bear left along the field edge, as indicated by a marker post. You will soon come to another marker post and a gate down in to the woodland (point 5 on the map). Turn right through this gateway, down hill.

Image right – ‘5’ Turn right downhill & enter woodland

This mixed deciduous woodland is home to several species of bats and in spring it is carpeted with bluebells. By day Nuthatches & Treecreepers can be spotted searching the bark for insects and Great Spotted Woodpeckers are heard boring away at the timber or sending an alarm call because they’ve noticed some walkers 🙂 Also keep an eye open for Speckled Wood butterflies; one of my favourites, as they carry out an aerial dance highlighted by sunbeams through the trees.

You will find yourself on a stoned track that leads down through the deciduous woodland to the riverbank. Walk down this track, bearing left again at the bottom and go through a small gateway (point 6 on the map) that leads on to a grassy path with a paddock on its left and the riverbank on its right.

Image right – ‘6’ Downhill through the woods to a riverside gate

This rougher ground next to the river is home to Rushes, Gorse and flowers such as Devil’s Bit Scabious. Skippers & occasionally Fritillaries can be seen flying & feeding; as well as a plethora of hoverflies.

 

Continue along this path to the corner of the field, where you will find a stile (point 7 on the map). Cross the stile and walk a few yards further in the same direction, to discover the footbridge over the river.

Now cross the river via the bridge and go through the gates of the sheep fold on the other side, taking care to leave them how you found them.

Image right – ‘7’ Climb over the stile, then cross the river footbridge.

Once out of the sheep folds, turn left on to the end of a small lane.

 

Follow this lane to the right and most of the way up the hill. Part way up, turn left on a path over the river and climb a few steps up to the main village road. Once on the road turn left along it. Follow the road back to the southern end of the village and turn back in to the Picnic site where you parked your vehicle.

Notes:
1] All route guides are just that, guidance; please also take map & compass or the like.
2] Please follow the Countryside Code.
3] Take care around old ruins and stay out of them – loose masonry can easily fall, injuring you in the process.

Enjoy 🙂

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