The Dee Way, Part 1, Day 1 (of 5), Source to Llanuwchllyn, N. Wales

First, a little background… Some months ago now, Jude and I were browsing the second hand books in the local, Harlech gallery and I came across a Kittiwake publication called The Dee Way. It describes a walk from either Prestatyn or Hoylake, which straddle the Dee estuary, to the source of the river Dee, or Afon Dyfrdwy, to give it its proper Welsh name. The route can be split into ten ‘doable’ sections, averaging around 12 to 14 miles per day (depending upon which start point you choose).

I like to do things differently, so I decided to do the walk from the source to Hoylake, which any golfers out there will know, is the home of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, where The Open will be held this year. I think of it as my little pilgrimage. 😊 However, ten days in a row is a bit too much for me to tackle at once, so I’ve divided it into two, with the first ‘half’ going from the source to Chirk and I’ll do the second part later in the year.

I booked the accommodation about 3 or 4 weeks ago, so when the forecast was for snow and sleet, I did think twice, but decided to go ahead anyway. As you will see in the coming days, there were challenges… Not least of these was on Day 1 where, almost as soon as Jude had dropped me off, I came across some very slippery looking stepping stones (see pic 2). Not wishing to start my journey with wet feet (or worse), I took a short detour over a bridge. From there I followed a good forest track and I looked and looked for the turn off to the source, but no path was to be seen. (See pics 7 and 8). The book warns that the trek to the source shouldn’t be tackled in bad visibility, so I turned around (at the blue arrow on the detailed map in pic 36) and so began my journey east. Along the way, with no signs and again no obvious path, I had to rely upon my mobile OS map GPS to get across the lumpy, tussocky field in pic 15.

The snow soon dissipated though as I approached Llanuwchllyn (meaning the church above the lake), which is indeed where you will find St Deiniol’s church (see pics 26 to 28) and is the terminus of the Bala Lake (narrow gauge) Railway. (See pics 32 and 33).

Sneak preview of Day 2: The weather gets worse…!!

11 thoughts on “The Dee Way, Part 1, Day 1 (of 5), Source to Llanuwchllyn, N. Wales

  1. Mike

    A lovely commentary for the first day. That stream didn’t look deep to me!!! If you don’t know Mary Jones’s story is worth looking at. Maybe your next walk. I didn’t know the Galeri sold walking books. I must take a look. Thanks Mike. Tony

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was more worried about slipping off the stones and cracking my elbow or something and that would have been end of walk before I’de even got going!! And, yes, I was going to look up Mary Jones, as she featured a few times along the route. The Galeri do a mixture of books. I guess it’s just down to what people hand in. But you’ll have to get there before me! πŸ˜‰


  2. I didn’t know you were such an adventurer Mike!!! 😁 I would certainly also avoid walking on those slippery stones!!! Your photos say it all, the weather could have been better. Good to know this is part 1 of 5. That means you came back home safe and sound. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, thanks Anita. Most of the route (as you might expect) was at a pretty low level and never very far from civilisation, so it wasn’t too dangerous! Though I did have a slip on the last day of my journey, as you will be able to read… 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • I saw only one person on the first day – a farmer who suggested I’d picked the wrong day to go for a walk. He wasn’t wrong of course! On day 2 just two people, both walking their dogs. There are more birds to come for you to spot. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are quite the adventurer, Mike!!! That first photo of you out there alone in the snow is terrific, and I loved joining you on your first day on the Dee Way. Liked seeing the River Dee and all the interesting and historical and beautiful sights you saw on Day One, the fields and paths, the church, all your new friends cheering you on–European Robin, cows, sheep. Snow everywhere and you just kept going…truly an awesome adventure. Thanks for sharing your inspiring adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

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