Located on the southern edge of Wrexham and only minutes away from the town centre, Erddig Country Park is a haven of peace and natural beauty
At the parking area, pass a house and cross over Afon Clywedog. Take a right-hand kissing-gate and follow a path beside the river. Ignore a footbridge and, after two more kissing-gates, bear right along the edge of trees. Cross a track to a woodland path through magnificent beech and oak trees.
Emerge on a lane and turn right to cross Sontley Bridge, then walk up the steep hill and go through a right-hand kissing-gate on the second right bend.
With fields on your left, follow the woodland path to the end of the last field. Walk ahead (not beside the fence) to a low way-marked post. Turn right on the clear path through Big Wood, where you may spot nuthatches or jays. After passing a small pond on your left, go downhill and take a right-hand path to an information board in the ditch of the 12th-century motte and bailey castle.
The fortress was probably built of timber and nothing remains except the earthworks. A path goes up to the bailey, where you cross an avenue of beech trees before descending to the ditch surrounding the motte. To the left of the motte is an earthwork mound, which is a remnant of the 8th-century Wat’s Dyke.
1. TWO MILES
Retrace your steps past the pond to the path junction. Walk ahead towards a wall and Bear left on another path. Keep the wall on your right and you’ll soon see Erddig Hall and gardens. Dating from the 17th century,the mansion was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1973.
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Bear right at a corner to pass a dovecote and Erddig visitors’ entrance. At a signpost, take the left-hand drive, with its tall wellingtonias, pines and cedars, in the A525 Whitchurch direction.
Enter Forest Wood and, after 70m, bear right on a track to a junction. Turn right, going around bends and passing a house and ponds, to a drive. Keep a watch for the tiny goldcrest here. Turn left and, just before a bridge, look for a left-hand path with boardwalks and footbridges exploring the wetlands of Hafod Wood. Continuing along the drive, pass Yale Hostel and, just before a gate entrance to a lane, take a right-hand path.
2. THREE AND A QUARTER MILES
Go through a kissing-gate into a field and slant left in the direction of Erddig Hall. Climb a stile and go left through a kissing-gate and over a footbridge before heading over the hill, with views of the hall, to a kissing-gate into a small wood.
Go through another gate and pass the cup and saucer waterfall where Black Brook drops quickly through a weir constructed in 1775. The nearby dam was built in 1899 to lift spring water to Erddig Hall.
Cross a footbridge and bear left on a track to a stone bridge over Afon Clywedog. Just before it, go left on a wide path through meadows to return to the parking area.
Woodland, field and riverside paths and tracks.
HOW TO GET THERE
In Wrexham, take the A5152 in the direction of Rhostyllen and, just past the cemetery in Ruabon Road, take a lane signed Erddig. Almost immediately, go left on a track signed Felin Puleston Countryside Centre, where there is a parking area.
By public transport:
Wrexham is on the Chester-Shrewsbury railway line and the Borderlands line with trains from Bidston. There are buses from Chester, Oswestry and Mold. The start of the walk is a 20-minute walk from the town centre. Frequent buses pass Wrexham Cemetery, where there is a bus stop two minutes from the start of the walk.
Felin Puleston Industrial Estate, Wrexham
☎ 01978 366801
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 256.
Grid ref: SJ 324 492
Wrexham LL13 0YT
☎ 01978 355314
Open daily Mar-Oct except Thurs and Fri, 11am-4pm. Also open some winter weekends.
Lambspit Street, Wrexham LL11 1AR
☎ 01978 292015