Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

North East Wales Heritage Trail Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
United Kingdom
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

7 Days Land only
Ages: 8+

Trip Overview

As you hike these hills you'll discover a region rich in history. The presence of numerous hill forts, castles, old quarries and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal demonstrates the region's importance throughout the Iron, Bronze and Industrial Ages.

Starting from Ruthin you'll stay in Boutique guesthouses, all offering a warm Welsh welcome along with a hearty breakfast to set you up for the day.

At a Glance

  • 6 nights in 4* hotel accommodation
  • 2 days hotel to hotel walking plus walks on days 2, 4 and 6; averaging 4 hours per day
  • Walking transfers included

Trip Highlights

  • Medieval towns, hill forts and castles
  • Rolling hills, heather-clad moors and limestone outcrops
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal

Is This Trip for You?

The walks on this holiday highlight the very best of the Clwydian and Berwyn hill ranges with walking across heather-clad moors and over rolling hills. There is nothing overly strenuous but some of the longer routes can take up to 5 hours to complete.

This is a self-guided tour, as such there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own pace. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you.

For those wanting to travel on their own there is a single supplement for the accommodation and where there is only one "solo" traveller on a particular departure there is also a solo traveller supplement.


As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local agent is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route directions and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route directions and maps are provided. The route directions also contain an emergency telephone number. In an emergency, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi if required. They may wish to charge for this service. Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person is travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age:
Min group size:
Max group size:


W06WA map

Land Only

Start City:
End City:
Llanarmon DC

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Ruthin

    Arrive in the historic town of Ruthin, surrounded by hills.
    Stay overnight at Manorhaus, Ruthin (Breakfast included)

  • Day 2

    At Ruthin

    From Ruthin enjoy a circular walk in the Clwydian range. Head out to the Iron Age site of Foel Fenlli, on to the Jubilee Tower atop Moel Famau and to Gellifor from where you return along the riverside.
    Stay overnight at Manorhaus, Ruthin (Breakfast included)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 18 km / 11.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 3

    Ruthin (Horseshoe Pass) to Llangollen

    In the morning explore the medieval town of Ruthin, including its Pentonville-style gaol and the oldest timbered house in Wales, Nantclwyd Y Dre, restored to share the 7 ages of this 15th Century house and home to the award-winning Lord's Gardens. A transfer (included) will then take you to the top of the scenic Horseshoe Pass. You'll descend down through the valley towards the riverside town of Llangollen and pass through lush green fields, scree slopes and limestone escarpments along the way.
    Stay overnight at Manorhaus, Llangollen (Breakfast included)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 4

    At Llangollen

    Enjoy a circular walk to Horseshoe Falls and the start of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal World Heritage Site. Head up to the 13th century Castell Dinas Bran and out along the limestone escarpment to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, returning along the Llangollen Canal.
    Stay overnight at Manorhaus, Llangollen (Breakfast included)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 20 km / 12.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 5

    Llangollen (Glyndyfrdwy) to Llanarmon DC

    Take the steam train from Llangollen to Glyndyfrdwy (included Apr-Oct). Here you'll begin your first hike in the quiet, soft rolling hills of the Berwyns. Hike through sheep-strewn grassland and rolling moorland clad with dense heather. These moors are synonymous with the Berwyns and the purple haze of flowering heather in late summer creates a real spectacle in the evening sunshine. Your next overnight stop is at Llanarmon DC.
    Stay overnight at West Arms (Breakfast and evening meal included)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 6

    At Llanarmon DC

    Located in the heart of the Berwyns, your guesthouse is perfectly positioned for one of many circular walks today. Heading south from the village, a moderate 11km route will take you up and over Cefn Hir-fynydd hill standing at 464m.
    Stay overnight at West Arms (Breakfast and evening meal included)

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 7

    Depart after breakfast

    Depart after breakfast

    Meals included:

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.


W06WA: Hotels

West Arms, Llanarmon DC

The hotels on this trip are traditional Welsh townhouses or farmhouses that have been converted into 4 star hotels, two of which have excellent, award-winning restaurant facilities. Enjoy sumptuous full Welsh breakfasts each day to set you up for a day's walking in the hills.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £364.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Full English/Welsh Breakfasts are included throughout as well as the evening meals on days 5 and 6 in Llanarmon DC.

Try out traditional local country pubs for lunch or enjoy a picnic in the countryside. Please note, if you order a picnic from the hotel, please do so the evening before.


Your luggage will be transported between the hotels by taxi or minibus. The local agent is often able to dispatch a taxi should you need it in an emergency, but may wish to charge you for this service.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Summers in North Wales tend to be slightly cooler than you might expect and winters can be milder, especially on the coast, while higher, upland areas have more chance of harsher (and colder) weather conditions. The warmest months to visit are from June through to August, although temperatures start to warm up around April and remain pleasant until October time. We advise you take waterproofs as rain / showers can occur at any time of year.

Joining Instructions

For this holiday, you have various arrival options - flights arrive into Manchester and Liverpool Airports, trains run to Chester or Llandudno stations. If pre-booked, our friendly local taxi service will be there to meet you on arrival and you will then be transferred to the first hotel and the start of your holiday. Please just ensure that you have informed either ourselves or the agent about your time of arrival. Alternatively you can make your own way by car to the first hotel and park in any of Ruthin's long stay car parks for the duration of your trip (there is a charge for long-term parking of £35 per vehicle).

The briefing will be given on the evening of arrival or the next morning - to be confirmed by the local agent prior to arrival.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Location end:
Llanarmon DC

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Walking boots
Water bottle

Walking poles
Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses
Warm jumper

GPS Route Navigation

Ride with GPS logo

We've teamed up with RideWithGPS to provide our carefully researched and checked itineraries in a convenient format, similar to a car satnav, with turn-by-turn instructions all along your route.

Before you travel we'll send you everything you need to download your route notes and the free RideWithGPS app. It's available for iPhone and Android and the routes can also be used on any regular GPS device such as the Garmin Edge bike computers or Forerunner fitness devices. 

 For more details and to watch the demonstration video, please visit our GPS Route Navigation page.

Dinas Bran Castle

Practical Information


United Kingdom

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.


United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

United Kingdom's Timezone:
Europe/London GMT (GMT +00:00)


United Kingdom's Electricity:

220-240V. 50Hz. You will need a 3 pinned type G plug.


ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available in towns, but we recommend taking some GBP cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip. There will not be ATMs in the more remote rural areas.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need money for lunches, snacks, drinks, dinners and entry to any sites you wish to visit. Lunches can be inexpensive if you buy them from local shops and make up a picnic, however if you stop at a pub you can easily spend £15 each. Dinner can also vary in price between £15 in a pub to £30+ in a restaurant.
We would recommend budgeting £20 ‐ £50 a day for lunches and dinners and allow an additional £10 a day for any extras.

Moel Famau

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

On this trip in North Wales, the accommodation we use provides vital jobs to locals and uses locally sourced ingredients where possible to minimise the carbon footprint. Also the Manorhaus hotels in Ruthin and Llangollen keep single use plastics to a minimum in their hotels, plus all toiletries within the rooms are handmade locally from natural ingredients and provided in refillable containers. The West Arms pride themselves on working with very local food producers, so the meals in their excellent restaurant have a very low carbon footprint and are often organic.

Our local agent works with a carbon offset project (Forest Carbon) to create new native woodland within the UK, so all of their trips have some form of carbon offset (whilst recognising it's not a solution, they believe it's a positive step while they work on carbon reduction).

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.


Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.



The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.


These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.