A delightful walk from this unspoilt village that nestles amongst the tree clad hills of the Clwyedog valley. The walk leads along the upper reaches of the Clwyedog and then along quiet lanes with wide views out to sea. The return is made on an old track across farmland with views of the forested hills.

Distance: 8km/5 miles

Start: There is limited roadside parking in Cyffylliog.

Grid ref: 060 578 (OS Explorer map 264).

Cyffylliog has a peaceful air, hidden away in the valley bottom. The simple terraced cottages, the inn and village school, with its distinctive bell tower, are attractive, but it is the setting, high in the wooded Clywedog valley, threaded by narrow wildflower-edged lanes that gives its special quality.

The walk

1. This circuit partly follows one of the waymarked walks in the Mynydd Hiraethog and Denbigh Moors footpath network developed by Conwy and Denbighshire Councils. Look for 'Mynydd Hiraethog' green circular waymarker discs. From the bridge walk towards the Red Lion pub and take the lane on the right signed to 'Nantglyn'. Walk along the lane passing the church on the right.

Cyffylliog church is small with a simple stone belltower, set in a pretty churchyard with old gnarled yews. Next to the churchyard is a Georgian 'hearse house', a small stone building with large wooden doors, built to house the horse-drawn hearse.

Just past the church, take the waymarked footpath on the right immediately before a cottage. Follow the path over the river by a footbridge and bear left, walking with the river on your left. The path leads to an old fording point on the river. Turn right along the waymarked riverside path, ignoring a bridge on the left. Follow this path through woodland with the river close by for approximately 1km/3/4 mile as it climbs gradually.

The Clywedog is fast flowing here, running over large slabs of stone and forming small waterfalls. An attractive mix of trees, including wild cherry and hazel grow on the steep banks which are carpeted with wild garlic in spring.

As you leave the woods, a gate leads onto an access track that curves right to a cottage out of view up to the right. Go ahead along the access track and where it begins to drop to cross a bridge bear right on a narrow woodland footpath. This path leads along the right-hand side of the river and widens as it climbs up the hillside, with conifers on the right and a steep drop down to the river on the left. Continue on the path as it bears right away from the river. At the first path junction bear left downwards to a T junction. Turn right here and continue uphill on a good forest track.

2. Cross a gate or stile at the edge of the forestry plantation and follow the rising track, leaving the Hiraethog Trail, and climbing up away from the river. Continue uphill to a lane. Turn right onto the lane, rejoining the Hiraethog Trail, and continue for about 1.5km.

Turn right and continue along the lane for about 1.5 km/1 mile.

There are wide views to the left stretching out to the distant coast. In the foreground is the green rolling farmland of the Vale of Clwyd with the tower of Llanrhaeadr church just visible on a clear day and the northern Clywdians beyond. As you walk along the lane, views of the Clwydians change, as first Moel Arthur and then Moel Famau appear.

3. At a fork in the road, bear right, passing stone farm buildings on the left. Ignore a signed footpath on the right and continue ahead for 100 metres over a cattle grid, then take a clearly waymarked footpath immediately on the left. Follow this very clear grassy track for approximately 1.5km/1 mile, gradually descending towards Cyffylliog.

The views are superb again with the Clocaenog Forest across the valley and rolling farmland with thick hedges and pockets of woodland all around.

At a gate and stile, cross over and continue ahead to the road. Turn right and walk along the road downhill. At the bottom of the hill turn right, cross the river on the main bridge and walk back into the village to complete the walk.

This walk is taken from the book 'Walking in the Vale of Clwyd and Hiraethog' (ISBN 978-0-9559625-3-0 £6.99) by Lorna Jenner, published by Alyn Books. Copies are available from local bookshops or online: www.northerneyebooks.co.uk