Cold and windy it was and little did we know what the following morn would bring - so on balance, the cold (0°C with wind chill), windy, and thankfully dry day was to be enjoyed. I had cycled out from Chester using the same route that Ivan, Ray and I had taken on that fateful 31st January. As I turned into Pentre Lane, I carefully took "Davenport corner" before the slog up the steep hill into Llay. I found a back way into the Alyn country park and as I crested the Alyn valley again, there was George in his car looking perplexed for a non-existent car park. He was near but so far from where he should have been. There were only five brave souls out today: Petar, Dave H, Jim, George and myself. Jim and I each had sort of prepared a route but given the cold and strong E wind a non-mountainous ride was decided upon with the lunch destination of Derwen College at Gobowen.
There is no easy way to miss Wrexham, so the route was via Maelor Hospital and Bersham before finding the aptly named Corkscrew Lane and along into Ruabon. Out towards Cefn Mawr, I had suggested we access the canal via the aqueduct to negate the slog up towards Chirk.
Photograph by Clive Albany
We continued canal side walking one dark tunnel before avoiding the 400 yard one in Chirk. Out past Chirk Bank I wondered if the canal path was passable further on to miss the A5 roundabout. A group of walkers confirmed it was muddy as evidenced by their boots. So up the incline to the A5 roundabout and a short section of the St Martin's road found us riding parallel to the A5 and soon into Gobowen. The Derwen College café was busy and as usual, the service was friendly, fast and fulfilling. The return route was on the little lanes via Hindford then NE to Overton. Rolling fast down the main road out of Overton and over the Dee, we take the back way to Sontley and wend our way back through central Wrexham to the Alyn. A round trip of 41m, but for me, the very pleasant day out was marred by a rear wheel puncture at the bottom of Marford Hill on my way back to Chester.