Ffordd Gogledd Cymru
|Ffordd Gogledd Cymru|
|The North Wales Way|
|From:||Bretton Wood (English border) (SJ356632)|
|Length:||79.5 miles (127.9 km)|
|Meets:||Flintshire Leisure Tour, Ffordd Cambria, Holyhead Road|
|Old route now:||A55|
Ffordd Gogledd Cymru / The North Wales Way is one of three tourist routes being created by Visit Wales as part of the 'The Wales Way' project. It entirely follows the A55 North Wales Expressway, so most of the attractions are off-route, requiring one to go 'igam ogam' to get to them.
Chester - St Asaph
While the route begins at the border, it can be considered to really begin at Chester. This ancient city, with a complete ring of walls, a splendid cathedral and historic shopping streets is well worth visiting, even if it is Saesneg!
Entering Flintshire, those wishing to go igam ogam might wish to use the Flintshire Leisure Drive, which begins in Mold and forms a signed one way loop around the area, meeting the A55 at junctions 35, 33 and 31. Hawarden (from J37 or J35) has Gladstone's Library - the UK's only Prime Ministerial Library. This area, on the south side of the Dee, near the border has many castles, most of which are small. Flint castle, in Flint is the finest. Holywell (J31/32) is home to St Winifred's Well (which names the town), along with other historic sites.
The route has gradually climbed up into the Clwydian Range - a set of hills and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, before descending rapidly between J29 and J28 as we reach the city of St Asaph. From here (J27), one can head north to Rhuddlan Castle, Rhaeadr Dyserth Waterfall or the resort towns of Rhyl and Prestatyn.
St Asaph - Conwy
At J25, the route passes next to the Marble Church, with Bodelwyddan Castle and Park just off the road. At Abergele (J23a) we finally meet the coast, which we follow - usually close to the railway. After running between town and beach at Colwyn Bay, at J20, one can turn south for the Welsh Mountain Zoo or north through Rhos-on-Sea for an indirect route to Llandudno.
At Glan Conwy (J19), the Ffordd Cambria heads into Snowdonia, en route to Cardiff, but here or J18 one can turn north to Llandudno and Great Ormes Head with its tramway, cable car, mine, country park and Marine Drive. From J18 one can take the Pont Conwy over the River Conwy to Conwy and its Castle and other attractions, or the Conwy Tunnel under the river and past the town.