Llwybr -

Welsh word for Path


'Clue ee bur'
the c is almost not pronounced

NWMBA recognise the cultural values of the Welsh language and encourages the use of the language in the naming of routes or paths it uses. The language is strong and vibrant with a daily role to play in our life by the way features and places are named. We prefer not to follow the Anglo-saxon invaders who had to rename everything in the Queens own tongue renaming Yr Wyddfa as Snowdon is an example of the slight done to the language

New legal MTB Trails in the Clwydian Range AONB near Moel Famau & Cilcain:

Llwybr Archdale & Llwybr Y Garth

Click for enlargement
Map of new paths (click to enlarge)
Multimap - online map of the area showing where the above map is located
Google Earth - download the GE Community Placemark
The Archdale Family of Penbedw at Nannerch have had a long association with NWMBA, although not one of them rides a bike other than farm quads. They are about the largest farm holding in the area spread over three farms. The main one at Penbedw Hall has been the host of a number of well respected British National Points Series races with a very hard xc course and at times very gnarly downhill course.

The family have a good reputation for helping local clubs looking for land and are regular hosts to Motorbike Trials and the odd moto-x although their own sport of choice is equestrian orientated fun.

When we were asked to organise a round of the Kona 100 MTB marathon at Corwen near Llangollen, we discovered the person we had asked to take lead role for the club had done a runner at the last minute letting the club down and forcing a change in venue. We wanted to use the Clwydians however using rights of way meant that two very dangerous road sections using busy A and C roads would be required. We knew we could avoid them but only with the owners cooperation, we approached the Archdales who were the owners, and were offered access for the event to two hill areas one at Penbedw by Moel Arthur and one at Y Garth near Cilcain that enabled us to avoid the roads and add a long string of off road going for the event which was not normally open to the public. Despite the threat of the land being carved up by 1000+ riders they happily carried on and asked no fee.

After the Merida especially on the Garth post event saw illegal use of the routes which became so regular it caused some friction between the club as we were unable to stop the steady flow of illegal riding that the event had started.

Last year however the Archdales, who are nationally known as good upland sheep farmers, having joined an early Agri Environment Scheme that gave them some financial assistance to use farming methods that protected the ecology of the area found it coming to the end. A new replacement scheme from the Welsh Assembly Government 'Tir Gofal' includes a payment for landowners creating permissive routes for accesto the countryside. We contacted the Archdales and suggested they put the routes forward within their Tir Gofal application, which would compensate their inconvinience with a modest payment. The family immediatly took the idea up and approached the Welsh Assembly funding body, and we did the same explaining how good it would be for users. Initial scepticism by the funding body who knew the land was open access but were converned that the additional use by horses or bikes would damage the landscape. The current situation was explained and they agreed they would be able to fund such a proposal so finally this year the Archdales entered Tir Gofal and established two new routes open to the public across their mountain.

The above sings are now errected at all the ends of the paths where it joins public rights of way, we have posted a map above showing their location in relation to Moel Famau and Cilcain. Although often used for a bit of cheeky trail poaching by local riders, it has been hard for us to promote them as they were private. NWMBA feels it is important all riders visiting the area are made aware of these routes as many of the guides including Ride the Clwyds and the BikeFax guide to NE Wales were not able to promote them. We have taken it upon ourselves, as part of our promotion, to name the two routes in an effort to raise awareness to all mountain bikers as they provide two essential links to the local network. You are welcome to and we would encourage you to use these names your selves when describing the routes to anyone to increase rider understanding.
Llwybr Archdale
Llwybr Archdale - the 'Archdale' path is a section of undulating singletrack running to the east of the Clwydian Ridge line and links the old road from Cilcain to Llangynhafal near the Pen-line Gate by the junction of the Garth Bridleway with the bridleway that skirts the summit of Moel Famau named by as 'over the top'.
The Pen-line Gate end of the Llwybr Archdale
Llwybr y Garth
Llwybr Y Garth - The farm is known locally as 'Y Garth' and this singletrack path starts from the Llwybyr Archdale close to where it joins the Moel Fammau bridleway. It heads down the valley and is one of the Clwydians rare "Rock Fest" routes. The section is much loved as a downhill on the Merida Marathon route and comes to an end on the bridleway heading from the Pen-line gate and leading to the reservoirs near Y Garth farm and onto Cilcain Village.
The start of Llwybyr Y Garth
The start of Llwybr Y Garth from Llwybr Archdale
The Y Garth Bridleway end of the Llwybr Y Garth
Y Garth Pano
Pano photo of Y Garth taken from the start of Llwybr Archdale near the Pen-line Gate Road (click image for enlarged version)
Important facts to be aware of if you use either of these paths. If you meet the farmer or his workers please be polite and don't give him any of the "my taxes pay your grants" nonsense some riders have been known to. Hill farming is a tough job and vulnerable to unstable prices for Lamb, farming will be the only way that the family can support themselves here please respect their business. They do not commercialy 'shoot' the mountain other than for their own private needs and if you see guns in use take extra care.

Please do not extend the off piste use on this land. The agreement can be cancelled. The owner is MTB friendly that does not mean you can steal his land off him.

Also it can be closed ( although very unlikely) for short periods for land management purposes if needed and dogs MUST be kept on leads when you are not on public rights of ways. Also be nice to the horse riders even though some of the vermin like to mess up the Merida marking.