7 November -- Chirk, North Wales
The 'A' walk gathers its strength
Leading the way (with apologies to Lord Kitchener)
The early weather was dull, but after a late lunch stop the sun came through
highlighting the autumn colours
Looking up the valley towards Glyntraian in the evening sun
and down towards Chirk

Reaching the valley floor we found this 1,200-year-old oak: "The Great Oak at the Gates of the Dead". It has a 34ft circumference trunk and is thought to date back to the reign of King Egbert in 802.

One of Britain's oldest trees; cold weather in February this year is believed to have caused it to split down the middle.

It grows near the site of the Battle of Crogen in 1165 when the tree was spared when King Henry II had his men cut down the Ceiriog Woods to facilitate his advance. Despite these preparations he was defeated in the battle here by Owain Gwynedd. The many dead were buried in a mass grave nearby.

More on this story here.

B walkers emerging from the canal tunnel... and into the sun
through the woods past Chirk castle

The 'C' group walked north along the Llangollen canal to Pentre. They then headed west to pick up the route of Offa's Dyke and followed it down to the River Ceiriog and Bronygarth. Turning here for the homeward leg, they followed the river through the woods and meadows, finishing with the short walk along the canal and Chirk Aqueduct.
The 'C' group started their walk by the aqueduct
The two tunnels en route prompt discussion as to what creatures might live in the roof !!
Roll call -- everyone made it!
Foraging... or lost?
finishing with the short walk along the canal and back across Chirk Aqueduct.
"Welcome R&R was enjoyed at the Hand Hotel in Chirk."

Photos by John Hodgson, Diana Young and David Whitehurst