Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Loggerheads Country Park

Loggerheads Country Park is situated 2.5 miles south of Mold in the Community of Llanferres, and covers 80 acres of the Alyn Valley.  From the centre you travel to Ruthin then follow the A494 signposted to Mold. Loggerheads is on the left hand side before you get into Mold itself. It takes about forty five minutes to get to the park from the centre. There is a pay and display car park on site. Loggerheads Country Park is a tree lined limestone valley with riverside walks & a history of lead mining. The main paths are gentle but you can be more adventurous & explore the steep cliffs with views over the surrounding countryside
The dominant feature of the Park is an imposing limestone cliff, Pen-y-Garreg Wen, which overlooks the Leete Path, a 4 mile walk through mixed woodland to Rhydymwyn.  This walk and the surrounding countryside, have been renowned for their beauty for over 200 years.  In 1985 the Clwydian Range was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for its rich landscape. Loggerheads Country Park is a popular visitor destination, attracting over 100,000 visitors every year. The Countryside Centre gives visitors an insight in to the history and life within the Park and provides a wealth of information and an excellent learning opportunity.
Loggerheads Country Park is an established Rural Country Park set in a limestone valley in the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It encompasses a mining and tourism history. The Park is also managed for conservation, with SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) designation and rich and varied natural habitats. The Discovery Trail gets visitors out & about in the park. They can see evidence of the history for themselves, along with abundant wildlife. Visitors also get the chance to become a Trail Detective and collect the secret symbols.  Woodland, riverside and cliff top experiences make this a very good day out for users of the centre.
The history of the country park dates from 1926 when the Crosville Motor Bus Company purchased land at Loggerheads on which they developed Tea Rooms and Gardens for the enjoyment of visitors many of whom travelled on the Company’s bus trips.  Not only was there a Tea House but also a bandstand, boating lake and kiosks selling sweets and ice-cream.  Loggerheads was very popular during the 1920’s and 30’s but its popularity waned after the Second World War, as the use of buses declined.  In 1974, Clwyd County Council purchased the land and the gardens as a Country Park.  In August 1984 the old wooden Tea Room was destroyed by fire.  A new Information Centre, restaurant and visitor facilities were built to continue the tradition of providing for the enjoyment of the many tourists who still come to Loggerheads.  The Park is now owned and managed by Denbighshire County Council.
There is a great café on site Caffi Florence. They have brought a fresh approach to food in Loggerheads Country Park to match the stunning countryside. Much is homemade and seasonal and many of their suppliers and products are local. Their tea, coffee and hot chocolate is fair-trade and their meat is local and eggs and chicken are all free range. The cafe serves morning coffee, homemade soup, lunches, afternoon tea, homemade cakes, ice creams and snacks. When we were there we had the soup of the day and sandwiches which was excellent and the girls had a children’s platter which is lots of chopped vegetables and fruit that went down really well. You can see their website at http://www.caffiflorence.co.uk/
Loggerheads country park is a great place to visit when using the centre for groups with both young people and adults and makes a worthwhile day trip worth considering in you planning.

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