The Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The mythical Castell Dinas Bran in Llangollen, nestled in the Dee Valley

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty forms a dramatic upland frontier in North East Wales. It almost touches the coast at Prestatyn Hillside in the north, and stretches south as far Moel Fferna, the highest point in the AONB at 630 metres. It covers 390 square kilometres of windswept hilltops, heather moorland, limestone crags and wooded valleys. The Clwydian Range is an unmistakeable chain of purple heatherclad summits, topped by a cluster of strikingly situated Iron Age hillforts. The Range’s highest hill, at 554 metres, is Moel Famau, a familiar icon to residents of the North West. The historic Jubilee Tower sits on the summit of this hill with views over 11 counties. Beyond the windswept Horseshoe Pass, over Llantisilio Mountain, lies the glorious Dee Valley with historic Llangollen, a famous market town rich in cultural and industrial heritage. Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail traverses this specially protected area, one of the least discovered yet most welcoming and easiest to explore of Wales’s finest landscapes.

Where is the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB?

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB includes parts of the counties of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham in North East Wales - 35% of Denbighshire is within the AONB. At its northernmost tip, it virtually touches the coast at Prestatyn Hillside, and extends as far south as the remote Berwyn Mountains. Its western edge traces the Vale of Clwyd, overlooked by a chain of peaks crowned with hillforts. Further south, the Morwynion Valley and the Vale of Llangollen form impressive boundaries. To the east, the foothills of the Dee Estuary and the Clwydian Range give way to Llandegla Moors, Ruabon Mountains, Esclusham Mountain, the World Heritage Site of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, and the National Trust’s Chirk Castle. Simply, the AONB covers 389 square kilometres of some of the finest and varied countryside in Wales.

Are there country parks within the AONB?

There are three country parks within the AONB: Loggerheads Country Park, Moel Famau Country Park and Ty Mawr Country Park.

Are there any towns in or on the AONB boundary?

Prestatyn, Llangollen, Chirk and Corwen are within the AONB or on its boundary.

Are there any historic attractions that visitors can enjoy?

There are a range of magnificent heritage attractions to explore: a chain of Iron Age hillforts run along the hill tops of the Clwydian Range and Llantisilio Mountain. In the Dee Valley Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site, Valle Crucis Abbey, Castell Dinas Bran, Plas Newydd, and the magnificent Marcher fortress of Chirk Castle provide an exciting mix of history. In total, there are 95 scheduled ancient monuments, 10 Iron Age Hillforts and one World Heritage Site in the AONB.

More information

What is an AONB?

AONB: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. AONB’s are identified as the very best national landscapes in Wales. There are just five in the whole of Wales - Gower, Llyn, Anglesey, Wye Valley, and Clwydian Range and Dee Valley. The designation helps to protect them from poor development and conserves them for future generations. An AONB has the primary purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area. Because of their special qualities, AONBs have more protection than other areas under the planning process, and the quality of their scenery is considered to be equal to that of National Parks.