Hawarden Castle is privatley owned by the Gladstone family who open the Castle to the public on certain Sundays during the Summer months. During our visit we discovered the pink gate of the gatehouse was open giving access to a lovely easygoing path which leads up to the Castle allowing you to get some good views of the exterior.
The most impressive remaining feature of the Castle is the huge round tower which sits upon a bank which at the time of our visit was adorned with beautiful flowers.
From around 1205 and 1277, the Castle passed through the hands of many noblemen and played a part in the Welsh revolt. In the civil war the Castle withstood ten months of parliamentarian siege before surrendering in March 1646, and subsequently became a landscape feature in the Gladstone family estate, of which it is still a part.
There are some fantastic waymarked Country walks in and around Hawarden. We parked in the car park sighnposted off the centre of the Village. Here you will find an information board giving details of the walks in the area.
We walked along the path signposted from the bottom of the car park. We walked along this path for about half a mile, it is a great path which passes by a disused mill and through some great woodland; a wonderful place for admiring the many species of birds, flowers and trees. If we had longer we could have continued our walk to complete the circular route but instead we were eager to find the path which leads to Hawarden Castle....
St Deiniol's library was started by former prime minister Gladstone in 1894. It now houses 250,000 books in a beautiful Grade 1 listed building. The main focus of the collection is the nineteenth century and religion. Outside is a statue of Gladstone. Anyone can use the library, you just need to register. It has 30 rooms if you want to stay over and a cafe if you just want to pop in for a cup of tea.
If you don't behave you'll get banged up in the house of correction. Well you may have done at one time, it was the 18th century's equivalent of an ASBO.
The lock-up was built towards the end of the 18th century and was built by the architect Joseph Turner. It stands at the end of Cross Tree lane where once stood a whipping post and some stocks that were used for drunks and other miscreants.
From the lane, turn right until you reach the main road. Turn left and follow the road to the signed stile on the other side of the road
You will reach a wood which is very well sign posted.
Look out also for the 'bunker' hidden away.
When leaving the woods, cross the wooden bridge and head up hill towards the telegraph pole.
Follow the wires to the stile at the end of the field which leads to a track.
Take this past the farm (to your right). Keep on this track until you reach a junction where you need to take a right.
Keep on this lane until you see the sign for Bilberry Wood on the right hand side of the road.
(Although dry when I visited, I can image this path can get very muddy)
Once in the wood, the paths are well marked.
There is one part where you reach a junction. Take a left then a right so you are pretty much heading in the same direction.
The path takes you along side the wall surrounding Hawarden Casle.
When the path moves away from the wall you will see two styles, take either one.
Near the end of the walk is an old mill. (see photo) after this is a steep climb but there is a metal handrail to help.
The car park is at the top of this hill.
This is a nice half day walk (about 5 miles) starting from the large, free car park in the village of Hawarden.
During the walk you can look over to the Airbus factory below.
From the car park, go up hill towards the large fountain type thing at the crossroads.
Turn right here and left at the next road.
Just before the school is a path on the right.
(its right next to the red speed bump)
Follow this all the way down to the bottom of the field.
The path is easily followed and will eventually bring you out to a farm. Go between the buildings and down the road until you see a stile on the right.
Take this path to a clump of woodland, there are three styles here, the last one being to the right immediatly after second
Walk along the edge of the field until you reach a lane