Maen Achwyfan Cross

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See a beautiful 11ft Christian cross

It's hard to believe the beautiful Maen Achwyfan Cross, dating from around the 10th century, still stands 11ft high.

Take a moment to look closely at the carved features and remarkable details of the monument, carved from a single piece of stone.

You'll notice the design is massively inspired by the Viking sea raiders in this area of Wales. Get up close to see the complex carvings and gorgeous knotwork, mixed with human and animal shapes.

Breathe in the fresh air as you snap pictures of the round head that matches the shape of a wheel - this is actually the tallest wheel cross in Britain.

A medieval abbey filled with history

Not far away, you can enjoy a lovely walk at the well-maintained Basingwerk Abbey which is still a significant religious site.

Built in 1131 and largely reconstructed in the 13th century, it marks the starting location for the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way which takes you on a trek all the way to Bardsey.

The tall trees throw shade on the stone ruins as you move from one spot to another and eventually reach the oldest part of the abbey which is a 12th-century chapter house. Take a seat on the benches where monks once sat for regular readings.

The kids will love having fun exploring and tucking into cheese sandwiches and other delicious snacks from your picnic basket.

Choose a quiet spot in the old parlour to enjoy your lunch - this was the only room where the silent monks were permitted to talk.

An ancient hill where a long-lost castle once stood

Climb up the medieval earthen mound at Twthill, Rhuddlan where there are now no remains of Rhuddlan’s first Norman castle.

Hear the white swans fanning their feathers on the River Clwyd as you take in the inspiring views from the top of the hill. The white clouds will float lazily by in the blue sky above you.

Where you stand, soldiers would once have been busy following orders under the command of William the Conqueror.

You can understand why the castle passed between Welsh and English hands many times during the unsettled 11th and 12th centuries before it was replaced by Rhuddlan Castle just a small way away.

You're in for a treat as you enjoy a day out exploring the Welsh countryside and digging a little deeper into our heritage.

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