The Vale of Clwyd is one of the most picturesque valleys in Wales. The River Clwyd rises in the Cloceanog Forest, only 3 kms from Hafannedd, and flows northwards to join the Irish Sea near Rhyl. The area is well-known not only for its spectacular scenery and wide variety of wildlife but also its historic connections, particularly with Owain Glyndwr (who actually burned down most of medieval Ruthin in 1400). Hafannedd is located on the edge of the Clwydian Range AONB, a beautiful area characterised by heather uplands, lush valleys, iron-age hillforts and is a major centre for walking and mountain biking.
Hafannedd is roughly equidistant from the towns of Ruthin and Corwen; Ruthin is an elegant mixture of old and new, boasting everything from 15th century houses once inhabited by families connected to the royal Tudor court to supermarkets; Corwen was an old market town and will soon be the western terminus of the Llangollen Steam Railway. As well as its steam railway, Llangollen is an important centre for canoeing and for its international music Eisteddfod. There is also Plas Newydd, originally the home of the Ladies of Llangollen. Just outside Llangollen is the base of the Fron Male Voice Choir and nearby the valley is crossed by the famous canal aqueduct built by Thomas Telford in 1805.
Local sports facilities include two leisure centres with swimming pools, squash and tennis courts, fitness centres etc and an excellent golf course just 2 miles away. There are riding, fishing and other outdoor pursuits available nearby as are whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking. If the sea and mountains are more to your taste, then Snowdonia is close by as are the north and west coasts of Wales, with everything from miles of sandy beaches to small rocky coves.
Those interested in exploring historic castles are spoilt for choice with Chirk Castle in one direction and Penrhyn in another. Built a little later, but equally interesting is Erddig, the family home of the Yorke family at Wrexham. Plas Teg has also recently been restored and opened to the public. Said to be the most haunted house in Wales, it has been connected to the notorious Hanging Judge Jeffries and to local witches. In contrast, a trip through Snowdonia can lead visitors to the unusual italianate "village" of Portmeirion.
Finally, what about a day at the races? Bangor on Dee and Chester are major venues on the horse racing calendar, giving visitors a chance to dress up and try their luck on the horses. Its impossible to list all the potential activities available in the area, so the links are designed to give a flavour.