Llangollen & Dee Valley - 8th April

Route Number 1    Due back: 19.45    £13.00

llangollen

A small town of some 3,000 people Llangollen is steeped in myth and legend. In many ways it is best known for hosting the eisteddfod of music and dance  every July which brings in some 120,000 visitors and turns the town into a vibrant international stage.
 
As with so many ancient Welsh towns, it takes its name from its founding Saint; Collen, a seventh century saint. Llangollen was established in the 7th Century when the monk St. Collen was instructed to find a valley by riding a horse for one day and then stop and mark out a 'parish' a place to build his hermitage or cell in the custom of the times, with tiny church, hospice and outhouses all enclosed within a wall.
 
Llangollen became important because of its prominent position on the main London to Holyhead coaching road which was improved by Thomas Telford from 1815 and continued for some 15 years. The Canal was also constructed around this time and combined to bring considerable immigration into Llangollen during the early part of the 19th century.
 
Valle Crucis Abbey dating from the 13th century is 2 miles from Llangollen. It is well worth a visit and shows the sheer scale of buildings in the 14th century. It was largely destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII. We will pass this on at least one of the walks.
 
The remains of Castell Dinas Bran (Crow Castle) can be seen high on an isolated hill above Llangollen and reached by a steep climb. From the top the views of Llangollen and the Dee Valley are stunning. This was said to be the possible burial site of the Holy Grail of the Arthurian legends, and was known to have been the 13th Century home of Madoc ap Gruffydd Maelor, the founder of Valle Crucis Abbey and it was possibly a stronghold for Eliseg, Prince of Powys in the 6th Century. Again one of the walks will pass directly by these ruins.
 
Llangollen is a haven for shoppers looking for interesting and unusual gifts. There are also many interesting walks in the town. The canal from the town to the Chain Bridge Hotel and Horseshoe Falls as an example. Another walk is Bishops Walk from the Bridge End Hotel side of the river bridge along the riverside past the old mill sluice gates and leet and the remains of the weir, then past views of St. Collens church over the river, and on to the Sarah Ponsonby Inn.
 
From Llangollen Wharf you can embark on a 45-minute horse drawn trip or a two hour trip on the traditional Canal narrow boat, which takes you through the Vale of Llangollen and across the Britain's biggest aqueduct at Trevor. Towering 126 feet above the river and built by Thomas Telford it is a masterpiece of engineering. You will not be the first to experience this. For over 100 years, pleasure boats have operated from Llangollen Wharf - and the experience is as popular as ever.
 
If you have not been to Llangollen before you are in for a treat with so many bars and cafes as well as some wonderful scenic and interesting walks.
 
So come and join us for a fantastic day out. We would love to meet you.