Monday, 10 July 2017

381 August walks from Llangollen

Our next walks venue will be


where Wales meets the World 
Our August 2014 walk

Saturday 12th August 2017
0800hrs prompt from the Short Stay Car Park

Llangollen is a small town and community in Denbighshire, north-east Wales, situated on the River Dee and on the edge of the Berwyn mountains.

Llangollen takes its name from the Welsh llan meaning "a religious settlement" and Saint Collen, a 6th-century monk who founded a church beside the river. St Collen is said to have arrived in Llangollen by coracle. There are no other churches in Wales dedicated to St Collen, and he may have had connections with Colan in Cornwall and with Langolen in Brittany.

Situated above the town to the north is Castell Dinas Brân, a stronghold of the Princes of Powys. Beyond the castle is the limestone escarpment known as the Eglwyseg Rocks. The outcrop continues north to World's End in Wrexham. The area nearest the castle is the Panorama Walk, and a monument to poet I.D. Hooson from the village of Rhosllannerchrugog can be found there.

Valle Crucis Abbey was established at Llantysilio in about 1201, under the patronage of Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor of Castell Dinas Brân.

The bridge at Llangollen was built across the Dee in the 16th century to replace a previous bridge built in about 1345 by John Trevor, of Trevor Hall (later Bishop of St Asaph), which replaced an even earlier bridge built in the reign of King Henry I. In the 1860s the present bridge was extended by adding an extra arch (to cross the new railway) and a two storey stone tower with a castellated parapet. This became a café before being demolished in the 1930s to improve traffic flow. The bridge was also widened in 1873 and again in 1968, using masonry which blended in with the older structure.[3] It is a Grade I listed structure and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[4]

On the outskirts of the town is Plas Newydd ("New Mansion" or "New Place"), from 1780 the home of the Ladies of Llangollen, the Honourable Sarah Ponsonby, Lady Eleanor Butler and their maid Mary Caryll.

The Pillar of Eliseg is another old monument.
There will be Three walks;
  • A Walk led by: Peter Hitchcock
  • B Walk led by: Gwyn Jones
  • C Walk led by: Joan Hilton
walk details will be added as they become available, but by Saturday 5th August

'A' Walk from Llangollen 2017

Walk Leader: Peter Hitchcock
Total Distance: 10.5 miles app
Total Ascent:  2600 ft

As you well know, Llangollen sits in the vale on the River Dee at the base of deep-sided hills; ergo, the only way is up!!

From the coach park (toilets 30p) we head north across the river then start a 25 min steep – and it is steep – climb up to Castle Dinas Bran, a spectacular vantage point of both the river valley and the ridge swallowing up Offas Dyke Path. The castle was built around 1260 for the Princes of Powys Fadog. But the incredible effort was short-lived as the Welsh raised it to the ground in 1277 to save the tactical building falling into the hands of them pesky Anglians! We descend the far side of the castle to join Offas Dyke path to head East on a reasonably level section as far as Froncysyllte. In and out of woodlands we suddenly arrive at Pontcysyllte aquaduct, since 2009 a World Heritage Site, and believed to be the highest navigable aquaduct ever built (by Messrs Thomas Telford and Jessop 1795-1808). If you haven’t seen the narrow boat canal bridge before, you are in for a treat. It will be an ideal spot for an early lunch (with proper free toilets also)!! 

After lunch we cross the aquaduct to loop back to Llangollen via the hills to the south. This section does involve 2 longish gradual climbs, one shortly after leaving the canal and the other just before we enter Llangollen again. In between, we descend from some brilliant vantage points via the Llwydr Ceirlog Trail. But, to be fair, you will require plenty of spinach in the legs! All told, a good challenge along a different part of the Vale from the norm. Over the 10½ m walk, our highest point will be the Castle itself at 325m – but at least that bit is all in one burst!

'B' Walk from Llangollen 2017

Walk Leader: Gwyn Jones
Total Distance: 7.75 miles app
Total Ascent:  1700 ft

This is a repeat of a walk I lead a few years ago. But a good walk is like a good song – keep singing it!

We start along the canal for about 1 ¾ miles. Then we climb gradually up to the panorama walk. (There will be several pauses – for me if not for you.) We walk along the “panorama” which is a very slight incline and takes us to our highest point. From here we make a rocky descent onto the Offa’s Dyke path.  This takes us to the foot of Dinas Bran (the Castle on top of the hill which can be seen from the town centre.)  We walk round the foot of the hill and descend down to Llangollen.
Top of a rocky climb

Crossing the bridge over the river
2014 descent


'C' Walk from Llangollen 2017

Walk Leader: Joan Hilton
Total Distance: 6 miles app
Total Ascent/Descent: 1200 ft

After coffee at the café by the canal (to recover from the first up of the day!!) we walk along the canal for about 1mile. After leaving the canal the route takes us gradually up not very high with some magnificent views. The route continues like this until we descend back to the canal and make our way back to the town, where there are multiple choices for alcoholic refreshment and teas and or ice cream.