Yesterday the club visited Llangollen.
The ‘A’ party was led by Les Thompson. The route skirted round the hill upon which stand the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran to join the Offa’s Dyke path. We followed this path to the isolated hamlet of Worlds End, initially along a minor road but then across the steep scree slopes below Eglwyeg mountain. Doubling back we climbed up through woodland to join the Clwydian Way which led us through beech woods and alongside the Eglwyeg River to Valle Crucis Abbey. We then followed the Llangollen History trail passing over Velvet Hill to join the Llangollen canal close to Horseshoe falls. The final couple of miles were an easy stroll along the canal tow path back into Llangollen. 12 miles.
The ‘B’ party led by Betty Jones, climbed up to the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran before descending to the road to join the Offa’s Dyke path. Heading east they followed this path to the village of Trevor to join the Llangollen canal close to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. The return was along the towpath of the Llangollen canal. 8 miles.
The ‘C’ party, led by Mike Duffy followed the ‘B’ party to Castell Dinas Bran but on reaching Offa’s Dyke path they headed north-west. At Rock farm they turned off to visit Valle Crucis Abbey before heading back to Llangollen. 7 miles.
Castell Dinas Bran was built in the 1260’s by a local Welsh ruler, Prince Gruffudd ap Madoc to guard the strategic route through the Dee valley. Dinas Bran castle had a short working life and was abandoned in 1282. The picturesque ruins feature a D shaped tower – a design favoured by the Welsh.
Offa’s Dyke path is a 177 mile trail linking Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow on the banks of the Severn estuary with the coastal town of Prestatyn on the shores of the Irish sea. It is named after and often follows the spectacular dyke that King Offa ordered to be constructed in the 8th century, probably to divide the Kingdom of Mercia from rival kingdoms in what is now Wales.
The Clwydian Way is a 122 mile circular trail which starts in Prestatyn.It was established by the North Wales group of the Ramblers Association to markj the millennium. The route is marked by named discs with a buzzard motif.
Valle Crucis Abbey was once the second richest abbey in Wales, after Tintern. It was founded by the Cistercian monks in 1201 and was lived in until the dissolution of the monastery in 1537. The name means Valley of the Cross and refers to nearby Eliseg’s Pillar, a 9th century stone cross set up in memory of a former ruler of Powys.
The Horse shoe falls are a curving weir engineered by Thomas Telford. They were constructed in 1806 to diveert water from the river Dee into the Llangollen branch of the Shropshire Union canal system.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, designed by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, was opened in 1805 and carries the Llangollen branch of the Shropshire Union Canal over the River Dee. At a height of 127 ft and over 1000 ft in length it is one of the engineering marvels of the Industrial revolution.
Alan writes. I did the ‘A’ party walk with Les. Our party were the only group not to climb up to the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran. We has a choice. If we visit the ruins we may not get back in time for a pint at the end! we put it to the vote. It was unanimous, we skirted round the base of the hill. At Worlds End we stopped for lunch and several of the group decided to wash some of the mud from their boots in the ford. It was very slippery and one person , OK it was Fred, went for an early bath. We had time to visit Valle Crucis Abbey and the Horseshoe falls and were still back in time for a drink. We went to the ‘Corn Mill’ where they had a good choice of real ales. The selection committee, Gordon, David and myself sampled several of the beers with mixed results. They varied from excellent to awful.
It was a dull, damp day and although it did not rain it was not a good day for photography. However I have put some of my efforts in the album below.