Llangollen

Llangollen is a pretty town. The centre has a traditional high street, with shops and cafes, but the real centre is the bridge over the River Dee. It’s still quite a young river here, and the stony bed drives the river up into flurries of white water after rain. Indeed, you can often see canoeists edging between slalom poles!

The nearby railway station is home nowadays to only the Llangollen Railway, which runs full-size steam trains on the restored railway, steaming over 8 miles of track through attractive countryside to Carrog. There are regular special events, too, including children’s specials with Ivor The Engine or Thomas The Tank Engine pulling the train! Watch out, too, for concerts, seasonal specials and murder mystery outings.

The Llangollen Canal runs through the town, capturing the waters of the Dee at Horseshoe Falls and feeding them into the Shropshire Union network. The canal towpath makes a pleasant walk.

Castell Dinas Bran, the former stronghold of the Princes of Powys, stands towering above the town. The stiff climb up to the top is well worth the effort, as the views are excellent and the castle ruins are very atmospheric. Valle Crucis Abbey, on the other hand, is much more intact, and is well worth a visit. It’s just a few minutes out of Llangollen.