Category Archives: Local Guides

Llangollen will be heaving in July…why not join us?

Every summer since 1947 Llangollen has staged one of the world’s inspirational cultural festivals. Each year around 4,000 performers and 50,000 visitors converge on Llangollen to sing and dance in a combination of competition, performance and international peace and friendship. This year’s 70th International Eisteddfod runs  3rd – 9th July.

Continue reading Llangollen will be heaving in July…why not join us?

 

Self Guided Adventures in Llangollen

there’s a good amount of most kind of adventures in the Llangollen area, here is our run down. Let me know what I’ve missed.

Pete

Paddling the Llangollen Canal

from Horseshoe Falls to Pontcysllte Aqueduct the Llangollen Canal is a world heritage, popular in both canoe and kayak, plus the odd Stand up Paddleboard. The canal is fed from the River Dee and heads into the Midlands, with two aqueducts, one 126 feet above Continue reading Self Guided Adventures in Llangollen

 

Events in Llangollen in 2017

Llangollen is a town of 3000 or so residents in North East Wales, just an hour or so from Liverpool, Manchester and the outskirts of Birmingham. If you have ever driven into North Wales on the A5 you will recognise the view as the mountains rear up and close in around you and Castle Dinas Bran rises up on it’s own hill top to your right. The valley has been carved by the River Dee, a magnet for white water kayakers, canoeists and rafters from all over the world.

We have picked a few of our favourite events coming up in 2017, if we have missed yours please add it in the comments below. If you get them to us soon then we can add them in to this article.

Continue reading Events in Llangollen in 2017

 

Events in Llangollen in 2016

Llangollen is a town of 3000 or so residents in North East Wales, just an hour or so from Liverpool, Manchester and the outskirts of Birmingham. If you have ever driven into North Wales on the A5 you will recognise the view as the mountains rear up and close in around you and Castle Dinas Bran rises up on it’s own hill top to your right. The valley has been carved by the River Dee, an magnet for white water kayakers, canoeists and rafters from all over the world.

We have picked a few of our favourite events in 2016, if we have missed yours please add it in the comments below. Continue reading Events in Llangollen in 2016

 

Get your boots ready for the 4th annual Llangollen Walking Festival

walk3bIt will soon be that time of year again when you pull on your walking boots and tramp all round Llangollen with a bunch of friendly, like-minded people.

The 2016 Walking Festival offers something for all levels of walker as the friendly guides in Llangollen and the Dee Valley in North Wales help you explore and enjoy the wonderfully historic, mythical and scenic landscape of the area. Continue reading Get your boots ready for the 4th annual Llangollen Walking Festival

 

Llangollen and Dee Valley Walks and Festivals

Llangollen Walking Festival

Held at the end of April / beginning of May, this festival has guided walks for all levels. Some even providing free beer.

https://www.llangollenwalkingfestival.co.uk/

Corwen Walking Festival

Just 12 Miles away up the River this festival has lots of picturesque and historic walks in September each year.

https://www.corwenwalkingfestival.co.uk/

Bala Challenge

With options from a 3 hour guided walk to 20 miles in the hills around Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid), this is run by The Rotary Club in May.

https://www.rotary-site.org/bala-challenge

Wrexham Walking Festival

Several of the walks in this week long festival visit the Llangollen area, this runs in June each year.

https://www.walksinwrexham.com/walking-festival-2016.php

The Offas Dyke Path

Running from Chepstow in South Wales through to Prestatyn in the North this National Walking Trail takes in several local walks including Trevor Hall Woods, and the Llantisilio escarpement, with great views over the Dee Valley and Dinas Bran.

https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/offas-dyke-path

The Llangollen Round

A combination of elements of the Dee Valley Way and North Berwyn way, this is run as a Bi annual one or two day sponsored challenge for runners and walkers.

https://www.thellangollenround.info/

The Dee Valley Way

Following the hills north of the River Dee

https://www.denbighshirecountryside.org.uk/dee-valley-way/

Riverside Walks

More of a canal side walk, but finishing at the river, walk from the centre of town to Horseshoe Falls on the Llangollen Canal.

Castle Dinas Bran

You can not pass through Llangollen without seeing the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran atop the hill overlooking the town. A 40 minute climb will give you a taste of the areas long history as you walk to the 14th century ruin. You’ll need to take a long hard look to spot some of the carbon fibre rods holding some of the ruins together.

North Berwyn Way

The Berwyn Mountain Range is never busy, but is the home to many Raptors and is consequently a Special Area of Conservation.

https://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/north-berwyn-way/

There are many other local walks exploring Llangollen’s Natural, human and industrial history. The town and Valley include a World Heritage site and three Special Areas of Conservation, beautiful views of Mountains and the River Dee, woodland walks and much more.

Just pop into our shop in the middle of town, for advice, guidance and maps.

 

 

The ruins of Castell Dinas Brân (Crow Castle) are well worth the climb

Another in the series of walks around and about Llangollen, home of the ProAdventure shop and activity centre.

2Dinas widecropOccupying one of Britain’s most spectacular sites, Castell Dinas Brân is a medieval castle towering on a hill about 1,000 feet above the Dee Valley and the town of Llangollen in Denbighshire, Wales. It is also the site of an Iron Age hill fort built around 600 BC.

This was an earthen rampart construction probably topped by a wooden palisade and protected by a deep ditch on the southern slope. Dinas Brân is one of many hill forts in this part of Wales; Moel y Gaer is just a couple of miles to the north-west near Horseshoe Pass, and another is close to the east. A rugged, foreboding pinnacle, the hill was the ideal spot to build a castle. It seemed completely impenetrable, commanded views for miles around, and offered quick recognition of approaching visitors. However, the Welsh princes of Powys only occupied the hilltop for a few decades.

The castle ruins still visible today were probably built by Gruffydd II ap Madog sometime in the 1260s. It was one of several castles built following the signing of the 1267 Treaty of Montgomery which had secured the country for Llywelyn, Prince of Wales.

The history of the castle during the final war which flared up again in 1282 is not known. It may have been recaptured by the Welsh but ultimately the English were victorious. When the war ended the castle was granted to John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey. Instead of rebuilding Dinas Brân, de Warenne chose instead to build a new castle at Holt on the Flintshire/Cheshire border and Dinas Brân was left alone, existing to the present day as a picturesque and romantic ruin.

Castell Dinas Bran-snowToday, that same ruin is open to free exploration by the public. The historic importance of the castle, combined with the breath taking grandeur of its siting creates a unique Welsh castle experience. Access to the summit is by climbing a well-marked path, but the climb to the top is not an easy one; modern day visitors experience the struggle that the castle’s medieval inhabitants – and their attackers – must have felt. The walk is a challenge however but the climb heightens the allure of Dinas Brân and its compelling views of the green valley from its summit.

If you’re ever in the area or even staying in Llangollen, make sure you take the time to visit this remarkable castle. Do drop by the ProAdventure shop for directions.

 

Llantysilio Mountain and Berwyn slate quarries

LlangollenLlangollen has some brilliant walks that can vary from densely wooded valleys to high windswept moorlands, with many different varieties of terrain and a wealth of historic sights to enjoy. The heights around Llangollen, though officially only classed as hills, still offer exiting walking and dramatic views.

Llantysilio Mountain is the name given to a series of hills which run westwards from the top of the Horseshoe Pass in Llangollen. There are several routes you can take when approaching these hills and the least strenuous takes advantage of the 417m height of the Horseshoe Pass as a starting point.

A more challenging day will be had by approaching from the village of Rhewl, which sits at a much lower level just above the River Dee to the south.

The main peaks are Moel y Faen (548m), Moel y Gamelan (at 577m the highest summit), Moel y Gaer (504m) and Moel Morfydd (549m). These hills are connected by a well-used path. The summit of Moel y Gamelin has a large Bronze Age (2,300-1,200 BC) burial cairn, Moel y Gaer is ringed by the remains of an Iron Age (1200 BC-74 AD) hill fort, while Moel Morfydd hosts a trig point.

Lead was mined in the area around Llangollen as far back as Roman times. In 1696 Edward Lhuyd, wrote that lead was “previously mined at Fron Lwyd” in the Eglwyseg Valley. Slate too has been quarried since before 1700.

The Berwyn Slate Quarry was opened as the Clogau Quarry in 1690. It was, and still is, used to produce large slabs, for hearths, worktops, tombstones and billiard tables. At the height of its operations the quarry employed several hundred men.

Whichever starting point you take, the pleasant way through the Horseshoe Pass or the more strenuous route from Rhewl, you can expect an exhilarating day out with some truly fantastic views.

The ProAdventure shop is located on Castle Street, the main shopping street in Llangollen. The area is extremely beautiful and there are many different walks and activities one can participate in. If you’re in the town preparing for a walk do drop in for some local advice or if you need to purchase kit you might need for your day out.