• John Oyston

Llangollen

Every July, Llangollen welcomes visitors from around the world for the International Music Eisteddfod. The six day festival is the ultimate celebration of Welsh music and culture and has been held in the second week in July annually since 1947.



Llangollen stands on the banks of the River Dee, in North Wales, about 25 miles south-west of the historic city of Chester. Llangollen is a small, compact town and the Tourist Information Office’s website has a host of useful information on places to eat and sleep. Outside Eisteddfod week, the town attracts visitors wanting to experience the beauties and attractions of the Dee Valley.



Take a Boat Ride on Pontcysyllte Aqueduct



The Llangollen Canal, high above the town, was built by Thomas Telford during the Industrial Revolution. Take a horse drawn boat trip along the canal, or a motorised cruise across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. The aqueduct is the world’s longest, and highest, cast-iron aqueduct, it stands 126 feet above the River Dee, near the foot of Horseshoe Pass. Boats travel for 1000 feet across the aqueduct offering wonderful views of the Dee Valley.



Regular passenger train services stopped running through Llangollen in 1965. A group of enthusiasts started the Llangollen Railway and now there are steam train services every weekend, and daily during the summer months. The route is over 7 miles long, starting at Llangollen and following the banks of the River Dee, and the foothills of the Berwyn Mountains to Carrog, calling at Berwyn and Glyndyfrdwy en route. The station house at Berwyn is let as self catering accommodation and sleeps up to 6 people; an ideal holiday venue for rail enthusiasts. The journey from Llangollen to Carrog takes a little over 30 minutes.



Visit the Horseshoe Pass and Valle Crucis Abbey



To the north of Llangollen, The Horseshoe Pass offers superb views of the town and the Dee Valley. The route passes Valle Crucis Abbey, a ruined 13th century abbey that was destroyed by Henry VIII, and high on a hill, overlooking the town, is Dinas Bran Castle, the 13th Century home of Madoc ap Gruffydd Maelor, who had the abbey built. Legend also states that it is the burial place of King Arthur’s Holy Grail.



Llangollen is an excellent centre for adventure sports, with facilities for kayaking, white water rafting, climbing and abseiling.



The history of the area is displayed at the Llangollen Museum, on Parade Street and The Llangollen Motor Museum at Pentrefelin is home to over 60 vehicles including a model"T" Ford, classic British motorbikes like the Norton and BSA and an invalid carriage.

Llangollen Railway Photo used under a Creative Commons License credit David Stowell

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Image Public Domain

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