The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Llangollen Day 1

Distance: 7.25 miles (1500’ of ascent)

Weather: decidedly rainy, with a few brief dry interludes

Having scrapped the idea of a backpacking trip last weekend due to the high winds (those winds that blew the tea out of my cup!) and having had the previous weekend’s late-proposed trip vetoed, I was determined we were going to go somewhere this weekend. Great indecision surrounded whether it was going to be a backpack or a Colin weekend and finally I came down on the side of Colin. With that decision not finally made until Thursday morning, I was left with only a couple of hours on Thursday night to get everything together, chose a destination and print some maps.

After much consideration, at 9.30pm I declared that a conclusion had been reached as to venue – we were going to Llangollen. Just over twelve hours later we arrived in the town and wasted little time in getting out for a stroll.

To the north we went, pausing to look up at Castell Dinas Bran which (as the name suggests if you’re familiar with Welsh) is a castle atop a hill, which was due to be on our route for Day 2:


Picking up the Clwydian Way, which wended its way very pleasantly along a hillside, we passed above the remains of an Abbey, although it was the caravan park to the side and the hill beyond which dominated such that you could easily overlook the Abbey in the view:IMG_3675

The surrounding views were worthy of consideration too, which is probably why the trouble had been taken to create some seating overlooking the vista:


With the climb needed to get to the upper seating level, the picnic bench was noted as being ‘for the less nimble’!


Having paused for lunch in between showers (it was turning out to be more ‘rain with a few brief dry periods’ than the forecast ‘sunshine and showers’) we made straight for the escarpment which dominates the views to the east. A fine geological feature, we declared, but the weather wasn’t conducive to good photos:


Even in the miserable weather, we could appreciate how attractive were the surroundings and many a pause was had to admire the features. By and by we got to the point where we were to leave Offa’s Dyke Path, with the intention that we would skirt Castle Hill. There had seemed little point in going over it in this weather when we would be up there on Saturday morning, when the weather was forecast for wall-to-wall sunshine. However, when we got to the junction where we would have turned to go around the base we were both in firm agreement that going over the top seemed like a much better plan.

Up we sploshed, got rained on a lot at the top (I did take plenty of photos, but they’re all very grey), and then by the time we got down the other side the sun was out! Even the bird life was sunning itself on every available perch:


The sun was but a brief interlude. It was wet outerwear that got stripped off as we returned to Colin and it was hard to believe that the weather was going to make such a remarkable about-turn overnight.


  1. I love Llangollen as a base for a walk or two! Just don't get involved in discussions about rugby ;-)

  2. Phil - I feel that there might be a story behind that piece of advice...