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 2

Saturday 29 January

Distance: 11.6 miles (2000’ of ascent)

Weather: Sunny and delightfully crisp

As unlikely as it seemed as we listened to the rain fall last evening, today dawned clear and bright, with a good frost adorning the grass. Seeing the conditions caused us to put a spurt on, curtailing our pre-walk faffing, and we managed to get ourselves out at 9am.

A slightly different route was taken to get to the path up to Castell Dinas Bran, this time passing an information board which had apparently been covered with blobs of water from last evening’s rain at the point that freezing level was reached:


The speed at which we ascended the hill was entirely the fault of this sign. Had it been less definite about the time it would take to reach the top we would probably have had a leisurely stroll, but so firm was it in telling us that ‘It will take 25 minutes to reach the remains of the castle’ that we saw it as a challenge. Mick was amongst the ruins in 10 minutes; I took 12 minutes, although I did pause briefly to take a snap of the escarpment under which we had walked yesterday:


This really is a fantastic oversized-pimple of a hill, with incredible 360 views, augmented by the remains of the castle. Definitely worth the walk. Compared to yesterday afternoon’s greyness:


It was much nicer today:



A good poke around was had, oohing in every direction, particularly to the north where the mist hung in the valleys and capped the hills:


Afraid of slipping on the steep descent (it had been very slip-slidey on the iced-up stones on the way up), it was a bit of a nervous descent, but we made it intact to pick up Offa’s Dyke Path. After a bit of road walking, through some pleasing woodland we went. Trevor Hall Wood said the sign. “Who’s he then?” asking Mick, supposing that a hyphen was missing.IMG_3712

The main purpose of this walk, for me, was the Pont Cysyllte aqueduct and by-and-by the route took us to the canal:


I have clear memories of not crossing the aqueduct when I was somewhere between 9 and 11. We got onto the end of its lengthy span, my grandmother (who has no head for heights at all) appreciated what we were about to do and refused to go any further. No amount of cajoling would convince her that there was nothing to worry about, so back we went. Finally I had the opportunity to rectify that unfinished business.

It’s a truly incredible structure:


Mick tried in vain to try to take a sensible photo of me on the crossing:


It was a long way down to the river!


Having crossed the span twice (our circular walk came very close to the end of the aquaduct, but didn’t require us to cross it, so it was a bit of an out-and-back side-trip), we detoured further to a local road bridge in an effort to find a vantage point where we could admire the entire magnificence. We didn’t find that vantage point, but we could still admire sections of it between the trees.


Our way back to Llangollen was a simple stroll along the canal, the tow path of which was unsurprisingly busy on this fine Saturday morning. No narrow boats were moving on the canal, although there were a few people making other use of the waterway:


Dinas Bran had been within our sights for much of the day, and so it was as we paused for lunch. Finding a picnic bench for our break was an added bonus:


As regular readers will know, I’m not always a fan of canal walking, but some canals are better than others, and this one is lovely:


Reaching Llangollen a detour was had into the town before we made our way back to Colin. It seemed obligatory to join the other tourists on the bridge to take a snap of the river:


Equally obligatory was a trip to the butcher for a lamb oggie for Mick. He was quite pleased with it:


So, a good couple of walks had. I think we’ll be back to explore the area further.


  1. It’s like the old cliché of waiting for a London bus.

    I’m jealous of your cyclists sign pic. a couple of posts back, you do seem to have a knack for finding them. I have a pic folder with about fourty in now, but I restrict myself to only using ones I have collected myself, so I am honour bound not to pinch yours.

  2. Must admit, I was beginning to wonder if you were busy or just disappeared! Glad you're 'back' :-)

  3. Conrad - I made the London bus analogy to Mick as I posted the third post last night (they perhaps wouldn't have been all bunched together except that I typed them from the comfort of Colin on Friday and Saturday, but didn't have any internet to post them until we got home).

    As for the signs, Mick is often perplexed when I stop dead and laugh/point/exclaim. The 'Cyclists Car Park' one saw me stop and utter 'fantastic!'. Mick had no clue what I was talking about.

  4. Louise - 'just disappeared'?!

    Far too many things to do and not enough time is the problem at the moment. I'm way behind on the planning of this year's walks - not helped by some extraordinary levels of indecision (indecision such that even spreadsheets aren't solving it!)

  5. I know the feeling, Gayle. It's nice to have a bit of a break sometimes, but I don't have your excuses - no work, and Sue hasn't deigned to attempt to blind me recently. So there's no rest for the wicked!
    Have fun in February...

  6. You lucky, lucky people. I went to Llangollen myself a couple of years ago, and it's absolutely gorgeous. I was probably a lot slower than you in getting up Dinas Bran, though.

  7. Karen - I would recommend going up Dinas Bran slowly. Getting to the top in a state of wet-sweatiness and gasping for breath isn't the sensible way of doing it! Much better to pause to admire the view a few times on the way (which is my usual approach).

    If it hadn't been for the wording of that information sign...

  8. Great walk and photos - Llangollen and Dinas Bran is now on my list of places to walk in the future!

  9. I appreciate your situation having been busy myself (in both good and bad ways) and not having found the time to blog the good bits yet. Got the first of several done last night.

    Mind you, it looks like you had a good weekend out of it in the end! :)