Castles, valleys, fishing, canals, scenery in a very "Welsh" part of Wales
The river Dee threads its way through the Vale of Llangollen giving some of the most spectacular scenery in Wales. There is Chirk Castle, the waterfall at Pistyll Rhaeadr, the canal Pont-Cysyllte Aqueduct. There is canoeing, fishing, climbing and walking.
The River Clwyd flows north past Ruthin Castle and Denbigh Castle on its way to the sea
Below there is a gazetteer of the area and the things to see
|Chirk||Chirk Castle, owned
by the National Trust is two miles west of this village. The village is
on the River Ceiriog, which runs into the Dee. All around are mountain,
woodland and river scenery
Offa's Dyke runs through the grounds of the castle
|Corwen||A market town on the River Dee 4 miles above Llangollen.
This stretch of the Dee is noted for its salmon, trout and grayling fishing.
The town is associated with the Welsh folk hero Owen Glendower,
who led a revolt against the English in the early 1400's. He took his
name from one of his estates, Glyndyfrdwy, 4 miles eat of Corwen
There are good walks in the Berwyn Mountains from the town
with its eight great towers overlooks the town. Parts of the old town
After the reformation work was started on a new cathedral here to replace St Asaph, but the work was never finished. The result is known as Leicester's Folly locally.
H M Stanley, the explorer who found Dr Livingstone in Africa, was born in a cottage under the castle walls. So he wasn't American after all.
Also worthy of note is the Bull Inn with its magnificent carved staircase
|Llanarmon||Its full Welsh name, Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, means "church of St Armon the valley of the River Ceiriog". Deep in the Berwyn Mountains, with high hills all around, it is a good hill walking centre, and good for fishing in the River Ceiriog|
|Llangollen||There is a lot of Welsh history in and around Llangollen.
Once a centre of the slate industry, that is now all gone, and little
remains of the industrialisation that slate quarrying brought.
Today International Music Eisteddfod for folk dancers and singers is held here every summer. There is a 14th century stone bridge over the Dee, and outside the town the is the black and white house, Plas Newydd , owned by two extrovert ladies in 1778, and where they entertained among others the Duke of Wellington and William Wordsworth
A mile to the north east of the town is Castell Dinas Bran a castle that was welsh rather than Norman.
And a mile to the north west is Valle Crucis Abbey, a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1202. On past the abbey is the Horseshoe Pass, which has fine views.
Another striking feature, this time 3 miles east of the town is the Pont Cysyllte Aqueduct, a dramatic bridge, built by Telford in 1805 to carry the Shropshire Union Canal over the Dee - it is over 1000 feet long and has 19 arches
|Llanrhaeadr||A village on the eastern slopes of the Berwyn Mountains, which gives access 4 miles up a minor road, to Pistyll Rhaeadr, at 240 feet high, the highest waterfall in Wales|
|Overton||Known for the group of yew trees in its church yard|
|Ruthin||A town full of history. The 8 pm curfew has been rung here
nightly since the 11th century. The garrison was Lancastrian in the Wars
of the Roses, and Royalist in the Civil War. There are lots of timber
framed buildings, a market place, the 18th century Castle Hotel, a 15th
century courthouse, church gates by the Davies brothers in 1727.
Ruthin Castle is now a hotel offering "medieval banquets" to large groups of tourists
|Wrexham||Now an industrial town, Wrexham has a 15th century church with 135 foot steeple and gates by the famous Davies brothers. The churchyard also contains the grave of Elihu Yale, one of the Pilgrim fathers, and after whom Yale University is named|
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Land of legends and mountains - Llangollen, North Wales