Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Exploring Llangollen


IMG_7224With only 48 hours on the moorings here at Llangollen we have to pack as much in as possible and on the first day Carolyn and Curly decided to take a walk to Horseshoe falls . There is a Horse drawn boat that takes people some of the way as it is a mile and a half to walk it.

IMG_7232With the river here being fast flowing there is always something going on be it canoe’s or white water rafting. I did say to Curly about having a go ,but she declined my offer.

IMG_7237At Horseshoe falls and Curly tries to get Hamish in for a paddle . Hamish just does not like water and if you can make him get his feet wet you are doing a good job.

IMG_7240Construction of the Llangollen section of the Ellesmere Canal (now part of the Shropshire Union Canal) began in 1793 under the Ellesmere Canal Act and with the Horseshoe Falls was conceived and built from a collaboration between Thomas Telford (1757-1834) and William Jessop (1745-1814).The Horseshoe Falls is the point where the River Dee feeds water into the canal by means of a weir, and it is this role as a water feeder which ensured its survival when other canals fell into disrepair. It was also a boon to the slate and limestone quarrying industries, allowing the transportation of heavy loads from Llantysilio and Pentredŵr across the Pontcysyllte and Chirk aqueducts into Shropshire. When commercial traffic ceased, pleasure crafts took over and it is still possible to take a trip along possibly the most beautiful stretch of canal in the country. The eleven miles from Gledrid Bridge to the Horseshoe Falls (including the Pontcysyllte and Chirk Aqueducts) were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.

IMG_7256Next it was an expedition up Dinas Bran which is a must if you ever visit Llangollen. Even though it was a bit overcast Carolyn and Curly decided o  an early start with the hope that the weather would clear by the time they got to the top. When we did this last year Hamish struggled a bit to get to the top so I decided to stay back on Inca with him. Not to mention that I struggled a bit more than Hamish did last year.

IMG_7260Half way up and it’s a pit stop for some energy food …I have told Curly that there is an Ice cream shop when she gets to the top which sells the best ice creams in the World.

IMG_7270Made it ! A bit tired but so pleased to finally get to the top and no fears what so ever about being so high..But it seems she is not at all happy with me as there is in fact no Ice cream shop at the top, good old Granddad winding Curly up again..

IMG_7316"Dinas Bran" is variously translated as "Crow Castle," "Crow City," "Hill of the Crow," or "Bran's Stronghold." The castle first appears in 12th century historical documents as part of a medieval piece entitled "Fouke le Fitz Waryn,"or "The Romance of Fulk Fitzwarine." While this work claimed that the castle, known as "Chastiel Bran," was in ruin as early as 1073, the remains we see today date to the occupation of the princes of Powys Fadog in the mid 13th century. Possibly, the Chastiel Bran mentioned in the romance was a Norman timber castle, but nothing of substance supports this conjecture. However, the encompassing ditch and earthen embankments, which enclose the southern and eastern portions of the stone fortress, do date to the Iron Age. This hilltop had strategic value long before the princes of Powys, or the Normans, ventured into the region. Interestingly, the word, "Dinas," has its origins in the Iron Age as well, and is found in the names of Iron Age hillforts throughout Wales.

IMG_7320With our time up we head out of Llangollen ,but no doubt we will return sometime in the future as long as I can get over that Aqueduct.

IMG_7322We picked up this mooring just past the lift bridge on the way out of Llangollen. Not a bad view out of our Starboard side front room window. An early start again in the morning as we need to get back to Ellesmere by 5 o’clock tomorrow afternoon for an appointment and that’s a good 8 to 9 hour cruise away.

                                                                                           Happy Days

1 comment:

  1. What is it about Grandads that they need to tease their grandkids about icecream shops and hamburger bars in inaccessible places, Gary?
    Good on Carolyn and Curly for getting all the way up the hill - I do hope you had dinner prepared and ready for them on their return! Especially given you owed Curly for your deception! Which by the way, is commonly known as a lie!
    Cheers, M