Midweek Walking Break

Hazel and Paul’s Llangollen Adventure

29 April – 3 May 2024

Leaders: Paul and Hazel ably assisted by Carl with a special mention for Michael who did some very valuable back marking when the going got tough.

Day 1 – 19 ramblers met up at the Cambrian Coffee House in Oswestry having travelled from home or in the case of Carl and Charles from Rhyl, where they had been staying before the holiday. Charles previously had travelled from Poland where he now lives. Following coffee, there was a short walk round the town trail and a very interesting hill fort. Distance 3.5 miles/ 5.6k. The group then travelled on to Llangollen where we checked into the Hand Hotel which was our accommodation for the 5 day break. In the evening, there was a group dinner at the Hand Hotel.

Day 2 – 16 ramblers set out for a walk, climbing up to a short section of Offa’s Dyke before descending to the Llangollen Canal and crossing the very impressive Pontcysyllte aqueduct. The return route to the hotel took us up a long climb and along a ridge with great views. Ramblers who preferred a shorter walk returned to the hotel by walking back along the canal. 13 ramblers completed the full route. Distance 12.3 miles/19.7k. In the evening the group visited S&G Italian Bistro for a group meal using a very varied and interesting menu.

Day 3 – 13 ramblers caught the bus to Carrog and then followed the original route of the Dee Valley Walk back to the hotel. Like many valley walks, the route defied its name and there were 3 significant climbs out of the valley which were rewarded by extensive views afforded by this wonderful area. The return route passed by the very impressive Horseshoe Falls before following the canal back into Llangollen town. Distance 12.5 miles/20k. The remaining members did shorter local walks and visited local attractions such as Plas Newydd & The Ladies of Llangollen. In the evening there was a very pleasant visit to the highly reputed Corn Mill pub for dinner.

Day 4 – 12 ramblers walked a full section of Offa’s Dyke from Trevor to Llandegla. The day started early so that 3 cars could be left at the end of the walk in Llandegla. After positioning the cars, the group met at the starting point car park in Trevor close to the Pontcysyllte aqueduct. The walk then climbed gradually to reach the Panorama Walk which is one of the highlights of whole Offa’s Dyke route. The route continued to follow round the hills above the valleys, traversing some interesting narrow paths across the scree. After passing through the very aptly name area called Worlds End, the path climbed significantly before crossing an extensive area of bog, which has been greatly improved by a slabbed path which has been laid in the last few years. Finally, the group followed a long descent through forest and finally into Llandegla to find our waiting cars. Distance 12.4 miles/19.9k. Members who preferred a more relaxed day, made further visits to local attractions including a boat ride along the canal. In the evening a final group dinner was enjoyed at the hotel along with some good conversation in the bar.  Some even managed an evening stroll around the town.

Day 5 – The group enjoyed a final breakfast at the hotel, overcame the shock of the final bill, before making its way to Whittington Castle and Café, which is situated just outside Oswestry. The landscape was now more familiar with fields, long grass, cows, mud and some very wet low lying, areas. The walk was completed in time for lunch at the excellent Castle Café. Walk distance 6.5 miles/10.4k. After lunch the group bid its farewells and made off for home.

Overall, a very enjoyable 5 days with great walks, a very friendly group and thankfully some unexpected fine and sometimes even sunny weather.