Llangollen is situated in the valley of the River Dee in Denbighshire, North Wales. Llangollen is renowned for the International Musical Eisteddfod held in the town each July. Singers and dancers from around the world perform both in the streets and in the International Pavilion. However, Llangollen has much more to offer and is popular with visitors throughout the year.
The history of Llangollen spans three thousand years, through the Iron Age and the original Dinas Bran Castle to the legend of King Arthur in the Dark Ages. Travel on in time past medieval days to Valle Crucis Abbey, but a mile from the station, and on again to the industrial revolution and the building of the Llangollen Canal and the Llangollen Railway.
Llangollen Railway: The Llangollen Railway is now a major tourist attraction, a preserved railway which runs from Llangollen to Carrog. Dedicated railway enthusiasts reopened the railway after many years of hard work. Likewise, the Llangollen Canal is a magnet for today's tourists, with canal trips to Valle Crucis Abbey, Elisegs Pillar, the Horseshoe Falls and the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct built by the renowned engineer Thomas Telford.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, recently awarded the accolade of a World Heritage Site, carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee east of Llangollen. It is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain and although construction took place long before the days of elf'n-safety (Health and Safety), in 1805, only one person died during construction, and this accident was described as "his own fault”! In 2005 it celebrated its bicentenary, with a 16 gun salute, a Napoleonic battle re-enactment, music and fireworks. The Aqueduct is truly a spectacular sight, carrying the canal 126 feet above the river in cast iron troughs mounted on 19 masonry arches. The aqueduct is 1007 feet long, 11 feet wide, and 5 feet 3 inches deep and the mortar used in the construction comprised of lime, water and Ox blood. It was built by the famous civil engineer Thomas Telford and supervised by the more experienced canal engineer William Jessop. Although the structure looks substantial, closer inspection shows that the cast iron is but 3/4" thick and indeed the trough is not bolted into place but is held down by the weight of the water. There is a footpath cantilevered over the canal with a hand rail but there is no hand rail on the Barge side, just the edge of the trough and a sheer drop. So take care!
Other attractions in Llangollen include: Plas Newydd, the half timbered house home to the Ladies of Llangollen; Llangollen Wharf, horse drawn boat trips along the canal; JJ Canoeing and Rafting, offering a range of activities from rafting, canoeing, kayaking, climbing, abseiling, and gorge walking from the banks of the River Dee; Llangollen Museum of Local History; Llangollen Angling Association, for fishing on the River Dee.
Overall, they add up to Llangollen being one of the most popular tourist destinations in North Wales. At www.walesdirectory.co.uk you are able to find the top attractions in Wales and then make an instant online room reservation close to the attraction.