Friday, 29 June 2018

Llangollen by the Sea!

Well, that's what it feels like!

The basin is somewhat sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the town. There is a background hum of modern life, but the birdsong and clip clop of the horse drawn trip boat, plus the chuff and whistle of the departing steam train, tends to mask this. The sounds of a bygone age.

If you have never been before, Llangollen basin is a brilliant spot to stop. Limited to 48 hours mooring at £6 per day, this includes electrikery.  So plugged in and washer on!
But, you can't hang your smalls beyond the confines of the boat, lest you offend the locals. Good job we have a cratch cover and pram hood then. In the current heatwave, the washing soon dried.

We love Llangollen.  Over the weekend, it appeals to the younger demographic. But as the weekdays start, before the school hols, the silvertops take over. And yes, I include myself in this.

We arrived on a Sunday, families, ice cream and frolicking in the river margins. You really could be by the seaside. Because of this, we rather shied from the centre and went instead to the leafy almost rural retreat of the "Ladies of Llangollen". This is Plas Newydd, a special place and in a beautiful setting.

And of course, we just had to take a trip on the steam train along the Dee valley to Corwen. A little hazardous at times though, as the embers from the locomotive kept setting fire to the parched  trackside grasses.

Then the almost obligatory walk up the feeder, to the water source of the canal at Horseshoe falls. You do have to admire the ingenuity of our forefathers. On the way back, we stopped off for a little liquid refreshment at the revamped Chain Bridge Hotel. With the feeder stream one side, the river and steam railway on the other, this sits in an idyllic spot, the bridge itself, now refurbished and useable once more, linking all parts.

The town itself is also home to some fine foods. Whether you fancy a Welsh Oggie (We did!), or a decent pub meal, it can be found here. We opted to visit the Corn Mill, sitting pretty on the riverside and were not disappointed in the quality of the meal or service. But, if you like a scone and a bit of jam and cream, the Wharf is the place to go. Very reasonably priced and deliscious to boot!

Our waist measurements have suffered though!

You are only allowed 48 hours on the town moorings, but you can stay until 1700 on the final day. So we did! Then we set off out of town and towards the narrows. There were two hire boats ahead of us though. One a seasoned campaigner, but the lead boat bounced from bank to bank and was uber slow. To allow them and us a little less stress, Ali held me back, allowing a hire boat to come upstream. This gave us some distance and made the trip down to Trevor a lot more relaxed. By the time we reached the Ponty aqueduct, we were on our lonesome, apart from several kayakers coming across upstream. We were kind, held back allowing the last knackered pair to rest after crossing, before we made our leisurely passage across.

Strange, but with no other boats in sight, you would think this would make for an easy, leisurely cruise, going downstream across the aqueduct! Wrong... For some reason we both felt uneasy. The boat crabbed across and occasionally banged against the channel walls. By the time we had crossed and moored up beyond the lift bridge, we needed food and a bevvy or two.

So we walked back across the aqueduct, and re aqainted ourselves with the Telford PH. Funnily enough, the walk back was stress free!

Total distance 5 miles, 2 moveable bridges and 1 aqueduct

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