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Llangollen  2014
June 29th - July 1st
Walking Group

                    LlANGOLLEN  DIARY  JUNE 29 - JULY 1, 2014

Up at 6.30am. Watered plants and hanging baskets before breakfast at 7am (poached eggs on toast). Finished packing the cases and loaded the car. Off at 8.45 making sure we have the directions to Erdigg. Arrive destination just after 10 – way too early. However we have a flask of coffee and the Sunday paper so time passes by quite happily until others begin to turn up!

The Group AssemblesWalter assembles everyone and we set off on a 3.5 miler around the Erdigg estate. The walk takes us along the River Clywedog, then through Coed-y-Glyn Wood before we  stop for lunch by water. 
Makeshift seating, so makeshift in fact that Louanne almost slides in only to be rescued by 2 gallant male members.
Trout are spotted. 
Kit the Guide Dog with JeanKit (Jean’s guide dog) decides lunch is over,  so we quickly pack rucksacks and continue on our way around the estate arriving back at the house at 1.30.
Some of us decide to take a look at the beautiful Erdigg gardens, but not before partaking of tea and chocolate cake in the NT tea garden. A stroll up and down the avenues of beech trees, noting the enormous carp in the lake before settling in very comfortable deck chairs to view the house. The sun is out now and it’s hot although there is a breeze.
 At 3.30 it is time to drive the short journey to Llangollen and we arrive at the Hand Hotel at 4. Llangollen appears very busy preparing for the Eisteddfod. Our room is excellent, a few stairs to climb, but it’s spacious and we overlook the River Dee.
Meet the others down in the bar at 6.30, Holland v Mexico on TV, tables of 8 for dinner. After the meal Walter insists on doing a quiz, which ends in uproar after all 3 teams end up with 39 points. Judge’s decision is final however, and one team ends up without a prize.

After a reasonable night’s sleep, up at 7 for tea. Looks like a glorious day from the bedroom window.
Ascent to Dinas Bran Down at 8 for full Welsh breakfast before assembling in car park for the featured walk of the weekend. (6.5 miles with climbs).
Off we go (23 of us) through the streets of Llangollen and across the river and canal to begin our ascent of Dinas Bran. It’s quite a pull but our party takes it steadily and we reach the castle which stands approx. 1000’ above sea level. Stunning views all round and for miles. 

The Lady walkers The Men Walkers
After a photo opportunity off we go again, down for a bit at first to the road before tackling our second ascent of the morning.Trevor's Rocks(there is a easier option but nobody takes it)
 This is definitely tricky as we scramble our way upwards and the group is noticeably quieter as we all concentrate. But, with a bit of pushing and shoving we all finally make it to the top of Trevor’s Rocks at an Rocks Endimposing 1250’ above sea level. We have lunch with a real sense of achievement and in lovely warm sunshine.
Onwards then along Offa’s Dyke Path, a stunning ridge walk, before descending a fairly difficult stepless path and emerging at the Sun Inn, Trevor for well-earned refreshment. The last 2 miles or so, back to Llangollen is completed on the towpath of the Llangollen Canal.
Back to the hotel for a lie-down and hot bath ,and just time to catch Murray demolish his 4th round opponent. Down in the bar at 6.30 again and then a  super dinner, much improved on the previous night. Lamb shank followed by profiteroles. We discuss the day’s achievements and what the non-walkers have been up to before Steve gives a humorous and well deserved vote of thanks to Walter (and Freda & David) on behalf of us all.

Hand Hotel and St Collen's Church from Dinas BranAnother  sunny day in prospect as we gather at 10 for a gentle walk around Llangollen. The Hand Hotel itself is an important historic buildingInterior of St Collen's originally being a coaching house on the A5 (Watling Street). Next door is the imposing St Collen’s Church with its memorial to the famous Llangollen Ladies.
Plas Newydd house Pla Newydd House & Gardenunfortunately is not open today but we are able to view the magnificent garden. A short walk down to the River Dee, before finishing the walk with coffee on the timbered deck of the Old Corn Mill.
We say our goodbyes here as people want to do different things for the rest of the day.
We merely stroll back over the bridge for some browsing on Castle Street. After a quick bite to eat back at The Hand we reluctantly begin our journey home ,over the Horse Shoe Pass and finally back to High Lane.
A memorable weekend indeed!

“Dy Thomas”