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All the colours of Spring

All the colours of Spring


Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:54 pm

Date walked: 01/05/2019

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This short round is one of my favourite walks. it starts in Llangollen, where I went to school.

ImageIMG_3336 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A calmer section of the river, with Castell Dinas Bran atop its hill in the background. The station, a popular place for steam train rides, can be seen on the opposite bank of the river.

ImageIMG_3328 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

More calm waters - the Llangollen Canal, running parallel to the river and railway but high above them.

ImageIMG_3338 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The first part of the walk follows the canal. New spring leaves were all around.

ImageIMG_3350 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3349 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The canal runs past the "tent" for the Llangollen Eisteddfod, an international folk music and dance festival. When I was at school in the 1970s, the last job of summer term was to help put the Eisteddfod tent up. But now there is this permanent structure, which is actually rather an attractive design.

ImageIMG_3340 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

On the other side of the canal is Valle Crucis Abbey, a 13th century Cistercian abbey built near Eliseg's Pillar, an 8th century Celtic cross. In the sixteenth century, Abbot Robert Salisbury supplemented the abbey's income by being the boss of a gang of highwaymen.

ImageIMG_3353 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3357 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A slightly higher view of the abbey, from the path which leaves the canal and starts to climb towards the castle.

ImageIMG_3361 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A little higher, the abbey now only just visible.

ImageIMG_3365 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A little further along, the path gives a view over Velvet Hill, a fern-clad undulating ridge that divides the deep valley of Eglwyseg from the main Dee valley.

ImageIMG_3362 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The path also gives a good view down to below Velvet Hill, where the Dee bends sharply and at this point four bridges cross: the pedestrian suspension bridge ("Chain Bridge"), and three stone bridges at different levels: the railway bridge, the main A5 road bridge and a lower bridge carrying the minor road to Llantysilio.

ImageIMG_3368 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A wider view.

ImageIMG_3369 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The hill of Dinas Bran changes shape as you approach it.

ImageIMG_3370 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3379 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The colours of spring.

ImageIMG_3384 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3403 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The path runs level for a while at the foot of the hill, contouring below steep slopes. From here there are views across to a section of the Eglywseg Crags, which extend for five miles northwards from the castle towards the head of the Eglwyseg valley at "Worlds' End". The section of the crags that can be seen here is too broken for climbing, but there are routes up to E6 on the more northerly parts of the crags.

ImageIMG_3394 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The path reaches the foot of a more gentle slope that leads up to the hilltop.

ImageIMG_3438 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The upper slopes give great views of the Dee valley.

ImageIMG_3457 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Raven gatepost at the gateway to the castle. The original Castell Dinas Bran was Iron Age - it was traditionally the home of the Celtic leader Bran, who is also associated with the ravens of the Tower of London "Geoffrey of Monmouth [1136] refers to an early British King called King Bran Hen of Bryneich (born c.485). The Welsh word for Raven is Bran. This ancient King of the Dark Ages was killed in a battle and requested that his head was buried, as a talisman against invasion, on Gwynfryn (the 'White Mount') where The Tower of London now stands. Legend has it that should the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, it will crumble." (http://www.ancientfortresses.org/ravens-in-the-tower-of-london.htm)

ImageIMG_3448 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

One of the defensive ditches below the castle.

ImageIMG_3451 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The castle ruins and some of the views from them.

ImageIMG_3486 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3498 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3502 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_3505 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A view back to the castle from the southern slopes.

ImageIMG_3533 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

My walk was a test: I wanted to see if the route was suitable for our large group of friends. Two weeks later we did the walk - the spring colours had advanced spectacularly.

We also took a look at the extraordinary Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, now the centre of the Llangollen Canal World Heritage site - UNESCO info at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1303/

ImageIMG_5001 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Walking along the canal near the aqueduct

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Climbing towards the castle

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Bluebells in full flower now

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A tunnel of trees

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The dip between the castle and the crags

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Approaching the castle ramparts

ImageIMG_5105 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Picnic time

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_5127 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

More views from the ruins

ImageIMG_5132 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Descending the hill

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking down to Llangollen in its narrow valley

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking ahead along the path to the Pancake, a lower and remarkably flat-topped hill below Dinas Bran, and just above my school. In the Iron Age this was the cattle enclosure for the castle.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Views from the Pancake

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The last walk past my school down into the town - destination the pub!

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Steam engines in Llangollen

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The river, and a train in the station

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The pub overlooks the river and gave us some grandstand views of the canoeists and rafters, and their mishaps...

ImageIMG_5327 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_5298 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: All the colours of Spring

Postby maxie23 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:01 pm

Tim.

Cracking photos mate.
What a gorgeous area.
Hope the chaps in the raft, ( or out of ), were ok.
Regards.
Robert
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Re: All the colours of Spring

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:37 pm

maxie23 wrote:Tim.

Cracking photos mate.
What a gorgeous area.
Hope the chaps in the raft, ( or out of ), were ok.
Regards.
Robert


Cheers Robert! - thanks very much.

Yes they were OK - although they looked like they were falling out, actually they were strapped in so couldn't go far!

Tim
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: All the colours of Spring

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:00 pm

Coo, what a rich and interesting place to go to school.Great report - and all those young people...! :D
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Re: All the colours of Spring

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:13 pm

Yes - great photos - walked that Canal - Chirk to Llangollen in my youth. Horseshoe Pass is also nice and not far away
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Re: All the colours of Spring

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:32 pm

EmmaKTunskeen wrote:Coo, what a rich and interesting place to go to school.Great report - and all those young people...! :D


Thanks very much! Yes all the youngsters enjoyed it!

Tim
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Re: All the colours of Spring

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:39 pm

Good to see this part of the country featured and it looked like a brilliant day.

Llangollen - World's End was my favourite part of walking Offa's Dyke and the Glyndwr Way a couple of years ago.
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Re: All the colours of Spring

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:49 am

Gordie12 wrote:Good to see this part of the country featured and it looked like a brilliant day.

Llangollen - World's End was my favourite part of walking Offa's Dyke and the Glyndwr Way a couple of years ago.


Thanks very much! Yes World's End is an amazing place. However once when I drove over there (from the Wrexham side) we came into deep snow while descending the steepest section of the road and started to slide. It was rather like a ski-jump. I managed to steer the car somehow and avoid disaster.

tim
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: All the colours of Spring

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:46 am

past my sell by date wrote:Yes - great photos - walked that Canal - Chirk to Llangollen in my youth. Horseshoe Pass is also nice and not far away


Cheers! Thanks very much. The cafe on top of the Horseshoe was one of our "bunk off from school" spots...

tim
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