With the early-ish start from Froncysyllte, we’d actually made Llangollen in time for an afternoon wander, even though the 6 miles and no locks took three hours – slow going. The walk down to the town from the basin is full of interest…
The road descends steeply across the canal. You can carry on round some tight and steep bends, and end up on the main road at an amazing taxidermy workshop. Or you can drop down to Llangollen Wharf, where there’s ice cream, teas, and a chance to say hello to Taffy, who pulls the horse-drawn trip boat up to Horseshoe Falls. Then some steep steps down onto the same road.
Either way you end up the station, and the bridge over the River Dee.
With steam engines running every day during the summer, and a cafe on the platform, the station’s a busy spot. It’s a lovely line, climbing up further into the mountains, and we’d had a lovely day trip some years previously. They’ve extended it a little further, but it was a bit late in the afternoon to investigate this – we’d have had to take the last train out and come straight back – so decided to maybe go on an expedition on Saturday.
The crew seemed to be having some kind of committee meeting over the couplings, but the train eventually departed.
Walking along the river we noticed a family of young rats whizzing in and out of the rocks below the promenade railings. You’re never very far from a rat, but it’s not often you see them so boldly visible when lots of people are around.
As St. Collen’s church here is also noted for its carved ceiling and hammer beamed roof, we thought we’d better continue our exploration of such items even though we were now definitely in Wales. Then a wander back through town, spotting likely places for an evening meal off the boat. There are worse ways to spend a warm if dull Friday afternoon.