Day 12 – Offa’s Dyke Walk

What a day! Our walk into Llangollen.

We’d been excited about this day as we were revisiting the wonderful Llangollen Canal and stunning aquaduct that we’d experienced a few years ago when we hired a narrow boat to travel the canals around this area.  I love boats and boating too so I was looking forward to seeing some in action and walking the tranquil (and flat) tow paths.

We’d really enjoyed our night with Riv, the 80 year old B&B owner in his converted barn.  He and his wife had renovated the old barn nearly 30 years ago before it became trendy.  We had breakfast in his lovely old kitchen along with two Swedish young girls who were competing in the Llangollen International Choir Eisteddfod. Turns out he is the grandfather of the current Western Bulldog’s sports scientist – Jon Bartlett.

The walk was spectacular going past the Chirk Castle (the only one we’ve seen so far that was still in working order)  They happened to be running the Chirk Half Marathon at the time so it was very festive.  After a few hills we headed down to the canal side and walked the tow path to the little hill side town of Froncysyllte after which is the 120 feet high Pontcysyllte aquaduct for the boats on the Llangollen canal.  We had an enjoyable picnic lunch sitting by the canal watching new skippers panicking to miss other boats or turn their newly hired boat around.  Ah it brought back memories …

Next we headed into the hills again high above the River Dee along under big limestone cliffs before a final climb up to a ruined castle above Llangollen – the Castell Dinas Bran.  Even from here high above the town we could hear the music from the Eisteddfod festival.  Unfortunately all the choirs had finished by then as they’d been competing all week but the last day is more of a music festival with rock bands.  We were excited that we’d bought tickets to attend the final concert that night which was featuring, would you believe, UB40!  What a blast from the past!

We had a wonderful dinner in town (although the choice was severely limited as the crowds had cleaned the restaurant out over the weekend).  And then off to the concert.

Neither of us were particular fans of UB40 but I’d been aware of their hits through the 80’s. A lot of the earlier songs were unknown to me but probably some of the 50 or so chart toppers they had here in the UK.  But the last couple of songs and the entire encore were songs that made it big in Australia so we were really bopping along then.  It was a great night and a terrific finish to an outstanding day.