Self Guided Adventures in Llangollen

Self Guided Adventures in Llangollen

January 29, 2017 Off By Peter Carol

there’s a good amount of most kind of adventures in the Llangollen area, here is our run down. Let me know what I’ve missed.


Paddling the Llangollen Canal

from Horseshoe Falls to Pontcysllte Aqueduct the Llangollen Canal is a world heritage, popular in both canoe and kayak, plus the odd Stand up Paddleboard. The canal is fed from the River Dee and heads into the Midlands, with two aqueducts, one 126 feet above the river, and two tunnels – this is a great and varied trip with industrial heritage, stunning countryside and mountain views. Here’s a blog with some good photo’s of the canal, though not the stunning views, to whet your appetite.

Walking up the castle

Castle Dinas Bran, or Crow Castle and it’s 14th century ruins overlook the town of Llangollen. Just a 40 minute walk from the middle of the town takes you back through the ages to magnificent views of the town, Llantisilio Mountain, Ruabon Mountain, the Berwyn Mountains and Snowdonia. Country file has a nice walk guide including the Castle and Valle Crucis Abbey, home of the Cistercian Monks who built Llangollen Bridge, one of the seven wonders of Wales.


If you know what you are doing on the crags, head for the five miles of cliffs forming the  Llantisilio Escarpment, from Worlds End to the Monument Boulders, or head over the hill to Pandy Rocks. UKClimbing has guides of 20 crags within 5 miles of Llangollen.

The River Dee

The river gets paddled from above Bala Lake to the sea, you will spot white water rafts, canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards, inflatable tubes, body boards and hydro speed on the river. The classic section from Horseshoe Falls to Llangollen’s town falls is relatively free of hassles from riparian owners and anglers but there may be more issues elsewhere.  Wild swimmers enjoy the area above Horseshoe falls and other spots further down stream. A regularly updated paddling guide can be found on the UK Rivers Guidebook.

Road Biking

We are in Wales, so there are climbs a plenty including the Horseshoe Pass, the Ladder, the Gwernant, and back over the hill via Church Hill if you are brave enough

Mountain biking

Other than a national Downhill Track at One Giant Leap Llangollen, we have many trails on bridle paths including Vivod Mountain. There is a great variety of riding, but be warned, most routes climb at least 1000 feet. Colin of Flat Tyres MTB has collated a few of the local routes on his web site, and there are regular Wednesday night rides from the Sun Trefor Inn and uplifts at One Giant Leap.

Hill Walking

The Offa’s Dyke path, the North Berwyn Way, the Dee Valley and the Llangollen Round are just a few of our hillier walks. For less strenuous walks, consider the Llangollen canal, Pengwern woods, the Rifle Range and more. Dee Valley Walks have some guides online, or you can get various local walking guides in our shop.


There are masses of Geocaches in the area and there has even been two large events based in the area recently. Geocaching is a great adventure for little ones and adults alike. Find out about the local caches at

Paragliding and Hang Gliding

When the wind is right you can see upwards of 15 wings flying from the local site.

Caving and Mine Exploration

There are some local caves and mines, some of which are very dangerous with a few recorded deaths in recent times. I am told there is a very nice cave on Ruabon Mountain, but the access requires a winch down a very deep hole. There is more caving further North.

Fell Running

Local popular races include the Dinas Bran Race – on a May Wednesday evening, Llantisilio Race which is much harder, and a couple at the Horseshoe Pass. There is also a small local fell running club that meets each Tuesday night.

In Summary

There’s lots to do but these are mostly potentially dangerous activities without the right experience, training, kit and precautions. Please stay safe, and don’t do things if you don’t understand and can cope with the dangers. I’ll be writing a sister article on local guided adventures soon so subscribe to this blog, our Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date. You can share your pictures with us too.

If you need local advice just ask in the comments.