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Circular Cycle Ride from Llangollen

Including the Shropshire Union Canal, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Panorama

A ride along the banks of a justly celebrated canal and across an even more famous aqueduct (people prone to vertigo may feel uncomfortable at this point) and up to the Panorama, one of the best view-points in Wales. (Photos of the ride)

Route:  Llangollen - Pontcysyllte via canal tow path - Froncysyllte via aqueduct - Pontcysyllte - Trevor - Garth - Panorama - Llangollen. 

    N.B. It is important to take care cycling along the canal tow path which is narrow in places and goes under some bridges that have fairly low headroom. There is a very short section on the A539 and great care should be taken at the right turn off this busy road.

Distance: 15 miles 

Ascent:  800 ft    245 m  The main ascent is through the village of Garth and up to the Panorama, a long climb which is very steep in places, but one which is well worth the effort in order to reach the unfenced lane where in effect not just one but a succession of panoramas unfold before your eyes as you contour along the open mountainside. Those wanting a totally flat ride could just go to Froncysyllte and then turn round and retrace their route over the aqueduct and along the canal bank back to Llangollen. Or alternatively, if you don't mind a couple of short climbs, you could follow the specified route along the B 5434 from Froncysyllte back to Pontcysyllte but then return along the canal instead of going up to the Panorama. This affords a dramatic view of  the aqueduct looking up at it from the stone road bridge across the Dee.

Start: Long stay car park in Llangollen Grid Ref: 214461 (OS 50,000 Chester & Wrexham No 117). The charge for all day parking is reasonable but the car park can get full in busy periods. The short stay car parks have a moderate charge for a stay of up to 4 hours but can cost an arm and a leg for anything longer. During school holidays and at weekends there is plenty of space at a long stay car park at the school conveniently close to the canal wharf: Grid Ref: 214423. Another possibility is to start the ride from the free car park at Pontcysyllte (Grid Ref: 273424) though the ride is really best started from Llangollen.

Sketch map of a circular cycle ride from Llangollen

The Ride

Turn Left on leaving the long stay car park

After about 60 yards Turn Left again on to main road

Go over bridge across the river Dee

Turn Right on to busy A road (take great care) and then immediate Left by the Bridge Hotel and go up to join canal tow path at the wharf

Turn Right and go under a bridge along the tow path

When the tow path on this bank ends after several miles wheel bike over footbridge and continue on opposite bank

Turn Left at the main road at Pontcysyllte, though you may wish to visit the wharf opposite first

Shortly Turn Right after the Telford Inn and immediately go over bridge

Turn Immediate Right into free car park from which you can access the canal bank where you Turn Left

Go over the aqueduct to Froncysyllte and then cross the canal by a bridge

Go a short distance uphill on the access road facing the bridge and Turn Right downhill at the B5434 signposted Trevor 1

At the stone bridge over the Dee pause to admire the aqueduct from below

Carry on to Pontcysyllte and past the Telford Inn & Turn Left on to the A539 at T Junction

Taking great care (the A539 can be busy) Turn First Right after just over a quarter of a mile at Australia Arms

At Garth follow the Panorama sign

Turn Left at Crossroads signposted Panorama

Turn Left at T junction and continue to panoramic viewpoint

Continue past the steep cone-like hill with the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran on its summit and vertical limestone cliffs on your right

Turn Left signposted Llangollen

At Dinbren Hall Keep Left signposted Llangollen

Go Straight Ahead at crossroads

Turn Right at bridge over canal to return to town centre

Points of interest

    Llangollen is a busy little town surrounded by beautiful hills and is famous for its International Eisteddfod (competitive festival of music and dancing) held each July.

    The Shropshire Union Canal passes through delightful scenery and is inhabited by copious wild fowl. It is popular with narrow canal boat enthusiasts and with walkers.

    The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is one of the marvels of the industrial revolution. Started by the famous engineer Thomas Telford in 1795, it strides across the Dee valley at a dizzy height.

    The Panorama is a truly astonishing viewpoint.


Photos of the ride

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