The “enclosure of Collen”, Llangollen, was first marked out in the 7th Century. The monk St. Collen was instructed to find a valley and a white horse and to ride the white horse for one day to mark out the "parish" and the first cell was at the site of the church.
Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler, the Ladies of Llangollen and their famous Plas Newydd home left their mark on the town. They are buried in St. Collen's churchyard and their old home is in such a beautiful setting with such exquisite woodcarvings and decorations that you will have missed a treat if you leave it off your itinerary.
Castell Dinas Brân, the possible burial site of the Holy Grail of the Arthurian legends, was known to have been the 13th Century home of Madoc ap Gruffydd Maelor, the founder of Valle Crucis Abbey and it was possibly a stronghold for Eliseg, Prince of Powys in the 6th Century.
The castle looks down on the beautiful valley of the River Dee, the canal, the railway, the International Musical Eisteddfod Pavilion and the bustling town of Llangollen, a haven for shoppers looking for interesting and unusual gifts. There are lots of interesting walks in the town. The canal from the town to the Chain Bridge Hotel and Horseshoe Falls at Llantysilio is very picturesque. There's Bishops Walk from the Bridge End Hotel side of the river bridge along the riverside past the old mill sluice gates and leet and the remains of the weir, past views of St. Collens church over the river and on to the Sarah Ponsonby Inn.
On the town side of the bridge, a stroll along Dee Lane and Victoria Promenade to Riverside Walk is a real gem. Pretty gardens, lots of seats, riverside and steam train views, dozens of ducks expecting you to feed them, a bandstand, tennis courts, bowling green and children's play area.
Castle Street is the main street in Llangollen. There are many shops and businesses including the Tourist Information Centre and One Stop Shop, a County Council services outpost.
On Parade Street, accessible from the riverside, you will find Llangollen Museum (free entry). The imposing weathered sand stone buildings across the road house the police station, an old magistrates court and the town council chambers.
The town has become a mecca for amateur theatre productions with thriving societies producing high-class plays, musicals, operas, cabaret and concerts. There are over one hundred groups with a multitude of different interests in the immediate locality.
Wander down the side streets and you're bound to stumble upon an interesting find, be it an antique shop, bookshop, gallery, wine bar, salon, craft shop or bakery. There's a lot to do and see and it's little wonder it is such a popular inland resort.
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