Things to do in Llangollen by canal

13th January 2023

Llangollen is a picturesque town located in the northwest of Wales. The town sits on the banks of the River Dee at the base of the Berwyn mountain range. As well as its status as a world heritage site, Llangollen has something for everyone. It offers the perfect mix of activities and entertainment for both thrill seekers and those interested in a slower pace of life. With central mooring and access from the waterways, Llangollen is the perfect destination to explore the waterways and the town itself.

For thrill seekers

Whitewater Rafting

If you’re visiting Llangollen by canal, you’ll know that the maximum speed limit for a canal boat is four miles per hour. And, while that is the perfect speed for cruising - if you’re more of a speedster, then whitewater rafting might be the activity for you.

Whitewater Active provides a fantastic rafting experience on the River Dee. The rafting session starts in the Horseshoe Falls and follows the rapids down the Serpents Tail, Tombstones and Town Falls. If not everyone in your party is up for Whitewater rafting, they can still join in the fun by watching from Llangollen bridge.     

Rock Climbing

Set at the foot of the Berwyn mountains, rocky Llangollen has plenty of options for beginner or expert rock climbers. The views you’ll be rewarded with after completing your climb are unrivalled.

With rich Welsh limestone surrounding Llangollen, there’s plenty of choice to book your rock climbing experience, including Whitewater Active and SAS Outdoors.  

For entertainment

Llangollen Fringe Festival

Usually held at the end of July, Llangollen Fringe Festival is a fantastic event full of the latest talent in comedy, music and theatre.

Past shows have included comedy icons such as Rich Hall and music from Craig Charles, Cerys Matthews and Gruff Rhys.

Llangollen Eisteddfod

The Llangollen Eisteddfod runs in the first week of July and is an international celebration of music. Past entertainers that have performed in this festival include homegrown talents such as west end star Alfie Boe and Aled Jones, as well as international talent opera great Luciano Pavarotti and Il Divo. The festival was established in 1947, and in the seventy-five years since, over 140 nationalities and 400,000 competitors have performed on the stage.

For nature lovers

Berwyn Mountains

The Berwyn mountains are within easy reach of Llangollen town - the highest peak is Cadair Berwyn at 830 metres. If you’re looking for the opportunity to stretch your legs and take in the countryside, the North Berwyn Way trail starts from Llangollen. The trail climbs the North Berwyn mountains south of the River Dee, where you’re likely to see waterfalls, Wild Grouse, Merlin and even Peregrine Falcons.

Llangollen and return from Blackwater Meadow Marina

The seven-night route from Blackwater Meadow Marina is a spectacular way to experience the Welsh countryside and the areas surrounding Llangollen. The Llangollen canal winds through the valleys at a leisurely pace which allows you to enjoy the scenery and spot the local wildlife and wildflowers that grow in the wetlands.

For history lovers

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

The longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, was built in 1795 and is still in operation over 200 years later. Built during the period of Canal Mania and inducted as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a must for history buffs.

Travel by canal boat from Whitchurch Marina or Wrenbury Mill, where you can also see the horse-pulled trip boats and even people kayaking across the water.

Castell Dinas Brân

You can’t mention Wales without thinking about Welsh Castles, and Llangollen is no different. Overlooking the town, Castell Dinas Brân is a medieval structure built by the Princes of Powys in the 1260s on the site of a previous fortress. While today the castle is in ruins, in the 13th century, the castle had a role in defending the Welsh border from the invading English.

The castle is connected to various Arthurian legends and was also said to have been built to defend from an evil giant named Gogmagog, and there is said to be hidden treasure beneath the castle. However, the views from the top of the hill are well worth the climb and can be considered treasures themselves.

For more information on our midweek breaks in Wales or to explore more of our Wales canal boat holiday locationsget in touch with a member of our helpful team today.


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