Tag: Llangollen

This Is Wrexham copywriting: A family weekend around Llangollen

A weekend in North Wales then, copywriting a couple of tourism itineraries for This Is Wrexham.

First up was a family trip based around Llangollen to explore some of the attractions of a sometimes less visited part of North Wales.

Here’s a flavour of the story:

The next day we drive into Langollen to explore the Dee Valley market town guarded by the rambling ruins of Castle Dinas Bran.

We catch a ride on the Llangollen Railway, the only standard-gauge heritage railway in North Wales, where the steam engine huffs and puffs its way along a genteel 10-mile track through the AONB.

We finally steam into Carrog station [see above], whistle tooting, for tea and Welshcakes at the station café. An old railway carriage has been turned into a pop-up shop with Hornby train set pieces, railway jigsaws and well-thumbed copies of Heritage Rail magazine.

A nice touch on the return leg is when the conductor gives out souvenir vintage rail tickets, dating from the 1950s heyday of the railway.

It takes me the rest of the journey back to Llangollen to explain the price — eight shillings and three pence — to the girls who regard the 1980s as ‘the olden days’.

Read the full text here via This Is Wrexham.

The legends of Offa’s Dyke for Best Loved Hotels

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Wales continues to inspire new stories.

The latest is a piece for the Best Loved Hotels group to write the Wales copy for their new brochure — out 2017.

The story ties into the theme of myths and legends, which Wales will celebrate in the year ahead.

Here’s a preview:

Walkers love Offa’s Dyke but few know the legends surrounding the linear earthwork that forms its 82-mile-long backbone. Offa, the 8th-century King of Mercia built the dyke as a Saxon statement of intent against rebellious Welsh tribes. The ditch and high-earth ramparts subsequently ran with blood for three centuries of border skirmishes.

I’m now planning some new ideas around Welsh myths and legends for forthcoming commissions.

Got a suggestion for a story angle? Please get in touch.

The Offa’s Dyke copy will be published in the new Best Loved Hotels Directory 2017.

Wild Wales: walking in the footsteps of George Borrow in Llangollen

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The writer George Borrow arrived in Chester in July 1854.

He walked the 20-odd miles to Llangollen and made his base there, starting the mammoth quest into the culture and language of Wales that would inspire his book Wild Wales (first published 1862).

According to a January 1936 edition of Cheshire Life magazine, available from the Cheshire Record Office in Chester:

“From there [Llangollen] he made those remarkably inquisitive excursions into unknown territory which enabled him to produce on work which will immortalise him — Wild Wales.”

I was in Llangollen last week, armed with an old copy of Wild Wales and a new Wild Wales iPad app, to retrace some of Borrow’s walks for a forthcoming article on Greentraveller.

I was staying at Geufron Hall [pictured above] and spent the first blue-skies evening hiking up to the summit of Castell Dinas Bran, a short yomp across country from the hillside B&B.

Borrow is not, in many ways, easy to like. His world view was very much of the times and his writing style is, at best, rather dense.

But, as the local walking guide Andrew Parish observed when he joined for one of the walks, “Wales was a tough old place at that time so we have to admire his gung-ho spirit.”

You can read my full story shortly but, meanwhile, here’s a sneak preview:

The most evocative walk for me was the energetic yomp up to Castell Dinas Bran, the ancient ruined castle set high above the town.

The view from the summit was spectacular: Llangollen below, Offa’s Dyke National Trail to the north, the Berwyn and Clwydian ranges meeting on the horizon.

We could almost touch the pristine-blue sky, dipping our fingertips into candyfloss clouds as the ancient spirits circled around us.

Have you read Wild Wales, or do you have walking tips around to Llangollen to share? Post below.

Liked this? Try also A Walk in the Shadow of Wild Wales.