The historic town of Llangollen in North Wales sits beside the River Dee in Denbighshire, not too far from the English border. VOOM ambassador Jon Shield shares a fantastic running route with us taking you amongst one of his regular training grounds on some of the best trail running in North Wales. This route supplies everything you could want, whatever your ability, whether you wish to run it or hike it more leisurely.
1) Parking is available in the town centre, just a short walk over the Llangollen bridge to our starting location.
2) The route starts with a gradual climb heading North out of Llangollen up a tarmac path past the school and leisure centre, all the way up to the Castell Dinas Bran which is stooped in history. The path is easy to follow as you climb up about the valley below, getting steeper towards the top. Enjoy the views from here, which are breathtaking, before heading down the other side.
3) As you descend from the prominent castle you rejoin the lane for a brief stint of tarmac. At the T-junction go right and shortly branch left off the lane to head up onto the open fells.
4) Ascend the path which swings back on itself to head West North West. The route is fairly straight-forward once on the fells, running predominantly on single track trod, it becomes a lot quieter away from the more tourist attracting Castell Dinas Bran. The fells supply some rolling hills but nothing so severe they can’t be run. It can become quite boggy during the worst of winter but generally most places are good under foot. It’s a fantastic training area and is also an area known for the Black Grouse, a ground nesting bird which you see plenty of flying up from the heather.
5) The area you’re on top of is known as Worlds End. Drastic names for drastic scenery. It really is magical! Heading off the fells you head along the side of Worlds End, a single track in the side of the hill, with the steep cliffs to your left and views over rolling hills to your right. As you swing to head South the rocky single track is fast and flowing apart from a couple of areas where you need to slow slightly for some slightly more technical ground but nothing major!
6) Next you’ll hit tarmac again for a short period. Keep left at the junction to continue descending before turning left over a style. A section across a field leads you to a descent down through pleasant woodland to rejoin the road before the final descent past the school. Follow the road as it takes you back to the parking areas and into Llangollen itself.
7) There are many places to get some food and a drink in Llangollen and it’s worth a wander into the town itself with the river that flows through it being a highlight. Wharf Tea Room sits beside the historic Llangollen canal, or Shropshire Union Canal.