Saturday, August 18 – Llangollen

Tom Idle and I had made arrangements to visit my uncle at Llangollen, and make a weekend of it.  I started at 8.30am to meet Tom.  It was a rainy morning, and before I reached Walkden I was wet through.  At Sale (the meeting place) we were slopping along cheerfully, the cars and charabanc’s being closed up, and the wrapped and stuffed up beings inside muttered “poor devils, out on a day like this and no cap on!”  Altrincham was left, Mere passed, and at Tabley we turned into the bylanes to Pickmere and Wincham.  Here a terrific downpour took place, and before we had crossed on the unsheltered road between Witton flashes, our shoes were full of water.  At Northwich we had to wait at the swing bridge, then via Barnston to Little Leigh and Acton Bridge for lunch.

It was still raining as we left Acton at 1.35pm, but at Norley it cleared up, and the rest of the day was fine.  Taking the ‘switchback’ to Hatchmere, we turned left through pretty Delamere Forest, coming on the main road for Tarporley, but turned right almost immediately along a series of bylanes to Egg Bridge and Rowton.  Near Saighton the scenery became glorious.  At Bruera we saw a novel form of War Memorial, being a little carving of the Saints and an altar.  It struck us as one of the simplest and prettiest we had seen.  Now this road was cut through the sandstone rock, and we got a panoramic view of the Eaton estate and its vicinity, then we came to Aldford, a neat little village.

Passing the site of the Castle, we crossed the iron bridge over the River Dee, and entered the fine estate of Eaton, the Duke of Devonshire’s place.  Soon we reached the great gates of the Hall.  The building itself is a fine pile of wonderful architecture.  I shall visit it again when the family are not in residence and visitors are allowed through.  Turning we made for the Wrexham road, through a fine bylane.  Once we saw a fox slinking into the woods which line the road, and as we rode by we disturbed rabbits which scampered off at the sound of our wheels.  Emerging at Pulford we reached Rossett, where the Golden Lion (CTC) made us a good tea.  Some chara parties entered later (one from Bolton) and spoiled the place with their rowdy unkempt talk.

Taking the road at 6pm we made for Wrexham, where we stopped to view the handsome church of St Giles, and had a chat with three tourists who were broken down.  Again we left the main road for a lane to Rhostyllen and Legacy.  All went well for a while (we were following a map) and we did some climbing.  A search for traces of Offa’s Dyke was unsuccessful.  As we entered Rhosllanerchrugog, a compact town with crowded streets, we were surveyed with wonder by everyone.  One curious thing we noted was an old chap walking on two wooden legs.  Soon we reached the main road near Acrefair, and a short run via Trevor brought us out at Llangollen at 8.30pm.  Before supper, we had a walk on the promenade – by the river – and watched the bats flying about.  Then a chat with my uncle, and so to bed.  We have had a fine day – a little wet – but fine!

90 miles, 12 hours

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