Valle Crucis was truly Welsh from the moment it was founded in 1201 by Prince Madog ap Gruffydd and the ‘white monks’ of the Cistercian order. Its Latin name (Valley of the Cross) refers to the nearby ninth-century Pillar of Eliseg, erected for the glory of a Welsh chieftain. Monks had names like Tudur and Hywel. Such home-grown sympathies might well explain the damage suffered during the wars of the English King Edward I and the uprising of Owain Glyndŵr. But it remains one of our best-preserved and most atmospheric medieval abbeys. Valle Crucis began in austerity but was later celebrated by poets for its lavish hospitality – meals served in silver vessels and ale ‘flowing like a river’. In Wales, only Tintern Abbey was richer when it was dissolved by royal decree in 1537. You’ll believe it when you first glimpse the majestic west front of the abbey church. Elsewhere among the romantic ruins (painted by Turner) are the rib-vaulted chapter house and the only surviving monastic fishpond in Wales.
The Three Eagles is a food pub in the middle of Llangollen. It's very popular so we'd recommend booking your table as its very rare to find a table as a walk-in. Dogs are welcome at the bar and outside in the courtyard.
The Sun Trevor is an 18th century traditional Welsh pub just off bridge 41 of the Llangollen Canal. Popular with walkers, climbers, cyclists and narrow-boaters. The Sun Trevor is a great place to refuel after a days adventuring serving hearty home-cooked food. The Sun Trevor is dog friendly.
The Corn Mill is a riverside pub; as the name suggests, it was previously a mill, and as you walk through the door you will be greeted by a great jumble of old beams everywhere, and the water wheel turning slowly behind the bar. The decks outside are built directly over the mill race and the rapids and, on the opposite bank of the river, steam trains arrive and leave from the restored station. The pub is dog friendly downstairs and offers a selection of local ales alongside a seasonal menu. Perfect for refuelling after a busy day walking.
Llangollen railway once stretched as far as London, today its a very much shorter, stopping off at Stations in Berwyn, Carrog, Glyndyfrdwy and Corwen. The line takes you through the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Beauty and often has special event arranged throughout the year.