There were only seven of us at The Gallery cafe today, and as Bryan W was just out for coffee, this left six of us for a ride to Llangollen. Steve had prepared a ride to St Asaph, but I convinced him that my proposal was a “flat” ride of only 3500ft of ascent! So in pleasant but cool conditions, Johns W and M, Steve H, Trevor, Tom and myself, set off bound for Wrexham via a mixture of back lanes and quietish main roads.
In Penyffordd, John W pointed out Jemoley’s Cafe, which was to feature later in the day. So out and along the back lanes to Hope, we take the Alyn River park bypass then circle around Caergwrle castle - all hidden in the trees - but there is a footpath up to it I notice. Nearing Alyn Waters park, we take the steep climb up Windy Hill to Summerhill and thence the long run down into Wrexham at the Sainsburys roundabout. A whiz around by the hospital, finds us turning off at Bersham.
Here there is an idyllic Elizabethan house set by the Clywedog river that powered the nearby ironworks and water mill. It’s a pity that the A483 almost literally runs above it casting it into a shadow of its former picturesque glory. The lanes take us in to Rhosllanerchrugog. We now start the pleasant undulating climb, via Penycae, to the Prospect Farm cafe gates. Peaking at nearly 1000ft, the panorama of the “Panorama Walk” lane now comes into view. We stop for a photo opportunity relishing the fact that it really is now all-downhill to lunch.
|Photo by John W|
|Photo by John M|
Sliding off the Panorama at Dinas Bran Castle, it is hard on the brakes for the steep drop down to the arms of the Llangollen Wharf cafe. The local delicacy of Welsh Rarebit with a bacon topping is a firm lunch favourite. Soon it is time to go back and we enjoy the long flat canal side ride back to the Aqueduct. There are quite a lot of canal boats on the canal today and a few fellow cyclists as well.
Rather than running back through the usual route of Cefn-mawr, we take the main road via Acrefair and thence towards Overton. As we leave Acrefair behind, we notice the heavy clouds amassing over the Berwyns behind Llangollen but, in the end, the weather behaved itself with only a few minutes of heavy mizzle.
At lunch, John W had asked where are we going to stop for “tea and cake”; so I suggested Erddig and he suggested Jemoley's. So the route is re-planned to take in a tour of Erddig. It is a bit too early after lunch when we get to Erddig, so we press on. In Wrexham, Steve and Trevor decide to head for home via Holt as we remaining four wiggle through Wrexham bound for Llay.
We are now heading for Jemoley’s at Penyffordd but John M decides to drop off at Kinnerton to go home. Jemoley's lights are on but they are “closed” so I suggest Hawarden Farm shop, so we head for this along the main roads. So we have ridden a very pleasant 51 miles and acheived 3500ft of climbs.
As we leave, Tom buys a very nice looking pie for his evening meal - if he can get it back home in one piece that is. John and I make our pie-less way back via Airbus and the ferry bridge to Chester environs.