Friday, 14 September 2012

Llangollen - fell running heaven?

I recall being taught a little welsh history at school. Seemed remote... Offa's dyke and Owain Glyndŵr, the last Welsh Prince of Wales and his cont re-temps with Henry IVth. But things fade over time and interests wain. If someone nowadays asked me about Wales, I might be inclined to shrug my shoulders. I might even be a little ambivalent. So it was a trip into the unknown when I finished work for the day yesterday and took myself to Llangollen. I hadn't a clue where or what it was, only that it had a good deal at a woodland hotel and that it wasn't too far away from the job. I dumped the stuff in the room and after scoffing all the complimentary biscuits, took myself out for a short run.

As I emerged from the woods in clearing skies I spied a jaw-dropping landscape topped with little nugget across the valley. Castell Dinas Bran, the ruins of a 13th century castle perched on the top of the hill like an abandoned set from Camelot or Excalibur. It was about 3 miles away. I put up with the creaky knee to jog then walk up much of the tough climb following the zig- zaggy path up all the way to the ruins at 340m. After taking in the awesome late evening view,I ran down the other side which wasin parts so steep that my legs ran away with themselves and I nearly went over twice at high speed. Then I picked up a sign pointing to Offas Dyke and ran the remaining mile or so under the stunning but unpronounceable Eglwyseg Crags before turning back. The limestone scarp bathing under a calm,cool sky and the rooks making a lot of noise while the sheep looked on. Didn't have time to do the Crag run, but there'll definitely be a next time. Fell running heaven.  (See if you can make out the head and face within the arch....)

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