Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Different Kind of Day

We are at Froncysllte.  The Trevor basin has been hijacked by Anglo Welsh!  We can’t go the final 4 miles into Llangollen because we are too deep drafted and, from past experience, we KNOW we would get stuck and shouted at!  In actual fact we’ve struggled to get from Chirk to here.  The bridge holes have been difficult to get through, we crept over the Chirk Aqueduct and thought we we going to come to a grinding halt in the Chirk Tunnel.  It was the closest I’ve come to legging!  John spoke to another boater who was very stressed as he said he started to go backwards in the tunnel!  He left his wife in charge of the tiller and pulled his boat through whilst being verbally abused by boaters behind!  Shame on them!  They should have got off and helped the poor man!  As a result he has refused to go any further.

So, we thought we would go into Llangollen by bus and have a day out on the steam train.  Yesterday we found the bus stop, studied the timetable and decided to make the supreme effort to get up the hill by 9am for the 9.04am bus.  We waited.  We waited patiently.  Time went by and still we waited.  After about 40 minutes a very lovely young local lady told us that they have cancelled that bus.  In fact, instead of buses going every hour as is on the timetable, they now only go every two hours – BUT no-one has changed the timetable displays!

Well, we got into Llangollen OK with plenty of time to organise our train tickets.  John couldn’t use his bus pass here in Wales but we were both given concessions.  OMG – it’s official.  I’m an OAP!  It was printed on my ticket!!  I’m going to campaign for the terminology ‘Senior Citizen’ to be used instead – it sounds so much more respectful!!!

The whole experience of going on the train was brilliant.  The atmosphere on the train and in and around the stations is wonderful.  The first carriage we were in just reminded me of Harry Potters first journey to Hogwarts.  AND ………………. the scenery of the Dee Valley!  Well, it’s just magnificent – the river, the hills ……………… fabulous.  There were lots of passengers – schoolchildren on a day out, members of Nantwich U3A on a day out and lots of others like us.

Llangollen Steam Train 021      Llangollen Steam Train 038 (640x480)      Llangollen Steam Train 050 (640x480)

Llangollen Steam Train 003      Llangollen Steam Train 031      Llangollen Steam Train 052

We got off at Carrog station and, at the recommendation of an obviously seasoned train traveller, we walked to The Grouse Inn for lunch.  What a location!

Llangollen Steam Train 019 (640x480)        Llangollen Steam Train 020 (640x480)

The Dee is a lovely river -

Llangollen Steam Train 042 (640x480)            Llangollen Steam Train 053 (640x480)

Lola was not the only dog on board – quite a few had paid their all day fare.  No other dog enjoyed the waters of The Dee as much as she did though.

Llangollen Steam Train 015 (640x480)

According to the bus timetable and the driver who had brought us, the last number 64 bus back was 5.05pm.  We waited.  We waited patiently.  Time went by and still we waited!  Then we panicked and got on the bus to Wrexham which took a different route via Trevor.  I guess we’ll never know if the last 64 of the day had been cancelled like the first!

Despite the bus service, a good day out.


  1. Hi, Do you know the draught of your boat. We are hoping to get to Llangollen in our boat with a 31" draught, we have been before in same boat about 5 years ago, however rumour has it that the section from Trevor to Llangollen is now shallower!

    1. Hi Andy, Ellen is 32". We only go to the Trevor Basin now, that last section is bad news. We have done it once in 2008 but not without another boat assistance, the flow, width & depth of water (Rock bottom not putty) it was just too much! We created such a queue. A much shallower boat did manage to pull us over but it was still a struggle. Good luck

  2. Wow, looks like it was worth the wait, what a great day out, lovely pics too!
    We would also like to know how deep this stretch is, as we are 30" draught.

    1. Hi Wozie, it was a great day.
      A 30" draught boat, got up to Llangollen this year without too much trouble, he said. That extra 2" makes all the difference.

    2. Last year we took Albert which has a draught of 30" to Llangollen in Spring last year and had no problems at all. (see our blog - see The only minor problem was just after the Chirk tunnel where there is a small underwater obstruction that I gather that locals often report. We didn't cause to get stuck at all - just a "bump". It was actually an easier passage than when we went to Trevor in 1999 in a more shallow draughted boat.

      I suppose the extra two inches might make a difference.

  3. That sounds like a fabulous day out despite the bus difficulties! Thanks for the card, had a lovely day, throughly spoilt. Talk soon xxxxx

  4. Hoya. See you are out an about. Will ring you soon. Take care.

  5. Beautiful, and I love the steam train. I have ridden a few over here, and there is just something really cool about that chugging and puffing up front.