Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal World Heritage Site
Within the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, you will find the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.
A major attraction in the beautiful county of Denbighshire.
It all started with the Llangollen Canal.
Back in 1806 the Llangollen Canal was one of Britain’s finest feats of canal engineering.
It starts at Horseshoe Falls, a crescent shaped weir three miles west of Llangollen, which diverts water from the River Dee into the canal.
Both Horseshoe Falls and the Llangollen Canal are now part of the UNESCO Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.
The Llangollen Canal avoids locks for its first fourteen miles, thanks to the thousand-foot-long Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Pontcysyllte means ‘the bridge that connects’.
Taking the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee valley, the aqueduct is one of the most awesome engineering feats on the canal network.
It was designed by the great engineer Thomas Telford.
As you can see on the photos above, Telford supported long cast-iron troughs on nineteen huge stone piers. It spans the River Dee at a maximum 127ft above the river.
The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB
Most of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site runs through the remarkable landscape of the Dee Valley in the shadow of the magnificent Eglwyseg escarpment and the scenic hilltop ruins of Castell Dinas Bran.
This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of Britain’s unmissable scenic highlights.
It covers 390 square kilometres of windswept hilltops, heather moorland, limestone crags and wooded valleys, almost touching the coast at Prestatyn Hillside in the north and stretching south to the imposing Moel Famau, the highest point in the AONB at 630 meters.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a lot to offer. Explore the area around Llangollen on foot.
A short 2,5-mile circular walk will take you along the Llangollen Canal to Horseshoe Falls. A great family activity.
If you prefer a longer walk, then we highly recommend the Llangollen History Trail. This stunning 6-mile trail starts in Llangollen, visiting several historic landmarks such as Horseshoe Falls.
And off course you should head for the ‘Jewel in the Crown’, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
A moderate 10-mile circular walk will take you on to Panorama Walk, part of Offa’s Dyke Path towards the aqueduct and returning along the Llangollen Canal.
Or explore the north side of Dee Valley and walk the Dee Valley Way.
This 13-mile well-marked route follows the course of the River Dee between the picturesque towns of Corwen and Llangollen.
The south side of the Dee Valley is covered by the North Berwyn Way. This is a wilder option!
This 15-mile linear trail climbs the wild North Berwyn Mountains to the south of the River Dee.