This was the first holiday for us that allowed holiday goers to bring their dogs. The fact that the three dogs that came along were Border Collies was perfect; after all we were in Border Collie country and it seemed that every other dog we saw was a border collie! It was easy to see why occasionally you could see the dogs longing to herd the multitude of sheep, but for the most part they hid this feeling well. These dogs took everything in their stride, through walking in pitch black to scaling the ruins of Dinas Bran castle; they had boundless energy and just seemed to fit in perfectly to the North Wales way of life.
We started off by taking a small walk into the surrounding scenery of the hotel; we walked up hills and around with the dogs hounding us to throw every stick they could find! We headed up to the ruins of the castle that we spotted when we made our way to the hotel on the first evening – the view of Llangollen below was breathtaking. Eventually, once we made our way down the hillside and into the town of Llangollen, we walked along the canal (occasionally passing horse-drawn canal boats) on our way back to the hotel. Not a drop of rain in sight.
Day two involved climbing an even higher hill and though I was tiring by the top, the dogs were not and in fact were still searching for suitable sticks. From the top the panoramic views again were incredible; we could see the sea to the North West and rows upon rows of wind turbines stretching from near shore to fading into the horizon. To the east we could see small villages and the loggerheads national park from where we started, all of which seemed so small now, and to the west (shrouded in cloud) we could see Snowdon, reminding me that we were not even close to the highest peak in Wales.
Considering the relative strain of the previous day we took things lightly the following, walking parts of Offa’s Dyke and on the way passing a 1100 year old oak tree signalling the start of the graves following the Battle of Crogan. There was an eerie feel to the location but surrounded by so much history there was little one could do but be in awe of the situation. We had lunch in a picturesque field in a valley with a river running alongside; the dogs took this opportunity to jump into the river and take a hefty drink in preparation for the rest of the day.
The aqueduct that had caught my attention on the evening of arrival in Llangollen was very much closer on the final day, walking across with a canal boat alongside felt so serene. The sun even came out for a while giving a perfect start to the morning and although the walk had lots of highlights such as walking through an almost ½ kilometre of pitch black, that view from the aqueduct is the memory that will stick with me forever- alongside the dogs waiting patiently for us to throw a stick!