We stayed over in the basin at Llangollen on Saturday and visited some of the local attractions. With the Kinnings we spent most of the day exploring the Dee Valley using preserved Llangollen Railway. This steam hauled railway runs up the Dee valley close to the canal feeder so we were able to visit the source of the Llangollen Canal, the Horseshoe Falls.

Waiting for us at the terminus in Llangollen, which is close to the canal basin was a train headed by by the GWR-class 4-6-0 engine Foxcote Manor.

The weather was cold and bright so the views along the valley were spectacular. Foxcote Manor had a good head of stream which also looked marvelous, particularly when seen against the blue sky.

River Dee from the train

The 10-mile route passes very close to the river in several places. At one bend in the river we passed a fly fisherman standing in the river (in waders of course).  The line along the valley also includes a 600 yd tunnel. Since the carriages were not lit, the crew came through the train and were stationed at suitable intervals with torches. It was very dark in the tunnel and the experience was made more interesting when smoke filled the carriage through a part open window.

Snow drifts at Carrog Station
The train terminated at Carrog so we go off the train to watch Foxcote Manor run around the carriages ready to take the train back down to Llangollen. With all the snow around, and the rural location, it was very picturesque.

Carrog Station 

Foxcote Manor with a good head of steam at Carrog

We broke our return journey at Berwyn and had lunch at the Chain Bridge Hotel which is being refurbished. The views of the river from the lounge were wonderful. Groups of canoeists were shooting the rapids below us. It appears that the chain bridge itself, which is in poor condition, may also be refurbished.

Chain Bridge and Chain Bridge Hotel

After lunch we walked up the Horseshoe Falls. This is where a curved weir is used to control the feed of water into the Llangollen Canal. 

Horseshoe Falls, River Dee
Valve house where the water entering the canal is metered

We returned to Llangollen on the next train and had afternoon tea on a picnic bench at the basin. The sun was warm for a while.