Even in the 21st century, the modern day viking has to travel. That means an overnight (or two!) stop in some friendly and comfortable Bed & Breakfast we’ve booked into. When we’ve been out of Ireland, we regularly stop off in Llangollen in Wales. It makes an ideal break in the journey that lets us get a decent nights sleep and a ferry the following afternoon. We usually stop at ‘Squirrels’ run by Peter and Lillian. I cannot recommend this wonderful guest house highly enough; there is always the warmest welcome when you arrive, the rooms are beautifully presented and kept and there is probably the best guest house breakfast I’ve ever had!
Llangollen is a wonderful town with good restaurants and pubs to pass the time in; it also has a lot of places for people to visit. On one of our stopovers last year we decided to spend some time on the Llangollen Steam Railway – vikings on a train!!!
You pass the station on the short walk from ‘Squirrels’ to the town centre and we’d often said that we should try it out; so finally we did!
This was one of the best ideas we’d ever had; the ticket covers you for a full day. A whole day on a train line that runs for just seven and a half miles – you have got to be kidding; but we bought the ticket…… and spent nearly the whole day there!
The railway runs steam, diesel and railway cars from the station in Llangollen to the end point in Carrog. You can check the timetable to see what train runs at what time. We wanted to do the steam train journey as we had been on them as a kids and hadn’t been on one in a while. We had a chance to wander round the station for a bit before the train left. It’s like stepping back in time with the train blowing steam, the old trolleys and gas lamps.
You can get up close and personal with these trains, and the drivers are very informative about them; what they are, where they came from and what they do! You’d almost want to get into the cab and drive it off………..
The carriages are just as I remember the old steam trains to be!!
There are several stops along the way where you can disembark and take a walk and then catch the next train that passes. The views along the way are spectacular; it really was a great way to just unwind, relax and be. The Dee Valley is a beautiful place……….
You even get to go through a tunnel; I think I said to Bob that there was a one coming up and we should shut the windows; he seemed to not notice my comment, and all of a sudden there was black smoke from the engine blowing in through the open window!! He moved pretty quickly to get it shut! Look closely and you can see him. Trust me, there was a lot of smoke..
At Carrog, there is a wonderful pub that serves food called the ‘The Grouse’, where you can sit and relax as you watch life in the Dee valley.
The cattle were very entertaining; there was a family that had gone for a picnic in the cattle field. Being the inquisitive creatures they are, the cattle kept coming over to visit…… I think you can imagine the scene.; it was like watching them play tag!
And after that chill-out time, we headed back. The trains have to turn around to take us home; it’s quite a sight to see these old steam trains in all their glory in this beautiful place.
Great way to spend a day, and we finished it as any good viking would do in the pub; slainte!