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Day 4: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

In the absence of any firm plans, we spent some time this morning trying to generate ideas of places we could visit on the way home. We considered going to Chester, but looked at the map and realised it would involve driving a bit out of the way. In the end we settled on the idea of visiting the Long Mynd in Shropshire, which was more or less on our route. Having made this decision, we went for a final walk around Ruthin and handed the key back to the owner of the cottage. He suggested that we should drive home via Llangollen, which would take us on a scenic road via the Horseshoe Pass, and explained that there was plenty to see around Llangollen, in particular the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. It wasn't significantly out of our way, so we decided to give it a try.

The Horsehoe Pass road was indeed very scenic, taking us over the mountains and down towards Llangollen. We followed signs towards the aqueduct, eventually finding a cafe with a car park where we were able to park for just £2. From there it wasn't far to walk down towards the canal.


Within a few minutes we had our first view of the aqueduct.


Completed in 1805, the aqueduct takes the Llangollen canal across the river Dee.


It's the longest aqueduct in the UK and also the highest aqueduct in the world.


What I hadn't realised until we arrived, was that there was a footpath alongside the water which meant that we could walk all the way across the aqueduct. 


It certainly felt high to me when we were doing that, but there were some really nice views.


At one point we were even passed by a couple of narrow boats as we walked across.


And we also had a view towards what seemed to be a viaduct in the distance.


We reached the other side and had a bit of a stroll down the canal, but there wasn't an obvious way to turn it into a circular walk, so after a while we turned around and crossed the aqueduct again.


We figured that we ought to be able to find a place to get a good view of the aqueduct from a distance if we walked along the river underneath.


We followed a riverside path, which took us towards a viewpoint.


From here we could really get a feel for how huge the aqueduct is and how high above the river we'd been when we were walking across it!


We continued walking alongside the river, following signs towards a country park.


This ultimately brought us right up to the viaduct which we'd been admiring from a distance.


This is the Cefn viaduct, apparently the third largest in Wales.


At the edge of the country park we turned around and retraced our steps back towards the car.


It had actually been quite a long walk - by the time we got back to the car I had 15,000 steps - so we decided to give climbing the Long Mynd a miss for today :D Instead we had some refreshments at the cafe where we'd parked the car and set off on the journey home. It's been a really fun few days in Wales and in general it feels like a really long week off work with two separate holidays :) 

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