Llangollen has appeared in a list of 15 picturesque UK towns to visit in the run-up to Christmas listed in Saturday's Guardian newspaper.
Llan is there in the hallowed company of such tourist hotspots as Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, Bamburgh in Northumberland and Corfe in Dorset.
It also has the distinction of being one of only two Welsh towns to make the Winter Weekenders list along with Abergaveny in Monmouthshire.
The listing for Llangollen, which appears under a stunning picture of Castell Dinas Bran, says: "On the banks of the River Dee, wreathed in pretty woodland and with a definite creative bent, Llangollen is a perky little Welsh gem.
"Transport fans, prepared to be thrilled: not only is the town home to the impressive Pontcysyllte aqueduct, the UK’s largest stone and cast iron aqueduct no less, with festive canal boat rides at weekends through December (£14/£12 with mulled wine), but there’s also the Llangollen steam railway, dolled up with Chrimbo razzle-dazzle.
"Rides upriver to the village of Carrog are themed as Santa’s Christmas Specials (£20), with gifts for kids and a tipple for grownups, daily until Christmas Eve; then, when Santa’s resting, “mince pie specials” (£18/£10) run from 26 Dec until 1 Jan. Those who prefer the brooding aspect of winter can climb up to the crumbling walls of Castell Dinas Brân (Crow Castle), on a hill above the town, for spectacular views.
"Next weekend, an International Christmas event at Llangollen Pavilion (15 Dec, llangollen.net, £13/£5) includes a “reverse grotto”, where guests can donate to the local food bank, plus world music, carols and mince pies.
"The town’s shopping options include trendy outlets (Ty Nook for cactus pots, plant books, statement earrings and bags made from Welsh blankets; Gwalia Ceramics for funky vases and milk jugs; teddies and bunting from Lily Rose Interiors) among the more traditional (see the Welsh Love Spoon store for sentimental stocking-fillers). In the Memorial Hall, Llangollen Country Market sells foodie gifts, plants and crafts on Friday mornings."For face-stuffing, try smart new bakery and cafe M’eating Point, and just outside town, cosy coaching inn the West Arms (doubles from £135 B&B) for a mean afternoon tea, dinner (goat’s cheese tart with micro herbs or organic Berwyn mountain lamb) and somewhere to sleep it off."
Commenting on the article on Facebook, the town's deputy mayor, Cllr Issy Richards, says simply: "Isn't it wonderful!"
* To see the article go to: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/dec/07/christmas-break-winter-weekend-15-pretty-uk-towns
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