14 September 2016
Things to do in and around Hawarden
Whether you're looking for something to do while at The Good Life Experience in Hawarden or you fancy exploring the North Wales border areas, there is plenty to see and do in and near Flintshire. Here are just some options for if you want to fill a day with exciting adventures.
Built in 1277 by King Edward I, this castle was the first of the large castles to be built in North Wales. Although it now stands as a set of ruins, it has a rich history of attacks, many of which it coped with. The castle has fictional fame too, having been a key setting in Shakespeare's play, Richard II. Entry is free and it is open nearly every day of the year. Top tip: wander around the visitors' car park to take in beautiful views of the Dee Estuary.
Flint Castle, North Wales
For a shopping experience with a difference, spend a few hours at Plassey Retail Village near Wrexham. It is home to over 25 independent shops and businesses specialising in hand-made goods and crafts, a Welsh castle themed adventure play area for little ones and a tea garden with great views of the Dee Valley. There's also a visitors' centre that shows how the area has changed over the last century.
Craving an adrenaline rush? The River Dee in Llangollen provides the perfect natural conditions for an exhilarating white water rafting session. The river bubbles through the town, meaning that both the ride and the scenery are special. Trained instructors start you off with a safety brief, then it's time to jump into a raft and hit three kilometres of continuous rapids. If you are too scared to take part (it's not for everyone!), there are some ideal viewing spots in the town that you can watch from.
At the slower end of the scale is the charming heritage railway that runs from Llangollen to Corwen. Climb aboard a steam train, diesel locomotive or heritage railcar and relax as it follows the line of the River Dee (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and through the Dee Valley (an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). With such accolades, the area is as beautiful as you'd expect – wide green fields, natural water features and plenty of wildlife.
Located in Holywell, the Grade I listed shrine of St Winefride's Well is one of the oldest continually visited pilgrimage sites in the UK. According to legend, a local prince's son named Caradog tried to woo a young lady named Winefride here in the 7th century. When Winefride rejected his advances, he cut off her head. It is said that a spring rose up on the very spot where her head landed, and that this spring has had healing powers ever since. For over 13 centuries, people have claimed to have been cured from all sorts of ailments by the water. Whether you believe it or not, the place is worth a visit for its historical importance and architecture.
The Well at St Winefride's Chapel and Well, North Wales
Standing over 30 metres above the River Dee is a 19th century masterpiece, UNESCO World Heritage Site and feat of industrial engineering. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the highest aqueduct in Britain, carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley and the River Dee below. Its nineteen pillars support a viaduct wide enough for one narrow canal boat and a towpath for walkers. You can admire it from afar, take a walk across it or enjoy a special boat trip from one side of the viaduct to the other.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, North Wales