Route 5 Winter trip to Llangollen and Motor Museum.

It’s March, freezing and very wet outside and needed to decide where to go.

We took the usual A55, A483 route to Llangollen, actually stopped off at Wrexham to do the weekly shop, killing two birds with one stone. This trip can take a full day or half a day depending how many stops you make, it’s also excellent in the summer but much busier.

If you wanted to stay for longer Llangollen is a fantastic base as there is plenty to do in the area, lots of walking and outdoor pursuits but also good eating places, spas etc…

If you have small children it has a nice playground and park at the side of the river.


The target place was here:

The Llangollen Motor Museum is 1.2 miles from Llangollen on the A452 Horseshoe Pass road, or a very pleasant 1 mile stroll along the canal bank from Llangollen Wharf. This offers the perfect opportunity to not only see what the museum itself has to offer, but to also explore Llangollen and the wonderful surrounding scenery, taking a ride, watching the canal boats, steam trains and taking a step back in time, in this very picturesque setting.

It’s a small quirky museum mainly motorbikes but a few cars and motoring memorabilia, it even had a hand built one of a kind car similar to a Lotus Elite but built in the 1960s many years before the Lotus.

It’s the ‘Douglas Hartley Special’. I am told he was from Rhyl? The car is built on a space frame chassis and has a Ford 1600 crossflow engine. Glass is from a Ford Corsair. All the panels, brightwork and trim were hand made by the builder. The car was built in the 1960s so predates the Lotus Elite by some years.

At £5 each and kids free it will hardly break the bank and we felt its good value, the people who run it are very helpful and friendly, they even allow dogs in.

Next stop in to the town for food and a warm.

Got refused in a afe on the main road as they only allow ogs out ide, so not wanting to sit in the pouring rain we found this little gem down a side street (Oak Street a short walk from the town centre car park)

Pretty Vintage Tea room (5* food Hygiene rating and Alcohol licence)

1 Oak Mews (61.19 km)
LL208RP Llangollen

It’s a typical Tea Room, a bit like sitting in Grandma’s front room but the food is excellent, staff friendly, very good value and they allow dogs in! They have a tea garden out the back too.

They have a back room with comfy chairs I nearly fell asleep!

Another place we often eat at is the M-eating point, a short walk from the car park.

It’s a basically furnished place but it was rammed full as the food is good. We had a fussy eater, two greedy pigs, a picker and a vegetarian, they catered for them all no problem with a good variety on offer. It is excellent value and they allow dogs in, it is a short walk for the town centre car park. It is great as its designed for walkers, mountain bikes etc… staff where very helpful too, coffees are big, toys for the kids and books to read.

As it was snowing we though we would go home via the Horseshoe Pass, but if it is bad weather you are safer on the normal roads.

Llangollen has a few unusual shops.

Harleys Vintage Boutique. Sells some nice branded vintage stuff dog friendly too.

Pro Adventure sell a good range of high end outdoors type stuff that’s often difficult to find

Lots more independent shops too.



It is time to head home via the Horseshoe Pass and the Ponderosa

But as you are passing a few nice views its worth the small detour to these two

Horse shoe falls


Lovely views ideal for picnics in the summer.

Chain Bridge, believed to be the oldest in the UK? Great when the rivers rough and in flood.

A few nice walks nearby

The Horse shoe pass (A542) is a mountain pass that separates Llantysilio mountain and Cyrn Y Brain , It reaches a maximum height of 417 metres (1,368 ft). The road travels in a horseshoe shape around the sides of a valley, giving the pass its English name.

The road is also frequently closed in winter due to snowfall or landslides so take care.

The Pass is well known for the Ponderosa cafe at its highest point and the scenic views along the road. Both the cafe and the pass itself are extremely popular with cyclists & motorcyclists. Even if you are not bike mad its well worth stopping just to see the cars and bikes as they are usually a very friendly bunch, the cafe is good with excellent toilets. There are many walks and routes in the immediate area that are popular with hikers, and there are a number of campsites nearby.


As you leave the cafe you can pop in to Rosie’s Cider farm, its nothing much to see but the cider is excellent.

Its on the roundabout at the north end of the Horseshoe Pass, where the A5104 Chester – Corwen road is intersected by the A542, Llangollen – Ruthin.

LL11 3BA will get you close.

Leave the Cider farm and head towards Llandegla which has a big forest, famous for its cycling routes and a small fishery / campsite with a good cafe.

Casgan Ditw
LL11 3AA

It a nice tranquil place just to sit, they offer free fishing for under 12’s pleas call to check availability.

The cafe is very good too.

Out of the fishery and follow signs for Wrexham/ Chester and head for home.