Corwen. 'Where?' I hear you ask? Well, probably not many of you will have heard of it, but more of you than you think will have at least passed through it should you have chanced to use the old A5 route up to the Holyhead ferry port. Corwen is about 22miles from Wrexham along the A5, halfway between Llangollen and Bala. It is classed as a town, although if you were driving through and happened to blink, you would probably miss it! So, what have we got here? PUBS Lots of pubs for a town this size! Corwen 'town centre' is based around 'The Square', in which there are 3 pubs, The Eagles, The Harp and The Owain Glyndwr. Just on the edge of the square in different directions are Y Ddraig Goch (the red dragon), The Oak and The Crown....plus there's a Victoria Wine and 2 mini markets that also stock alcohol should you feel more inclined to go for the take out option! I will put more about each of these pubs in the pubs section when I get round to it! In general, they are cheap, although not particularly friendly on the whole! SHOPS All your basics, really, with few trimmings! There are 2 mini markets in the town itself, and one on top of the hill in the Clawdd Poncen housing estate. The mini markets are OK for your staple goods, snacks, frozen dinners that kind of thing, but tend to be quite expensive compared to shops in larger towns. They are all also off-licences, although the choice tends to be limited! There are 2 butchers shops, a bigish one on the square, which does ready cooked chickens and pies etc., as well as your meat, and has a freezer shop at the back which is generally well stocked and reasonably priced. The smaller one is out of the square along the A5 towards Bala, and is cheaper but has less choice. All the meat is local (you could see it wandering round the field on a Monday and have it on your plate the following Sunday!...sorry vegetarians!) There is one fruit-and-veg-cum-flori
sts, which is relatively big and has all the usual kind of veg, although you would be hard pressed to get asparagus tips or mange tout! Pet Shop and Vets combined is also on the square, but is only open 4 days a week. The pet shop just does food and leads and stuff, not actual pets, and you have to have a prior appointment for the vets. Two hardware shops are to be found in Corwen, Waterloo House and Astley's. Sorry Gary but Astleys is better! Both also do gifts and a few toys. NEW ART GALLERY/COFFEE SHOP a big thing for Corwen, as its new!! I've not actually been in there yet, but it looks nice from the outside! Post Office...supposedly a main post office, but rarely has staples like envelopes etc! OK for the main post office type things though. They share the building with Corwen Printers. BANKS There is a Midland Bank and a NatWest Bank, both on the square. The NatWest has a link ATM, but it is not unknown for it to run out of money, particularly on the weekend! PLACES TO EAT 'Crads', otherwise known as The Dolphin Cafe...avoid on pain of potential food poisoning! Traditional chippy. Kebab house...lovely, good prices, spotlessly clean. Fab. The Central...basic homecooked food, cheap prices and lovely grub. Gwalia...coffee shop that also does lunches. I've not been in, but a few people have told me that it is nice! All of the above are on the now-getting-famous square! ATTRACTIONS Ummm....small sports centre which has a swimming pool, sunbeds, squash courts, astroturf pitch and a gym. Cheap to get in but not all the mod cons..OK though! There is also a park/recreation ground with swings etc., a lawn bowling green and a cricket pavillion and tennis courts. Corwen Manor have a wide range of candles and some other gifts, and you can make your own candles there too. They have a mini crazy golf pitch, but last time I checked it was out of use! Rug Chapel is
a historic 13th century chapel, just outside of the main town in a scenic lane. Can be tricky to find though, despite the sign posts! Walking...there are quite a few nice signposted walks, one to Caer Drewyn, an iron age hill fort, and another through woodland up to a monument thing which was put up when some member of royalty came to visit, for example! The 'one stop shop'/library is a good place to get information about local events etc., for example the music festival held annually in July, and will also give you good directions to other things! TRANSPORT Honestly, bloody awful! Buses run about every 2 hours to the nearest towns, there is no train station, although there is plenty of free car parking space. Frankly, if you can't come in a car it probably isn't worth the effort! WHERE TO STAY B&B is your main choice, with one B&B just off the square, and some of the pubs and the central offering this too. Average cost is about 12 pounds pppn including full English brekky! There is also a dormitory type set up with a drying room suitable for the outdoorsy types! SUMMARY Corwen is your typical small Welsh town. Its main attraction is the scenery, and whilst it has come on a lot in recent years, could still do with a supermarket, a few more attractions and a better transport service! Having said that, it is a nice place to visit for a quiet weekend, and is a great base for exploring Llangollen, Betws-Y-Coed and Snowdonia, and a lot cheaper to stay in than these places!