"Do you think I need a coat?"
"What does the forecast say?"
"Dry with possible chance of showers."
"But it's warm."
The day started with a look at the weather report and a discussion on the best clothing for the unpredictable or should I say the predictable British summer weather. Walkers descended on Llangollen from all over north Wales, including Darren Millar, Welsh Assembly Member for Clwyd West, meeting in the Britannia Inn car park. It quickly became clear that many others had had similar conversations over their attire.
The walk began from the car park heading down a lane towards Pentredwr. Taking the first right fork we walked for some time before entering the lovely primrose and bluebell woodland. Crossing the river Dee we emerged near the main road passing Pandy Farm and from there we walked a little way to Valle Crucis Abbey.
We were able to look around the abbey which was founded in 1201 by the Cistercian Order of monks and is an impressive set or ruins set in the valley. The ruins still contain the dormitories that would have housed the monks as they lived out their austere existence. The abbey provides an excellent opportunity to combine history and RE in a Welsh context.
The tour of the ruins gave teachers first hand experience of the benefits of a school trip to the Valle Crucis Abbey.
From the abbey we then crossed the Velvet Hill, a grass and moss covered ascent on the path up to the 15th century Llantysilio Church. This church stands on high ground overlooking Horseshoe Falls and is dedicated to St Tysilio who lived as a hermit in a 7th century church on Church Island in the Menai Straits. Llantysilio Church contains a small amount of 15th century glass and a medieval oak eagle lectern. We continued up past Llantysilio hall and climbed through field and a coppice returning to the Britannia Inn car park.
The walk was enjoyed by all. The views were of the Cambrian range were exceptional, even if the weather was 'changeable'. Religious Education and matters of a spiritual kind were consistently part the conversation, aided by our surroundings. Teachers were able to visit places that could be used for a place to learn outside the classroom, whilst combining religious education and history in a fabulous Welsh setting.