The Hand at Llanarmon
“Imaginative food and well-kept local ales”
LLANARMON DYFFRYN CEIRIOG, WREXHAM
Jonathan and Jackie Greatorex spent years visiting this 16th-century free house and inn, once a rest stop for drovers and their flocks on the old road from Anglesey to London. Its warm atmosphere and delicious food really struck home, so when the opportunity arose, they bought it. Up the remote Ceiriog Valley, known as The Valley of the Poets, in the shadow of the Berwyn Mountains, is where you’ll find it and its original oak beams, plum-coloured walls, large fireplaces and mix-and-match furniture. The well-stocked bar offers Weetwood Cheshire Cat and Station real ales and plenty of malt whiskies, including a Welsh one. Head chef Grant Mulholland and his team have earned two AA Rosettes for their impressive modern European dishes. Everything is prepared on the premises from fresh ingredients – everything, that is, except the steak and ale, and chicken and gammon pies that McArdle’s of Chirk make specially for The Hand. There’s always at least one vegetarian option. To follow, try tiramisù with stewed forest berries; or sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce. Few places can be quieter than the sunny terrace garden.
- Children welcome
- Children's portions
- Free Wifi
- Parking available
- Coach parties accepted
- Open all year
Also in the area
About the area
Although the collieries and steelworks on which the town of Wrexham prospered are largely things of the past, this bustling town is still the largest in north Wales. The town desperately wants to be a city and has applied for the status three times since the turn of the millennium. A plan is afoot to establish a ‘city region’ encompassing Wrexham, Deeside and Chester.
Heading south, prepare to be gobsmacked when you reach Chirk, where Thomas Telford’s magnificent 10-arched aqueduct was built in 1801 to convey the canal more than 70 feet above the bottom of the valley. What’s more, alongside it is an even taller viaduct, built by Henry Robertson in 1840 to carry the railway. Both were used to carry coal from the once-thriving Flintshire coalfields.
The other main feature of Chirk is its 14th-century castle, which stands proudly overlooking the town and the Ceiriog Valley, an area described by Lloyd George as ‘a little bit of heaven on Earth’. Despite its stunning scenery and easy accessibility, the valley is something of a secret. It lies immediately south of the Vale of Llangollen, and has been dubbed ‘little Switzerland’ for its lush green hills, dotted with small farms.
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