Levelling Up Fund: Horseshoe Falls

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Project background

Project background

Horseshoe Falls is a 140m horseshoe-shaped weir designed by Thomas Telford to divert water from the River Dee into the beginning of the Llangollen Canal. The meter house on-site regulates over 12 million gallons of water drawn to the canal every day. In 2009 UNESCO designated Horseshoe Falls as part of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site.

This project will enable the area to cope with increasing visitor numbers and will provide the opportunity to improve facilities and visitor flow at Llantysilio Green Car Park. Horseshoe Falls has become one of the major attractions in the Dee Valley, and the site has seen a significant increase in visitor numbers in recent years (over 100,000 visitors per annum); thus there is now a need to upgrade the facilities in order to meet this increased visitor demand and expectation.

Key points

Key points

This project activity has been included within the Clwyd South Levelling Up Fund application with the intention of delivering user / visitor movement connectivity improvements within the 11-mile Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site. This in turn is intended to increase visitor dwell time in Llangollen with associated economic and social benefits for the local area.

In addition, improvements at Horseshoe Falls will support the following benefits:

  • Improved visitor offer through various improved facilities.
  • Facilities that are better equipped to reduce environmental impact to the World Heritage Site due to high visitor numbers.
  • Increased likelihood of visitor return.
  • Improved physical links between key attractions and Llangollen, intended to encourage better visitor movement from attractions into the town, bringing an economic benefit to local businesses.

This project will contribute to the outcomes noted in the CS LUF application for the area. These include:

  • The improvement of access in and around the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site and the associated visitor locations in Denbighshire, such as Horseshoe Falls.
  • Investment in these sites to make them premier, family-friendly, visitor attractions and safeguard and enhance their amenity value for local communities.
  • The existing septic tank was not designed to cope with the number of visitors that the site now receives and is no longer fit for purpose. Replacing this with an appropriate new system will ensure that no potential contaminants and phosphates enter the Llangollen canal.
  • The enabling works to host a future mobile catering facility will have long-term benefits. Visitor management is a key component for the Ranger Team in the Dee Valley, especially at the Horseshoe Falls, and requires extensive staff time. Following the creation of the hardstanding, funding for the mobile catering facility will be sought from other sources and would then improve the visitor experience, and also generate the income to ensure that staffing levels are appropriate and ensure that on-site issues, such as camping, BBQs and fires are minimised through an increase in staff presence.
Current position

Current position

So far, this project has:

  • Improved access to the river for paddle sports.
  • Started construction to replace the drainage system for the toilet block and carry out improvements to the car park.


Erosion on site:

Horseshoe Falls: Erosion on site.

Erosion around existing seal slide:

Horseshoe Falls: Erosion around existing seal slide.

Contact Us

Please contact levellingup@denbighshire.gov.uk highlighting the project of specific interest and we will pass this on to the relevant project manager.

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