River Dee: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Dee.

  • The River Dee has its source in the Snowdonia Mountains in Wales. It is 110 km long, and reaches the sea in an estuary between the Wirral and North Wales.

  • Part of the river forms the boundary between England and Wales. From the 5th century to the Middle Ages, it formed the border of the Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd.
  • The River Dee estuary is an important area for wildlife, including waterfowl. During winter, over 100,000 birds nest around the estuary, including gulls, sandpipers, egrets and white tailed eagles.
  • The Dee flows through the Welsh market town of Llangollen. The town is famous for its Eisteddfod, or music festival which dates from 1943 and which attracts performers from over 50 countries.
  • The 14th century stone bridge over the Dee is one of the 7 wonders of Wales. It was extended in the 19th century, and at one time a café was located in a tower on the bridge.
  • The River Dee also flows through the historic walled city of Chester. The city is famous for its medieval shops known as the Rows, its racecourse, and its Roman remains.
  • Crossing the River Dee at Froncysyllte is the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, built in 1805 to carry the Llangollen Canal. It is 307 metres long and rises almost 40 metres above the river.
  • The Dee has its source on the slopes of Mt. Dduallt, near the village of Llanuwchllyn. Early in his career, the naturalist Charles Darwin spent time in the area studying rocks.
  • The catchment area of the River Dee is about 1,800 square km. One of the largest lakes on the Dee is Bala Lake, well known for its clear, blue water.
  • Every year, the Chester Raft Race, a charity event, takes place on the River Dee. Canoeing, fishing and white water rafting are also popular along the river.

What next? Discover more river facts by visiting our river resources page.