Father Christmas has swapped Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer for paddling down the River Dee.

The portly present-bearer was spotted in an inflatable dinghy making his way through choppy waters on the Dee in Llangollen with some of his trusty Elves.

Having survived to tell the tale, Father Christmas was spotted looking considerably more relaxed after trading the dinghy for a coracle near the Horseshoe Falls.

It is believed he was scoping out the area ahead of the town’s upcoming Christmas Festival, which is expected to attract at least 2,000 people.

Father Christmas said: “I thought that I’d use the river to get into Llangollen this year.

“The coracle was most enjoyable and relaxing but a little slow.

“I think I’ll stick with the sleigh and my reindeer, it’s fast, manoeuvrable and best of all, magic.”

The festival tonight will feature a parade, street stalls, raffles, a grotto, an appearance by Llangollen Silver Band
and local choirs and singers – and the ceremonial switch-on of the Christmas lights.

This year the festival also features Llangollen Good Grub Club and an additional stage organised by Llangollen Woman’s Festival.

The big parade starts from Mill Street car park at 1pm and later Father Christmas will be on hand to meet young visitors in his grotto inside the Town Hall.

Lights will be switched on at 5pm.

Entertainment will this year be centred on the steps of the library and tourist information centre as well as the Town Hall and Market Street.

Proceeds from the event will once again be donated to Wales Air Ambulance.