If you’re looking for a nice easy canal boat break with little or no locks, then this short route in Wales will suit you well.
The cruise between our canal boat hire base in Chirk over to Llangollen is easy, with no locks. It’s a popular route, especially during school summer holidays, so you’ll find it busy with lots of atmosphere. If you prefer a quieter holiday, then head here in early or late season.
The route along the Llangollen Canal is simply stunning. You’re able to cruise along the Dee Valley, admiring some of the best countryside that Wales has to offer.
You’ll cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and travelling along the Dee Valley to the marina at Llangollen. Warning – the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is not for the faint hearted! There’s a dramatic drop from one side of the boat, whilst a footpath carries those over who may have a more nervous disposition. The views are worth the trip however.
Llangollen is a small town of some 3000 people, seeped in myth and legend. In many ways it is best known for hosting the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod every July which brings in some 120,000 visitors and turns the town into a vibrant international stage.
The town dates back to the 7th Century, with the famous Dee Bridge, was built by Bishop Trevor of Trevor Hall in I345. It is a scheduled ancient monument and was widened in the 1960’s to accommodate modern traffic. It became a prominent town on the main London to Holyhead coaching road and the canal helped the town develop during the 19th century.
This is a trip that involves a return journey the same way. Simply turn at Llangollen, or at any winding hole / turning spot along the way, and cruise on from Chirk to Ellesmere.
You’ll cut your teeth on two locks at Ellesmere before heading over the Chirk Aqueduct.
Ellesmere is a pretty little market town in the heart of the Shropshire countryside, famous for being the catalyst for one of the greatest canal networks in the country initiated by Thomas Telford. As well as the town centre, there are many things to take in such as the local woodland walks with art and sculpture trails plus there’s the motte and bailey of the castle grounds.
The wildlife and Heron Watch has always been synonymous with Ellesmere so you can get back to nature from the comfort of the indoor viewing area.