The Llangollen Canal is a great destination for anyone who loves the outdoors and impressive scenery. Whether you are looking for a narrowboat boat holiday in Wales, from our narrowboat hire base in Chirk or just want to enjoy the best of the scenery on foot, a walk along this famous canal makes for a great day out. Take a look at our three recommended routes for a Llangollen Canal Walk below.
Walk 1: Llangollen to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Distance: 4 miles
Approximate time to walk: 1 hour 20 minutes (one way)
Level of difficulty: Medium
The town of Llangollen is a great place to start the canal walk. This pretty little town, overlooking the River Dee, has plenty to see, from quaint shops to bustling pubs, great for enjoying a drink and bite to eat on a summer day.
Make your way across the Llangollen bridge and head uphill to where you’ll find the Llangollen Wharf perched on the side of the hill above the town. This wharf offers a glimpse of nostalgic canal life, with horse-drawn boats offering day trips along the waterway, and you can easily start your canal walk from this point.
Turn rights at the wharf and follow the towpath past the visitors’ moorings and you’ll soon enjoy great views over the countryside and the Llangollen Golf Course. The Llangollen canal roughly follows the course of the River Dee and the A5, heading east, hugging the hillside and offering picturesque views over sheep-filled fields and stone bridges.
You’ll head north towards the small village of Trevor and Trevor Basin, a small wharf that had a busy history during the industrial revolution, now packed with trip boats going across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. You’ll cross a footbridge here before turning right and heading south to the aforementioned aqueduct.
One of the Wonders of the Waterways, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the longest and highest aqueduct in the UK, 1007ft long and 127ft high. It crossed the River Dee in the valley below and offers one of the most impressive sights on the inland canal system. Built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, the Aqueduct was completed in 1805 and is one of Telford’s greatest engineering achievements.
You can walk across the aqueduct, on the footpath that runs alongside the cast iron trough through which narrowboats can pass, to the far side where you’ll reach Trevor Basin.
Walk 2: Chirk Marina to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Distance: 2.5 miles
Approx time to walk: 50 minutes (one way)
Level of difficulty: Easy
This short walk is a pleasant countryside stroll from the centre of Chirk to the wonder of the waterways, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
This pretty tree-lined route simply follows the towpath, heading north-west from Chirk Marina, close to the A5, before veering sharply north towards the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which crosses the River Dee and the Dee Valley.
Walk across the aqueduct, and then take the steps down to the valley floor on the north side to see a different perspective of this impressive feat of engineering.
Walk 3: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to Chirk Aqueduct
Distance: 4.7 miles
Approx time to walk: 1 hour 30 minutes (one way)
Level of difficulty: Medium
This walking route takes in two stunning aqueducts and two long tunnels, so is not for the faint-hearted!
Starting from Trevor where you can park up and enjoy refreshments at the Telford Inn or Chapel Tea Rooms, you then head south, following the towpath through the Trevor Basin and within 100 metres you’ll have reached the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Continue over the aqueduct, you’ll follow the towpath along the tree-lined Llangollen Canal, through open countryside. It’s a quiet route, probably just with narrowboats and other walkers for company, a great place to get away from it all.
The canal crosses underneath the A5 just before Chirk Marina, through the Whitehouse Tunnel. Wide enough for one boat, and with a towpath all the way through, the Whitehouse is 175 metres long and was built during the late eighteenth century, designed by Thomas Telford and William Jessop. You can walk through this tunnel, but we recommend using a torch and be aware of others on foot or on the boats.
Just the other side of the tunnel you’ll reach Chirk Marina, where you can hire a Black Prince narrowboat for a short break or longer holiday, and continue directly south towards Chirk town centre.
You’ll soon reach Chirk Tunnel, 421 metres long that runs underneath Chirk Railway. You can either walk through the tunnel on the towpath that runs along the side (torch recommended!), or head left through the centre of Chirk, rejoining the canal once passing over the River Ceiriog. Chirk Aqueduct is within a few metres of the south portal or the Chirk Tunnel.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the longest walking trail in Llangollen?
The longest walking trail in Llangollen is the Llangollen to Carrog Trail. It is a 12-mile trail that follows the River Dee and the Llangollen Canal. The trail is relatively flat and easy to walk, making it a good option for families and people of all fitness levels.
The trail starts in Llangollen and follows the River Dee for about 4 miles. The river is beautiful and there are plenty of places to stop and take in the scenery. After about 4 miles, the trail crosses the river and joins the Llangollen Canal. The canal is also beautiful and there are a number of locks to see along the way.
The trail continues along the canal for about 8 miles. The canal passes through a number of villages and towns, including Llandegla and Carrog. The trail ends in Carrog, which is a small town with a number of shops and restaurants.
Which trail has the most elevation gain in Llangollen?
The walking trail with the most elevation gain in Llangollen is the Llangollen – Cyryn-y-Brain – Carrog Trail. This trail is estimated to be 53.3 km long and has an ascent of 2,324 m. The next highest ascent for walking trails is Llangollen and The Berwyns Circular Route with 1,101 m of elevation gain.
Which walk is the most difficult to complete?
The walks listed here range from easy to medium, none are particularly strenuous or involve hills. If you are looking for more of a challenge then take a look at the Llangollen – Cyryn-y-Brain – Carrog Trail mentioned above.
Which walk is the most popular?
Walk 2 – Chirk Marina to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is probably the most popular walk. It’s easy to park at or near the marina and it’s an easy walk to the Aqueduct, which provides stunning views across the Dee Valley.