The Llangollen Canal
The Llangollen Canal is a world renowned canal crossing between England and Wales. The canal links Llangollen in Clwyd, North Wales, with Hurleston in South Cheshire, traversing through the beautiful plains of Shropshire and Cheshire.
Part of the Llangollen Canal has been declared a World Heritage site.
Designed by William Jessop and engineered by Thomas Telford, the Llangollen Canal was part of the Ellesmere and Chester Canal Company and it was primarily built to transport coal and iron to the Mersey at Ellesmere Port.
The Ellesmere Canal was intended to be a commercial link between the Port of Liverpool and the West Midlands. Unfortunately due to a variety of problems, mainly rising costs and rival competition, the project was never finished. The Llangollen Canal was built when completion of the Ellesmere Canal was halted in the early 19th century.
As the waterway never reached its proposed destination source of water at Wrexham, a new channel was created along the Vale of Llangollen to the River Dee, which created the Horseshoe Falls at Llantysilio.
The canal is no longer used for commercial traffic, but solely for pleasure boating. Out of all the canals on the system it is one of the most popular because it passes through the stunning and picturesque scenery of the high Welsh mountains.
The Llangollen canal line was not built as a broad gauge waterway but as a feeder branch which was then later made navigable; becoming the primary source of water for the central section of the incomplete Ellesmere Canal. In 1846 the Ellesmere Canal became part of the Shropshire Union network.
To promote development and encourage tourism and usage, the British Waterways re-branded the industrial canals as leisure areas by renaming the Ellesmere Canal as the Llangollen Canal.
BEST TIME FOR AQUEDUCTS
Although the round trip to Llangollen from Whixall is a sedate one, it is best to aim to tackle the aqueduct early in the morning – ideally as the sun is rising.
The Llangollen canal leaves the Shropshire mainline at Hurleston, which is just north of Nantwich.
The journey starts at the Hurleston locks which raises the level of the canal by 34 ft (10m). The water that passes along the canal fills the Hurleston Reservoir which is north of the locks.
The Swan at Marbury
The village of Marbury is well worth a visit, situated about 200 meters from the canal. The village has a lovely church, a little lake and old timbered buildings.
Quoisley lock llangollen canal
Next you will reach Quoisley Lock and lift bridge.
Following on from Quoisley Lock the canal continues upwards through a series of locks for about 10 miles. This stretch is quite away from any accessible villages, so it is recommended to have stocked up on any essential supplies before leaving the last nearest port of call, Wrenbury.
grindley lock llangollen canal boat hire
GRINDLEY BROOK LOCKS
After this 10 mile stretch or so of locks you will reach the Grindley Brook locks, in total there are six locks the last three being the famous Grindley Brook flight of locks.
Grindley Brook locks are known as the three lock staircase. Locally these locks are usually thought to be the most attractive, especially the bottom lock. Thousands of boats navigate the staircase of locks each year without any major problems, so there is nothing too much to worry about, just take extra care when navigating through.
In case you need a hand or get in to a bit of trouble, there is a lock keeper in residence on hand! At busy times there can be delays, so allow plenty of time, it is a notorious bottleneck, especially on the weekends. However if the laid back leisurely pace and picturesque scenery doesn’t entice your crew, then they could always visit The Horse and Jockey lovely, a lovely old pub right next to the canal side.
Three boats in each direction is the general rule when boats are waiting, this keeps the locks moving efficiently.
Phone: 07388 924636
Email: [email protected]
Adress: Whixall Marina, Alders Lane, Whixall. Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY132QS