The Llangollen Canal information page
This is the most popular cruising route by far. For the most part, boaters aim to take in the amazing views from atop the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct en route to Llangollen. However some of the scenery before this point is simply stunning – not least the wooded lakeland scenery around Ellesmere. All in all an excellent choice of route for canal boat hire. There are numerous Pubs and restaurants on this Canal to suit all tastes. Leaving Whixall, it takes around 3 hours cruising to reach Ellesmere.
A return trip to Llangollen is from Whixall is very leisurely in one week. In the peak summer months the progress is slower due to the popularity of the canal – which means more hours spent cruising. It really depends on how energetic you feel! There are only two locks to negotiate on your trip to the aqueduct and beyond. Therefore, the pace is very easy and there is plenty of time to stop, moor up and explore your surroundings…
The pinnacle of the Llangollen experience is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which at 125 feet above the fields below is more akin to flying than cruising! Between Whixall and Llangollen you can enjoy the lakeland scenery of Ellesmere and the open countryside of North Shropshire. Ellesmere itself has some nice pubs such as the Red Lion and the White Hart. Further on – at Whittington wharf is the Narrowboat Inn – great for real ale and food – with outside seating overlooking the canal.
As you pass into North Wales via Chirk Bank, “The Lion Quays” and “The Poacher’s” on the canal side are worth visiting for lunch, dinner or just some good beer.
Just beyond the Chirk aqueduct and tunnel you can moor up and walk to Chirk Castle situated about 2 miles away. The castle was constructed in the late 13th Century under Edward I to guard the Dee and Ceiriog valleys. It is now looked after by The National Trust and makes for an interesting walk in good weather.
The final stretch of the Llangollen Canal from the Trevor Basin directly after the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is narrow and shallow all the way to Llangollen with scenes of open hilly pastures.
The water is fast moving since the river Dee feeds in around 12 million gallons of water daily to supply Hurleston reservoir at the bottom of the canal. Having negotiated the last narrow stretch of canal before Llangollen, it is possible to moor on the basin. Perhaps a brisk walk to Dinas Bran followed by a meal in ‘The Cornmill’, or a more sedate trip to Carrog on the steam train will take your fancy. There are horse drawn boat trips to the source of the canal at Horseshoe Falls, which you can cover on foot in under an hour – with a stop at ‘The Chainbridge Hotel’ for sustenance…
Even in Autumn the scenery is quite outstanding which helps make Llangollen Canal a great favourite with boaters.