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10-day and two week breaks on the Llangollen Canal

Canal boat holiday on the Llangollen Canal

10-day and two-week breaks from Trevor

Chester & back (121 miles, 64 locks, 62 hours)

Travel across The Stream in the Sky, and cruise through the Shropshire Lake District and the Cheshire Plain to the ancient City of Chester.

Setting off from Trevor Basin, the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with its jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Dee Valley below, is just 10 minutes away.  Next it’s a lift bridge and the canalside Aqueduct Inn at Froncysyllte.  Then you’ll cruise on through Whitehouse Tunnel followed by Chirk Tunnel, before crossing Chirk Aqueduct.  Opened in 1801, Chirk Aqueduct carries the canal 21.3 metres above the English/Welsh border. Soon after the aqueduct, you’ll reach the Bridge Inn at Chirk, then the Poachers Pocket pub at Gledrid, and the Lion Quays waterside restaurant at Moreton – all good places to moor up for the night. Four miles later at Frankton Junction the Montgomery Canal meets the Llangollen Canal and after another three miles, the canal passes by the Canal & River Trust’s Ellesmere Canal Yard, dating back to the early 1800s.

At Ellesmere there are plenty of visitor moorings, giving you the chance to explore this pretty market town with a mix of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings, as well as its famous Mere, with woodland walks. After Ellesmere, the route passes Whixall Moss nature reserve then the historic market town of Whitchurch, known for its clock makers.  These include J B Joyce & Co, the oldest maker of tower clocks in the world, established there in 1782. Look out for half-timbered buildings, fair trade independent shops and a choice of places to eat, including the award-winning Black Bear.

After Whitchurch, you’ll pass through the Grindley Brook Staircase of Locks with lockside café and stores and then you’ll reach Wrenbury. The centre of the village is a conservation area with a range of historic houses and the 16th century St Margaret’s Church overlooking the village green. There is a Post Office with general stores and two pubs, the canalside Dusty Miller in a converted corn mill, and The Cotton Arms. Cruise on through the Shropshire countryside, then pass through four locks at Hurleston, before reaching Hurleston Junction.  Here the Llangollen Canal meets the Shropshire Union Canal. Cruise on through the countryside, passing through Bunbury Locks.  Soon after you’ll reach Beeston.  You can moor-up just below Wharton’s Lock and walk half-a-mile to English Heritage’s Beeston Castle & Woodland Park, one of the most dramatic ruins in the English landscape.  Continuing along, soon after Wharton’s Lock, you’ll see the canalside Shady Oak pub and two miles later, the Famous Cheshire Ice Cream Farm at Tattenhall is a short walk from the canal.  The canal becomes less rural and you’ll pass through Waverton, and the site of the Battle of Rowton Moor (one of the last major battles of the English Civil War).  Then you’ll travel through Christleton, with its Cheshire Cat canalside pub and the Ring ‘o’ Bells pub in the village. You’ll then climb up five more locks and pass the Lead Shot Tower site, where during the Napoleonic Wars musket shot was produced by dropping molten lead balls from a height, to form spheres as they fell into a vat of water at the bottom. Once you reach the ancient City of Chester, there’s so much to explore, including the City’s Roman Amphitheatre, Museum, City walls, River Dee, Chester Rows, Shops, Chester Cathedral built in 1541, St Johns, Chester Castle, and racecourse.  Turn close to Chester Ring Road Bridge No.123D.

The Four Counties Ring (189 miles, 136 locks, 102 hours)

This popular circuit takes you on an unforgettable canal boating journey through the counties of Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Cheshire and Shropshire.  Highlights include: the 2,670-metre long Harecastle Tunnel, the flight of 15 locks at Audlem, views of the Cheshire Plains and the Roman town of Middlewich.

Setting off from Trevor Basin, the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with its jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Dee Valley below, is just 10 minutes away.  Next it’s a lift bridge and the canalside Aqueduct Inn at Froncysyllte.  Then you’ll cruise on through Whitehouse Tunnel followed by Chirk Tunnel, before crossing Chirk Aqueduct.  Opened in 1801, Chirk Aqueduct carries the canal 21.3 metres above the English/Welsh border.

Soon after the aqueduct, you’ll reach the Bridge Inn at Chirk, then the Poachers Pocket pub at Gledrid, and the Lion Quays waterside restaurant at Moreton – all good places to moor up for the night. Four miles later at Frankton Junction the Montgomery Canal meets the Llangollen Canal and after another three miles, the canal passes by the Canal & River Trust’s Ellesmere Canal Yard, dating back to the early 1800s.

At Ellesmere there are plenty of visitor moorings, giving you the chance to explore this pretty market town with a mix of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings, as well as its famous Mere, with woodland walks. After Ellesmere, the route passes Whixall Moss nature reserve then the historic market town of Whitchurch, known for its clock makers.  Look out for half-timbered buildings, fair trade independent shops and a choice of places to eat, including the award-winning Black Bear.

Continue on through the Shropshire countryside, passing through the Grindley Brook Staircase of Locks with lockside café and stores and then you’ll reach Wrenbury. The centre of the village is a conservation area with a range of historic houses and the 16th century St Margaret’s Church overlooking the village green. There is a Post Office with general stores and two pubs, the canalside Dusty Miller in a converted corn mill, and The Cotton Arms.

Continue on to Hurleston Junction and head southwest on the Shropshire Union Canal past Nantwich. The historic market town of Nantwich was once the centre of the salt mining industry, which you can find out more about at the Nantwich Museum.  Nantwich has a great choice of places to eat, including the Wickstead Arms and Loco Nantwich.  Next there are two locks at Hack Green, close to the Secret Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, once one of the nation’s most secret defence sites, and now a fascinating museum. Three miles on at Audlem, you’ll pass the Shroppie Fly pub and Audlem Mill, selling canal gifts, crafts and the locally made Snugbury’s Jersey Ice Cream. Then the Audlem flight of 15 locks takes the canal 93ft downhill to a lock-free mile, before another flight of five locks at Adderley. Next you’ll travel through Betton Cutting, past Brownhills Wood before reaching the historic market town of Market Drayton, home of the gingerbread man.  Then there are five locks at Tyrley. After that, the canal is lock free for 17 miles, passing through a series of cuttings, embankments and villages with excellent pubs.  Places to stop along this 17-mile stretch include: Goldstone Wharf with its Wharf Tavern pub; Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Loynton Moss Nature Reserve at Grub Street; the Old Wharf Tearoom at Norbury Junction; the Royal Oak at Gnosnall; and the Hartley Arms and Mottey Meadows Nature Reserve at Wheaton Ashton.

There’s just one lock at Wheaton, then the route is lock-free again for eight miles, passing the Bridge pub at Brewood.  Then you’ll go under the M54 motorway and pass close to Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve, before meeting Autherley Junction Stop Lock and the southern end of ‘The Shroppie’. You’ll then travel north up the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal to Great Haywood.

Head north along the Trent & Mersey Canal to the old market town of Stone, travelling for five hours and passing through four locks. Along the way, the route passes the village of Weston, with The Woolpack and Saracen’s Head pubs. Next, canal boat holiday-makers can enjoy views of the imposing Sandon Hall, its 400 acres of rolling parkland, and Grade II* listed Pitt’s Column, erected in 1806 by the first Earl of Harrowby in memory of the great Prime Minister Pitt the Younger.

The canal then passes along the outskirts of Burston, where the family-run micro-brewery Greyhound pub is well worth the short walk to. On arriving in Stone, there are visitor moorings at Westbridge Park, opposite the Swan pub, and a little further along past the Star pub on the left. Stone is considered to be the food and drink capital of Staffordshire, with regular markets, a diverse choice of cuisine and annual Stone Food & Drink Festival.  Continue north from Stone along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Stoke-on-Trent, first travelling through Meaford Locks, and past Neil Morrissey’s canalside Plume of Feathers pub at Barlaston. Just before Trentham Lock, you can stop to explore the World of Wedgwood, with a factory tour, afternoon tea in the Wedgewood tea room, woodland walks and award winning museum housing a UNESCO protected collection. Just under five miles later, after travelling through the Stoke flights of five locks, the canal reaches its junction with the Caldon Canal at Etruria, in Stoke-on-Trent. Here you can stop to visit the Etruria Industrial Museum, Spode Visitor Centre and the Waterworld indoor aqua park.  Continuing north along the Trent & Mersey Canal, you’ll need to book your passage to be able to pass through the mighty one-and-three-quarter-mile long Harecastle Tunnel.  You’ll re-emerge at Kidsgrove, and Harding’s Wood Junction, where the Macclesfield Canal meets the Trent & Mersey. Here you’ll meet the summit of ‘Heartbreak Hill’ – the series of 31 locks between Middlewich and Kidsgrove, raising the canal 280ft up from the Cheshire Plains.

The next village is Rode Heath with its Royal Oak pub and Rode Hall, one of Cheshire’s most exquisite country houses. The South Cheshire Way crosses the canal at Lower Thurlwood Lock, one of a flight of three, then it’s the two Pierpoint Locks, and then there are two more at Hassall Green, just before the canal passes beneath the M6 motorway.

At Wheelock, where there’s a choice of pubs, including the canalside Cheshire Cheese, and eight more locks to negotiate. From Wheelock it’s a mile-long walk into the historic town of Sandbach, with regular markets, a Waitrose supermarket and plenty of places to eat and drink. Next there’s a three-mile break from locks as the canal winds round Ettiley Heath and the Sandbach Flashes, a group of 14 wetlands designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Four miles and another four locks on, the canal reaches the historic market town Middlewich, famous for its salt industry which dates back to medieval times. Here the Four Counties Ring route leaves the Trent & Mersey Canal, heading to Barbridge along the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.  This quiet waterway travels peacefully through the Cheshire countryside, with just four locks along its 10-mile length. Along the way, the Badger Inn at Church Minshull is a short walk from the canal.

After travelling for a further two miles to Barbridge Junction, with its Olde Barbridge Inn.  Transfer back on to the Llangollen Canal to return to Trevor.

10-day and two week breaks from Whixall

Chester and back (71 miles, 60 locks, 42 hours)

Start your journey through breath-taking scenery by cruising along past Whixall Moss nature reserve and connecting to the mainline of the Llangollen Canal. Head east to the historic market town of Whitchurch, known for its clock makers.  There’s a good choice of places to eat, including the award-winning Black Bear.  After Whitchurch, you’ll pass through the Grindley Brook Staircase of Locks with lockside café and stores and then you’ll reach Wrenbury. The centre of the village is a conservation area with a range of historic houses and the 16th century St Margaret’s Church overlooking the village green. There is a Post Office with general stores and two pubs, the canalside Dusty Miller in a converted corn mill, and The Cotton Arms. Cruise on through the Shropshire countryside, then pass through four locks at Hurleston, before reaching Hurleston Junction.  Here the Llangollen Canal meets the Shropshire Union Canal. Cruise on through the countryside, passing through Bunbury Locks.  Soon after you’ll reach Beeston.  You can moor-up just below Wharton’s Lock and walk half-a-mile to English Heritage’s Beeston Castle & Woodland Park, one of the most dramatic ruins in the English landscape.  Continuing along, soon after Wharton’s Lock, you’ll see the canalside Shady Oak pub and two miles later, the Famous Cheshire Ice Cream Farm at Tattenhall is a short walk from the canal.  The canal becomes less rural and you’ll pass through Waverton, and the site of the Battle of Rowton Moor (one of the last major battles of the English Civil War).  Then you’ll travel through Christleton, with its Cheshire Cat canalside pub and the Ring ‘o’ Bells pub in the village. You’ll then climb up five more locks and pass the Lead Shot Tower site, where during the Napoleonic Wars musket shot was produced by dropping molten lead balls from a height, to form spheres as they fell into a vat of water at the bottom. Once you reach the ancient City of Chester, there’s so much to explore, including the City’s Roman Amphitheatre, Museum, City walls, River Dee, Chester Rows, Shops, Chester Cathedral built in 1541, St Johns, Chester Castle, and racecourse.  Turn close to Chester Ring Road Bridge No.123D.

The Four Counties Ring (137 miles, 144 locks, 86 hours)

Once you reach the Llangollen Canal mainline, head east through the Shropshire countryside towards Whitchurch.  The Shropshire Way crosses the canal at Sparks Bridge no.35, close to the remains of Pan Castle. Next you’ll reach the historic market town of Whitchurch, known for its clock makers.  Look out for half-timbered buildings, fair trade independent shops and restaurants.  There’s a good choice of pubs, including the award-winning Black Bear.

Continue on through the Shropshire countryside, passing through the Grindley Brook Staircase of Locks with lockside café and stores and then you’ll reach Wrenbury. The centre of the village is a conservation area with a range of historic houses and the 16th century St Margaret’s Church overlooking the village green. There is a Post Office with general stores and two pubs, the canalside Dusty Miller in a converted corn mill, and The Cotton Arms.

Continue on to Hurleston Junction and head southwest on the Shropshire Union Canal past Nantwich. The historic market town of Nantwich was once the centre of the salt mining industry, which you can find out more about at the Nantwich Museum.  Nantwich has a great choice of places to eat, including the Wickstead Arms and Loco Nantwich.  Next there are two locks at Hack Green, close to the Secret Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, once one of the nation’s most secret defence sites, and now a fascinating museum. Three miles on at Audlem, you’ll pass the Shroppie Fly pub and Audlem Mill, selling canal gifts, crafts and the locally made Snugbury’s Jersey Ice Cream. Then the Audlem flight of 15 locks takes the canal 93ft downhill to a lock-free mile, before another flight of five locks at Adderley. Next you’ll travel through Betton Cutting, past Brownhills Wood before reaching the historic market town of Market Drayton, home of the gingerbread man.  Then there are five locks at Tyrley. After that, the canal is lock free for 17 miles, passing through a series of cuttings, embankments and villages with excellent pubs.  Places to stop along this 17-mile stretch include: Goldstone Wharf with its Wharf Tavern pub; Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Loynton Moss Nature Reserve at Grub Street; the Old Wharf Tearoom at Norbury Junction; the Royal Oak at Gnosnall; and the Hartley Arms and Mottey Meadows Nature Reserve at Wheaton Ashton.

There’s just one lock at Wheaton, then the route is lock-free again for eight miles, passing the Bridge pub at Brewood.  Then you’ll go under the M54 motorway and pass close to Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve, before meeting Autherley Junction Stop Lock and the southern end of ‘The Shroppie’. You’ll then travel north up the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal to Great Haywood.

Head north along the Trent & Mersey Canal to the old market town of Stone, travelling for five hours and passing through four locks. Along the way, the route passes the village of Weston, with The Woolpack and Saracen’s Head pubs. Next, canal boat holiday-makers can enjoy views of the imposing Sandon Hall, its 400 acres of rolling parkland, and Grade II* listed Pitt’s Column, erected in 1806 by the first Earl of Harrowby in memory of the great Prime Minister Pitt the Younger.

The canal then passes along the outskirts of Burston, where the family-run micro-brewery Greyhound pub is well worth the short walk to. On arriving in Stone, there are visitor moorings at Westbridge Park, opposite the Swan pub, and a little further along past the Star pub on the left. Stone is considered to be the food and drink capital of Staffordshire, with regular markets, a diverse choice of cuisine and annual Stone Food & Drink Festival.  Continue north from Stone along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Stoke-on-Trent, first travelling through Meaford Locks, and past Neil Morrissey’s canalside Plume of Feathers pub at Barlaston. Just before Trentham Lock, you can stop to explore the World of Wedgwood, with a factory tour, afternoon tea in the Wedgewood tea room, woodland walks and award winning museum housing a UNESCO protected collection. Just under five miles later, after travelling through the Stoke flights of five locks, the canal reaches its junction with the Caldon Canal at Etruria, in Stoke-on-Trent. Here you can stop to visit the Etruria Industrial Museum, Spode Visitor Centre and the Waterworld indoor aqua park.  Continuing north along the Trent & Mersey Canal, you’ll need to book your passage to be able to pass through the mighty one-and-three-quarter-mile long Harecastle Tunnel.  You’ll re-emerge at Kidsgrove, and Harding’s Wood Junction, where the Macclesfield Canal meets the Trent & Mersey. Here you’ll meet the summit of ‘Heartbreak Hill’ – the series of 31 locks between Middlewich and Kidsgrove, raising the canal 280ft up from the Cheshire Plains.

The next village is Rode Heath with its Royal Oak pub and Rode Hall, one of Cheshire’s most exquisite country houses. The South Cheshire Way crosses the canal at Lower Thurlwood Lock, one of a flight of three, then it’s the two Pierpoint Locks, and then there are two more at Hassall Green, just before the canal passes beneath the M6 motorway.

At Wheelock, where there’s a choice of pubs, including the canalside Cheshire Cheese, and eight more locks to negotiate. From Wheelock it’s a mile-long walk into the historic town of Sandbach, with regular markets, a Waitrose supermarket and plenty of places to eat and drink. Next there’s a three-mile break from locks as the canal winds round Ettiley Heath and the Sandbach Flashes, a group of 14 wetlands designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Four miles and another four locks on, the canal reaches the historic market town Middlewich, famous for its salt industry which dates back to medieval times. Here the Four Counties Ring route leaves the Trent & Mersey Canal, heading to Barbridge along the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.  This quiet waterway travels peacefully through the Cheshire countryside, with just four locks along its 10-mile length. Along the way, the Badger Inn at Church Minshull is a short walk from the canal.

After travelling for a further two miles to Barbridge Junction, with its Olde Barbridge Inn.  Transfer back on to the Llangollen Canal to return to Whixall.

To check availability and book click here or call us on 0117 463 3419. 

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