Short breaks on the Llangollen Canal

Canal boat holidays on the Llangollen Canal

Our short break destinations on the Llangollen Canal include Llangollen, Chirk, Ellesmere, Crickheath, Whitchurch and Wrenbury

The beautiful 41-mile long Llangollen Canal crosses the border between England and Wales.

In 2009, an 11-mile section of the waterway from Gledrid Bridge to the Horseshoe Falls in Llangollen – including the incredible Pontcysyllte and Chirk aqueducts – was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Weekend/3-night breaks from Trevor in North Wales

Ellesmere and back (28 miles, 4 locks, 14 hours)

Passing through just two locks, the 14-hour journey from our base at on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor to the Shropshire market town of Ellesmere and back, offers a fantastic short break holiday for beginners.

Setting off from Trevor Basin, the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with its jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Dee Valley below, is right next to our base.  Next it’s a lift bridge and The Aqueduct Inn at Froncysyllte, then on through Whitehouse Tunnel followed by Chirk Tunnel, before crossing Chirk Aqueduct.

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. There’s a range of places to eat and drink at Ellesmere, including The White Hart pub and The Red Lion coaching inn.

Llangollen and back (9 miles, 0 locks, 4 hours)

It takes around two hours to cruise to the ancient Welsh town of Llangollen, nestled in the Berwyn Mountains and home to the annual Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.  You’ll pass the canalside Sun Trevor pub along the way.  Once in Llangollen, you can moor up in Llangollen Basin to explore the town.

Things to see include the famous Dee Bridge built by Bishop Trevor in 1345, the Llangollen Steam Railway, Plas Newydd house and gardens (once the home of the Ladies of Llangollen), the Horseshoe Falls and Dinas Bran Castle.  There are many independent shops and places to eat, including the popular Corn Mill with stunning river and mountain views.

Weekend/3-night breaks from Whixall in Shropshire

Cruise the through the Shropshire Lake District to Ellesmere and back (14 miles, 0 locks, 7 hours)

Ideal for those wishing to experience a remote retreat through breath-taking scenery. Start your journey through breath-taking scenery by cruising along past Whixall Moss nature reserve and connecting to the mainline of the Llangollen Canal. Heading towards Llangollen, you pass Cole Mere next, then Blake Mere.  You’ll cruse through the short Ellesmere Tunnel before reaching Ellesmere in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District.  At Ellesmere there are plenty of visitor moorings, giving you the chance to explore this historic market town with a mix of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings, as well as its famous Mere and woodland walks. There’s a range of places to eat and drink, including The White Hart pub and The Red Lion coaching inn.

Mid-week/4-night breaks from Whixall in Shropshire

Chirk and back (35 miles, 4 locks, 16 hours)

Follow the three-night route to Ellesmere.  Then pass Frankton Junction, where the Montgomery Canal meets the Llangollen Canal. Cruise on through the countryside, going through two locks at New Marton.  The canalside Lion Quays restaurant is next to Moreton Bridge no.17 and soon after the Poachers Pocket pub is canalside at Gledrid.  From here, the next 11-miles of the Llangollen Canal is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.  You’ll pass The Bridge Inn at Chirk Bank just before you cross over the magnificent Chirk Aqueduct, the railway viaduct alongside.  Opened in 1801, Chirk Aqueduct carries the canal 21.3 metres above the English/Welsh border. You can turn around just after the Chirk Aqueduct, before Chirk Tunnel.  The National Trust’s medieval fortress Chirk Castle is upon the hill.

Trevor and back (42 miles, 4 locks, 19 hours)

Continue on from Chirk, exploring more of the 11-mile UNESCO World Heritage stretch of the Llangollen Canal.  Pass through the 420-metre long Chirk Tunnel, pass Chirk Marina and then you go through Whitehouses Tunnel.  The Offa’s Dyke Path follows the canal for a while and you’ll pass Ty Mawr Country Park.  The Britannia Inn is close by in Froncysllte and then you’ll pass the Aqueduct Inn just before you begin crossing the magnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, carrying the canal 38 metres above the River Dee. Just after the aqueduct, you’ll reach Trevor Basin where you can turn.

Crickheath on the Montgomery Canal and back (36 miles, 16 locks, 19 hours)

Follow the three-night route to Ellesmere and two miles later at Frankton Junction, transfer onto the Montgomery Canal. This beautiful canal runs for 38 miles between England and Wales. It’s recognised as a Special Area of Conservation, making it one of the most important sites for wildlife in Europe.  Currently only around half the Montgomery Canal is navigable, including an eight-mile section from Frankton Junction to Gronwyn Wharf.  Along the way, you can look out for many types of waterway birds, animals and insects, including dragonflies, damselflies, otters, water voles, Daubenton’s bats skimming over the water at dusk.  Soon after Rednal Railway Bridge, you’ll reach the canalside Queen’s Head pub near Owestry.  Then it’s the three Aston Locks before you reach Maesbury Marsh and the canalside Navigation Inn. You can turn at Crickheath Basin.

Wrenbury and back (26 miles, 20 locks, 17.5 hours)

Once you reach the Llangollen Canal main line, 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.  Soon after, you can moor up to explore 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.  Travelling on from Whitchurch, you’ll encounter the Grindley Brook Staircase Locks, often manned by a lock keeper.  The Sandstone Trail follows the canal for a while.  You’ll pass close by to the Waterfowl Sanctuary at Bradeley Green.  Soon after you’ll pass close to the village of Marbury with its charming Swan Inn and Big Mere and Little Mere lakes. Less than two miles later 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’s a Post Office with general stores and two pubs, the canalside Dusty Miller in a converted corn mill, and canalside The Cotton Arms.

To check availability and book click here or call us on 0117 304 1122.

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