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Making the most of your boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Boat trips across the Poncysyllte Aqueduct

Ways to make the most of your trip across ‘The Stream in the Sky’ in North Wales

One of our Little Star Pontcysyllte Aqueduct trip boat skippers and commentary providers describes some of the highlights of the trip and ways to make the most of a visit to this UNESCO world heritage site.

Our Little Star trip boat takes passengers across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales, to experience incredible views across the beautiful Dee Valley.

What are the journey highlights?

Probably the most breath-taking moment is just as you pass the Ash trees on the right of the aqueduct and suddenly a panoramic view of the Dee Valley and the beautiful 17th century Cysylltau Bridge, known locally as ‘The Bont’ opens up beneath you. Meanwhile, on the other side the magnificent Cefn Railway viaduct is coming into view; if you’re lucky, you’ll see a train going across the Viaduct! People also find the process of turning the 70ft trip boat fascinating and seeing the lift bridge in operation.

Personally, I’ve got a soft spot for the Fron (pronounced ‘Vron’) Embankment just over the other side of the aqueduct.  It’s a surreal structure made from the spoil excavated when the canal tunnels were built, now lined with trees home to many types of birds, including gold crests, woodpeckers, nut hatches and chaffinches.

Birds fly beneath you!

Crossing the aqueduct as often as I do, you’d have thought you might start taking it all for granted; but one thing that always brings me back into the moment as I’m guiding boats across the aqueduct is the jackdaws that roost under the arches. Often they’ll swoop out from underneath the boat as we are driving along. Birds flying underneath boats, suspended 126 feet above a roaring river. If that ever feels ‘normal’ then I’ll know it’s time to find a new job!

What else can I do when I visit Pontcysyllte Aqueduct?

As well as seeing the aqueduct and the spectacular views of the Dee Valley from the trip boat, people love to experience crossing it on foot, and to enjoy a meal or a drink at the Aqueduct Inn perched up the hill overlooking the canal in Froncysyllte.

The Pontcysyllte Chapel Tea Rooms at Trevor Basin do excellent breakfasts, lunches and cream teas so it’s well worth planning a visit there too.

You can also walk down the steps to the bottom of the valley to see the Aqueduct from below, which really brings home the scale of the structure and the achievements of the canal engineers.

Another option is to head up the hill to the fascinating historic village of Cefn Mawr to see the aqueduct from above. Once the site of iron works, coal mines and brick and tile works, it’s full of little alleyways, steps and stair cases and there some great viewpoints looking out across the valley, with glimpses of the Aqueduct.

Parking at the site

The best place to park to enjoy one our boat trips and visit the Canal & River Trust’s Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Visitor Centre is the public ‘pay and display’ car park at Acrefair, Wrexham, LL14 3SG.  The car park is open daily from 8am to 8pm.

Make sure you put the car park postcode in your Sat Nav or Google maps, rather than simply ‘Pontcysyllte Aqueduct’ to ensure you arrive in the right place

When do the boat trips run?

From 29 March until 30 October 2024 trips depart daily at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm from Canal Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen LL20 7TT.

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is closed from 2nd January 2024 and reopens in the Spring.

How do I book a boat trip aboard Little Star?

For more information about Little Star and to book ahead, go to Little Star – Anglo Welsh Ltd or call us on 0117 304 1122.

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School children enjoyed boat trip across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Wrexham school children enjoy boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

On Thursday 9 November a class of Year 4 and 5 pupils from St Anne’s Catholic Primary School in Wrexham enjoyed a boat trip aboard our ‘Little Star’ (‘Seren Fach’) trip boat.

The 45-minute boat trip took them along the Llangollen Canal and across the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

The famous aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal 38 metres above the Dee Valley.

Our knowledgeable team provided commentary on board, so the children were able to learn about the aqueduct and the history of the Llangollen Canal as they cruised gently along.

Rebecca Hughes, a teacher at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, said:

“The children had a lovely time on Seren Fach. The tour guide was fantastic – so enthusiastic and bubbly and the children really engaged with her.

“We were given lots of information that was pitched just right for the age of the children. What an amazing experience to cross the aqueduct on such a lovely boat. Diolch yn fawr!”

Anglo Welsh is offering free boat trips to local schools in November and December.

‘Little Star’ offers space for up to 48 passengers and over the winter, public trips are running at weekends only.

For more information about Little Star and to book tickets, go to https://www.anglowelsh.co.uk/little-star/ or call our bookings office on 0117 304 1122.

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Celebrate the King’s Coronation with a boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Little Star trip boat crossing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Across all three May bank holiday weekends, including the King’s Coronation weekend (6-8 May), our ‘Little Star’ trip boat will be operating five trips a day, offering the chance to enjoy skippered cruises across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

Also known as ‘The Stream in the Sky’, at 300 metres long and 39 metres high, the awesome Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.

Opening in 1805, it took over 500 men and 10 years to build, using wooden scaffolding and simple cranes.

In 2009 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, putting it on a par with the pyramids in Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India.

Our ‘Little Star’ daily boat trips across the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct offer the chance to cruise across this incredible structure and to experience amazing views across the Dee Valley, and make some fantastic family memories celebrating the King’s Coronation weekend.

Our knowledgeable team provides commentary on board about the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Llangollen Canal, which is a great way to learn more about the fascinating history of the site as you cruise gently along.

Trips depart daily at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm from Canal Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen LL20 7TT.

‘Little Star’ (‘Seren Fach’ in Welsh) offers space for up to 48 passengers. Adult tickets are priced at £10 each, children (aged under 16) are priced at £6.  Family tickets for two adults and two children are priced at £25 each.  Refreshments are available to purchase on board, including hot and cold drinks.

For more information and to book in advance, visit www.anglowelsh.co.uk/little-star, or call us on 0117 304 1122.

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Best canal boat holiday routes for Winter 2022

Best winter canal boat holiday routes

We have a range of narrowboats to choose from this winter, including cosy two-berths and twelve-berths fit for a party on the canal. Whilst all of our canal boats have central heating and hot water, some have the added advantage of a multi-fuel stove, perfect for keeping warm and toasty during the colder months. With WiFi, a TV and a DVD player on every boat, you can spend your evening relaxing onboard, if you’re not too busy enjoying a canal side pub or three!

Ice Skating in Bath

Mooring close to Pulteney Bridge, you can enjoy everything the beautiful city of Bath has to offer including ice skating in Royal Victoria Park! You can reach the World Heritage city within just a few hours from our Bath base on the Kennet & Avon canal. First you cruise along a section of the Avon Valley and then onwards through a flight of six locks. If you’re not feeling festive, there’s much more to explore, including the Roman Baths and Medieval Bath Abbey.

Skiing in Etruria

On a seven-night holiday from our Great Haywood base, you can make it to Etruria where you can spend a day on the slopes at Stoke Ski Centre. Travelling north up the Trent & Mersey canal, stopping off at the canal town of Stone and the village of Barlaston, you’ll pass through eighteen locks before mooring up to enjoy a family day out. If you’re not up for testing out your skiing skills, there’s much more to do in the area, including Waterworld Aqua Park.

Shakespeare Country

If you fancy a tour of cosy country pubs, this is doable on a short break from our base in Wootton Wawen. On a picturesque six-hour cruise through the picturesque Warwickshire countryside, you can reach Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon Avon. Mooring up at Bancroft Basin, you can enjoy the historic town and its many pubs, restaurants and cafes.

The Stream in the Sky

Our base at Trevor sits on the doorstep of the world famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, so this is easily doable on a short break or even a day hire! On a short break, canal boat holiday-makers can cruise to Ellesmere, in the centre of the Shropshire Lake District, to visit the famous Mere, a haven for wildlife.

If you don’t have time for a boating break, but want to get into the Christmas spirit, our trip boat “Little Star” is offering festive trips across the aqueduct from 10th-24th December. All children aboard will receive a small gift, from our special guest Mary Christmas! With the chance to win a free dayboat, you won’t want to miss out.

Ice Skating in Birmingham

City Centre moorings are just a five-hour, lock-free cruise away from our base at Tardebigge, so why not enjoy some ice skating and a ride on the big wheel in Birmingham? With a German Christmas Market, this is the perfect short break to get you in the Christmas mood!

Our dayboat Emma is also available to book overnight, so provides the perfect excuse for a last-minute winter getaway.

Visit Beeston Castle in Chester

Starting your journey at our base in Bunbury, head north-west through beautiful, peaceful countryside all the way to the village of Beeston. Here you can find the English Heritage site of Beeson Castle which is situated on top of a steep hill (make sure to bring your walking boots with you!). The impressive ruin dates back to the fourteenth century and can be visited by mooring up at bridge 107. Continuing along you’ll eventually spot the spires in Chester; there’s time for a visit if you moor up at bridge 123D and take a short walk into the city centre. Here you can enjoy Chester Cathedral before starting your return journey to Bunbury.

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We’ve launched a new trip boat at Trevor!

Carl Cowlishaw, Anglo Welsh’s operations manager, announces the arrival of Anglo Welsh’s new trip boat service on the Llangollen Canal from Trevor Basin, in North Wales, offering visitors the chance to cruise across The Stream in the Sky.

We are thrilled to announce the latest addition to our narrowboat fleet at Trevor – our newly refurbished trip boat ‘Seren Fach’, or ‘Little Star’ in English.

We’ve been operating self-drive holiday narrowboats and day boats from Trevor for many years, and now we can also offer visitors to Trevor the chance to enjoy a skippered boat trip on the Llangollen Canal.

The 45-minute return trips take people across the incredible World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, towering 126 feet high with amazing views across the Dee Valley, making it an exciting and unforgettable experience.

Our knowledgeable team provide commentary on board, so passengers can learn more about the historical significance of the Llangollen Canal as they cruise gently along.

Departure times

Seren Fach’ is now operating at weekends and on selected weekdays in the season, with the first trip departing at 11am, and the last at 3.30pm, seating up to 48 passengers.

Tickets prices

Adult tickets are priced at £10 each, children (aged under 16) are priced at £6.  Family tickets for two adults and two children are priced at £25 each.  Cash or card payments are accepted.

Refreshments are available to purchase on board, so visitors can relax with a hot or cold drink, or an ice-cream while enjoying stunning views across the Dee Valley.

No booking is required and the trips are subject to availability.  ‘Seren Fach’ is operating from Canal Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen LL20 7TT. Tel. 01978 821749.

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