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The Llangollen Canal - A Canal Boat Holidays information article.

Marina(s) : Blackwater Meadow Marina, Whitchurch Marina, Wrenbury Mill

Length: 41 miles
Locks: 21
Tunnels: 2
Aqueducts: 2

Linked to: Shropshire Union, Montgomery Canal

Started in 1793 and originally know as the Ellesmere Canal the Llangollen Canal opened in 1805. It was used by the Narrowboat Companies to carry slate from nearby quarries to the growing cities in England. The Llangollen Wharf pleasure boat company was founded in 1884 and visitors can still enjoy the horse-drawn boat trips today.

Things of interest on route

Ellesmere – Know as the Shropshire Lakeland this traditional market town has a good mix of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian architecture. From the canal there are plenty of walks that will take you right along the Mere side or through the local nature reserve. In the spring and early summer visit the Heron Reserve and watch live close-up footage of the nesting birds and hatching chicks.

Horseshoe Fall - Designed by Thomas Telford in 1806 to supply water to the Llangollen canal. The falls were essential to the efficient operation of a complicated and heavily used canal network. Water was drawn off the fast flowing River Dee into the canal which acted principally as a feeder for the Ellesmere Canal. Today 6 million gallons a day are metered into the canal.

Chirk Tunnel- Construction began on the tunnel in 1794 and it is significant in being one of the first canal tunnels in Britain to incorporate a towpath. The tunnel was designed for the Ellesmere Canal Company by the engineers William Jessop and Thomas Telford

Chirk Aqueduct - Completed in 1801 and built by the architects and builders Thomas Telford and William Jessop. It has ten huge arches spanning the River Ceiriog. At a height of 70 feet the setting is most impressive as it is flanked by the higher railway viaduct.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – Crossing this in a narrowboat will give the effect of being suspended in mid-air. Built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop and opened in 1805 it spans the Dee Valley at a height of 125 feet high. In June 2009 it became a World Heritage site putting it on an equal footing with the Great Barrier Reef and Statue of Liberty.

Grindley Brook and Grindley Brook Locks – As the canal passes this pretty Shropshire village it climbs through the famous Grindley Brock Locks. The Locks attract visitors because of their stunning location and the village can supply you with all of your needs as it has in its centre shops and pubs

Places to visit

Llangollen, Anderton, Chester, Manchester, Whitchurch

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