CHIRK AND RETURN FROM WHIXALL
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This very beautiful canal is one of the most popular Waterways in Europe, and includes the Chirk Aqueduct - another impressive structure built by Thomas Telford, and is 70 feet high, and beside it at 100 feet high is an impressive Viaduct built in 1848 to take the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway across the valley.
The Chirk Tunnel is 1,377 feet in length, and once through this you can moor up and walk to Chirk Castle, a 700 year old Castle managed by the National trust.
Whixall Marina is located at the end of the Press Branch, so when you leave the marina you will navigate a couple of lift bridges, then at the junction turn left onto the Llangollen Canal.
The canal meanders through some very remote countryside, peaceful with no villages for several miles, surrounded by woodlands, and crossing the border between England and Wales. As you approach the tiny village of Bettisfield, the canal winds left and right as you pass into Wales, and out again.
It is not far from Bettisfield to Greaves Bridge No. 52, where you can moor for the night if you wish.
You will have cruised for 4 miles in around 2 hours.
Today you will cruise as far as the far end of Chirk Tunnel, before turning around for the return journey.
Near you mooring is Cole Mere, where you will find Colemere Country Park. The Park is open from dawn to dusk, and dogs are welcome. There are benches at main viewpoints, picnic areas and toilets.
Moving on, you will soon approach Ellesmere Tunnel (87yds long), just after Blake Mere to your right, another of the mere's that give Ellesmere its name. The Tunnel emerges into open parkland with many oak trees alongside the canal.
Soon you will reach Ellesmere. If you want to stop for a while, you can turn onto the arm and moor up, and perhaps have lunch in a local pub such as The Black Lion, Red Lion or The Market Hotel.
Back on the main Llangollen Canal, the open countryside eventually gives way to Frankton Junction, after a very sharp bend in the canal between bridges 64 and 66.
Bear slightly right, staying on the Llangollen Canal, where it continues through quiet, green countryside, and soon will reach New Marton Locks, where the canal starts to climb. These will be the last locks on the way to Llangollen.
Just beyond the locks and New Marton Bridge No. 12, on a gently left hand curve, is St Martin's Moor Bridge No. 13, where you can moor for the night if you wish.
You have cruised 10 miles and navigated 2 locks in just over 4½ hours.
Leaving the mooring, you will now approach the hills and mountains of Wales, of which the navigation cuts into halfway up the side of a hill, and as you round the corner you will see Chirk Aqueduct, accompanied alongside by the railway viaduct.
The Chirk Aqueduct is another impressive structure built by Thomas Telford, and is 70 feet high, and beside it at 100 feet high is an impressive Viaduct built in 1848 to take the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway across the valley.
Once over the Aqueduct, you will immediately enter Chirk Tunnel. The Chirk Tunnel is 1,377 feet in length.
At the far end of the tunnel you will need to turn around to make the return journey. When you have done this, you might like to moor up (there are good moorings at the north end) and visit Chirk. The town is set on top of a hill that overlooks the Wales/England border. A town trail has been devised in order for visitors to make the most of their visit. You might also like to visit Chirk Castle, a 700 year old Castle complete with dungeons !! which is owned by the National Trust.
To find the castle, follow the road westwards from the north end of the tunnel, to the gates.
You will then need to start making your way back to Whixall Marina, in order to return the boat by 9.30am tomorrow.
* DAY 1: daylight permitting, you can cruise further and adjust your overnight moorings to suit.
NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.
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Maps and Guides
Pubs available on this canal route:-
|Pub Name||Pub Address||Distance from Whixall||More Info|
|The Lion Quays||Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, Shrops SY11 3EN||12.17 Miles||Full Details|
NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.