Route Info | Boats | Map overview of route | Cruising Notes | Maps & Guides | Links | Pub Guide


You can do this route from :
Whitchurch Marina.

Whitchurch Marina



This lock free cruise takes you pass the famous Meres- or lakes made durung the Ice Age to the 18th century Market town of Ellesmere.
Ideal for novices and a very pleasant rural cruise with beautiful scenery.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 3 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 4.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 11.00 hours

Total Distance : 23.00 miles

Number of Locks : 0

Number of Tunnels : 2

Number of Aqueducts : 0

Read the Cruising Notes

Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holiday

Read our cruising notes.


Download the Cruising Notes

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Download our cruising notes.





Cruising Notes

Day 1

By the time you've checked in and stashed all your belongings and provisions, watched the training video and had your training, time will be passing, and it might be worthwhile getting supplies in Whitchurch and finding a nice pub or restaurant in the town and stay there for the night. You can moor up along the Whitchurch arm, by turning right from the marina and cruising north and take the right fork and moor along there. It is about a 15 minutes walk into the town.

Day 2

Head south towards Ellesmere.

Pass the marina again, the countryside is typically quiet and pretty.

At bridge 43 in the village of Platt Lane,

Continue your cruise and you will shortly reach Whixall Moss, a raised bog with rare insect and plant life, but there might be mosquitoes as well! The bog was also formed during the Ice Age. There are walks & cycle routes over Whixall Moss, see leaflets near bridges 44 & 45.

There is a lovely lift bridge at bridge 45.

The canal branches away to your left but Prees Branch only leads to a nature reserve & a marina, so keep right.

The canal passes into England and then into Wales, going backwards & forwards past a remote and unpopulated area. At bridge 48 is the small village of Bettisfield, there is a stores here & off-licence.

Soon the open countryside gives way to more hilly wooded landscape as you start to pass through the Meres that make this area famously called the mini Lake District.
Cole Mere is the first on your left, then Blake Mere further on your right. The largest Mere is by Ellesmere itself, you can walk to it from Bridge 57 just after the short Ellesmere Tunnel. The Meres were carved out during the Ice Age.

You will soon be approaching Ellesmere, and a fine old warehouse and small canalside crane, and old canal company offices, testify to the canal trading that used to be carried out from here.

Ellesmere is a busy 18th century market town with delightful pubs and restaurants, also a variety of shops and a Co-op. Moor up the end of the Ellesmere Arm a canal branch to your right if you would like to take a look.

It takes 5.5 cruising hours to get to here from Whitchurch, so enough time to explore the Meres & the lovely town of Ellesmere.

Day 3
Day 4
Cruise back to Whitchurch.


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.


The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)

Sorry, we can't display boats for this route currently.

Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Pubs available on this canal route:-

  Pub Name Pub Address Distance from Whitchurch More Info
The Anchor Inn Pepper Street, Whitchurch SY13 1BG 0.99 Miles Full Details
The Black Bear 49 High Street, Whitchurch SY13 1AZ 1.01 Miles Full Details
The White Bear High Street, Whitchurch SY13 1AR 1.03 Miles Full Details
The Blue Bell Tushingham, Whitchurch SY13 4QS 2.75 Miles Full Details
The Willeymoor Lock Tavern Tarporley Road, Whitchurch SY13 4HF 2.39 Miles Full Details
The Swan Wrenbury Road, Marbury, Whitchurch SY13 4LS 3.55 Miles Full Details
The Dog And Bull Coton, Whitchurch SY13 2RA 4.41 Miles Full Details
Bear And Billet Bear And Billet 94 Lower Bridge Street, Chester CH1 1RU 16.91 Miles Full Details
Alexanders Bar Alexanders Bar Rufus Court, Northgate Street, Chester CH1 2JW 17.39 Miles Full Details
The White Hart Birch Road, Ellesmere SY10 0ET 30.88 Miles Full Details

NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.


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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.