NANTWICH AND RETURN FROM BLACKWATER
You can do this route from :
Blackwater Meadow Marina.
Cruise through the mini Lake District around Ellesmere along the Llangollen Canal to the roman town of Nantwich.
If you want to spend a day or so at Ellesmere, there are some lovely castles & stately homes within a short drive:
If you base yourself at Ellesmere on the first or last few days, Powis castle is only 25 miles away by car (30 minutes), this is the home to the Earls of Powis, and was built by the Welsh Princes in medieval times.
Also only about 30 minutes away from Ellesmere is another National Trust property- an 18th century Regency mansion.
Also visit Hack Green secret Nuclear Bunker -The Bunker is described as a unique and exciting day out, discovering the secret world of Nuclear government, as the bunker would have become home to the select few in the event of a Nuclear strike. It is too sinister for some, but it is the chance to see the underground paraphernalia required to support existence in the face of a nuclear holocaust;.
Turn left out of the marina & and soon you will see why this area is known as the mini Lake District, as you pass some of Ellesmere's Meres (lakes). The largest mere is off to the north just before Ellesmere Tunnel, but after the tunnel you pass the small Blake Mere, then off to your right is Cole Mere. The Meres were carved out during the Ice Age.
The canal now passes through a very remote and underpopulated area, passing no villages for miles.
There is a lovely lift bridge past the Press Branch canal junction (keep left the canal to your right is a dead end)
Just past the lift bridge is 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.
It is 3 hours 20 minutes cruising to here & a good place to stop for the night.
Another lift bridge is encountered at Bridge 42, and the Canal weaves its way through the quiet countryside until it reaches the town of Whitchurch, which is preceded by two lift bridges at 34 and 33. Another lift bridge marks the entrance to the Whitchurch Arm of the Canal, where you can moor to take the ½ mile walk to visit the town centre.
It is 2 hours cruising to here from Platt lane bridge 43
Whitchurch is an old town dating from the Roman times and has some beautiful old houses of all periods in the town centre. There are lots of splendid pubs in the town, and shops & a swimming pool.
Worth a visit is St Alkmunds Church, built in 1713 on a hill, it has a stunning interior and is on a grand scale.
Leaving Whitchurch you travel up to the Grindley Brook Locks, these famous staircase locks have made this a canal monument.
The 3 staircase locks are closely followed by 3 more locks, a friendly lock-keeper is on hand to help from April-Oct 8.30 am to 18.30.
By the Locks is the Lockside Stores, selling local produce and with tea & coffee & snacks served in the adjacent cafe, which has internet access.
The Canal travels again through quiet countryside only interrupted by the occasional lock- the 2nd of which has a Pub called the Willeymoor Lock tavern, formally the Lock keepers cottage, it contains some fine Canal paintings.
½ mile south from Marbury Lock is the enchanting village of Marbury.
Further on is the village on Wrenbury, access can be reached from Bridge 20 or 19, about a ¼ mile walk. There are some thatched magpie cottages around the village green.
The Dusty Miller pub is by the Lift bridge and the Cotton Arms is just down the road from the Bridge.
It is just over 5 hours cruising from Whitchurch to here.
From Wrenbury marina you will soon encounter a Lift bridge, if it is down you need to get your windlass out and let someone off the boat to open it up.
There are 3 locks at Baddiley but apart from that the countryside is flat, rich farmland.
You can moor up for refreshment after a couple of hours cruising by Halls lane bridge 12, and take the track to Ravensmoor where you will find the Farmers Arms serving real ale & meals.
There are 2 locks at Swanley but no more until you reach the end of the Llangollen canal at Hurleston, where there are 4 in quick succession. Hurleston reservoir is off to the left.
Turn right down the Shropshire Union canal at Hurleston Junction.
Nantwich will soon be off to your right, the Canalbasin is busy, the old canalside cheese warehouses are still in existence.
It is 5 hours cruising to here
Nantwich has been prosperous since Roman time because of its Salt springs. The town in in fine Tudor style, the Cheshire cat inn is an interesting building. Nantwich museum in Pillory Street gives an insight into the life and times of an historic market town. The Players Theatre in Love lane, has regular productions throughout the year. There are numerous pubs and restaurants and shops etc in this busy market town.
If you want to extend the cruise to visit the Secret Bunker at Hack Green, continue on down the canal past Nantwich.
The rural countryside continues and you can moor up by Bridge 85 to get the the Secret Bunker.
The Bunker is described as a unique and exciting day out, discovering the secret world of Nuclear government, as the bunker would have become home to the select few in the event of a Nuclear strike. It is too sinister for some, but it is the chance to see the underground paraphernalia required to support existence in the face of a nuclear holocaust. See website Tel 01270 629219.
After visiting the Bunker you might like to cruise onto the village of Audlem, which is a well kept canalside village with a few pubs and stores.
You can turn around just before Moss hall bridge 79 just before the village.
It is 2.5 hours each way from Nantwich to Audlem.
Cruise back to Blackwater
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.
Maps and Guides
Pubs available on this canal route:-
|Pub Name||Pub Address||Distance from Blackwater||More Info|
|The Red Lion||18 Church Street, Ellesmere SY12 0HD||0.40 Miles||Full Details|
|The Dog And Bull||Coton, Whitchurch SY13 2RA||7.87 Miles||Full Details|
|The Black Bear||49 High Street, Whitchurch SY13 1AZ||9.76 Miles||Full Details|
|The Horse And Jockey||Grindley Brook, Whitchurch SY13 4QJ||9.27 Miles||Full Details|
|The White Bear||High Street, Whitchurch SY13 1AR||9.76 Miles||Full Details|
|The Blue Bell||Tushingham, Whitchurch SY13 4QS||10.34 Miles||Full Details|
|The Willeymoor Lock Tavern||Tarporley Road, Whitchurch SY13 4HF||10.63 Miles||Full Details|
|The Swan||Wrenbury Road, Marbury, Whitchurch SY13 4LS||12.22 Miles||Full Details|
|The Cotton Arms||Cholmondeley Road, Wrenbury CW5 8HG||14.47 Miles||Full Details|
|The Dusty Miller||Cholmondeley Road, Nantwich CW5 8HG||14.47 Miles||Full Details|
|The Farmers Arms||Ravensmoor, Nantwich CW5 8PN||17.03 Miles||Full Details|
|The Globe||100 Audlem Road, Nantwich CW5 7EA||18.99 Miles||Full Details|
|The Star Inn||Chester Road CW5 8LD||18.37 Miles||Full Details|
|The Black Lion||Welsh Row, Nantwich CW5 5ED||19.01 Miles||Full Details|
|The Boot And Shoe||82 Hospital Street, Nantwich CW5 5RP||19.14 Miles||Full Details|
|The Cheshire Cat||26 Welsh Row, Nantwich CW5 5ED||19.01 Miles||Full Details|
|The Shakespeare||35 Bean Street, Nantwich CW5 5NA||19.18 Miles||Full Details|
|The Vine Inn||Hospital Street, Nantwich CW5 5RP||19.14 Miles||Full Details|
|The White Hart||Birch Road, Ellesmere SY10 0ET||22.33 Miles||Full Details|
NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.