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


You can do this route from :
Whitchurch Marina

Cruise along the Llangollen canal, through the Grindley Brook staircase locks to the Roman town of Nantwich on the Shropshire Union Canal.

You can extend your cruise to take in the chilling Hack Green secret Nuclear Bunker.

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.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 4 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 5.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 21.00 hours

Total Distance : 33.00 miles

Number of Locks : 38

Number of Tunnels : 0

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

We also have the cruising notes available for download in PDF (acrobat Reader)

Download our cruising notes.





Cruising Notes

Day 1

From Whitchurch marina turn north and you will soon reach the Whitchurch arm which is a little cul de sac canal leading to the town of Whitchurch.
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.

You can moor up just past the locks for the night as it is 2 hours cruising to here.

The Horse & Jockey pub is near the bottom lock.

Day 2

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.
The lift bridge at Wrenbury is a push button, and you will need to close the road off with the gates.

There are 3 locks at Baddiley but apart from that the countryside is flat, rich farmland.

You can moor up 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 at Hurleston junction onto the Shropshire Union Canal, Nantwich will soon be off to your left, the Canalbasin is busy, the old canalside cheese warehouses are still in existence.
Good access to the town is near Nantwich aqueduct.

It is 8.5 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.

Day 3

Turn your boat just before Nantwich pipe Bridge which is to the south of Nantwich if not going on to the Secret Bunker.
If you would like to extend your cruise to take in the Hack Green Secret Bunker cruise south to just before Hack Green locks & turn here. Walk past the Locks to Bridge 85, the Bunker is closeby along the path to your left.

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. Tel 01270 629219.

It is 40 minutes each way to here from Nantwich.

Day 4
Day 5

It is just under 11 hours back to the marina at Whitchurch, so cruise for 6 hours one day & 5 the next.


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)

Agnar (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Baldrik (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Black Headed Bunting (Sleeps a maximum of 5 People).

Black Headed Gull (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Cedrik (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Gefion (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Grays Lark (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Great Crested Grebe (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Grith (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Hooded Warbler (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Long Tailed Duck (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Lucy's Warbler (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Night Heron (Sleeps a maximum of 5 People).

Ragnar (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Rock Wren (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Siberian Thrush (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Torbern (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Pubs available on this canal route:-

  Pub Name Pub Address Distance from Whitchurch More Info
The Black Bear 49 High Street, Whitchurch SY13 1AZ 1.01 Miles Full Details
The Horse And Jockey Grindley Brook, Whitchurch SY13 4QJ 1.09 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
The Cotton Arms Cholmondeley Road, Wrenbury CW5 8HG 5.76 Miles Full Details
The Dusty Miller Cholmondeley Road, Nantwich CW5 8HG 5.76 Miles Full Details
The Olde Jack Inn The Olde Jack Inn Calverhall, Whitchurch SY13 4PA 5.34 Miles Full Details
The Farmers Arms Ravensmoor, Nantwich CW5 8PN 8.33 Miles Full Details
The Star Inn Chester Road CW5 8LD 9.74 Miles Full Details
The Black Lion Welsh Row, Nantwich CW5 5ED 10.28 Miles Full Details
The Boot And Shoe 82 Hospital Street, Nantwich CW5 5RP 10.39 Miles Full Details
The Cheshire Cat 26 Welsh Row, Nantwich CW5 5ED 10.28 Miles Full Details
The Globe 100 Audlem Road, Nantwich CW5 7EA 10.20 Miles Full Details
The Shakespeare 35 Bean Street, Nantwich CW5 5NA 10.45 Miles Full Details
The Vine Inn Hospital Street, Nantwich CW5 5RP 10.39 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.