WHITCHURCH AND RETURN FROM BLACKWATER MARINA
You can do this route from :
Blackwater Meadow Marina.
The Mere at Ellesmere is the largest and most spectacular of the nine glacial meres in North Shropshire. The Mere is surrounded by circular walks, woodlands and gardens and is a nature lover’s paradise.
Whitchurch is the northernmost market town in Shropshire sitting on the borders of south Cheshire and Wales. The town is 20 miles from Shrewsbury, Chester and Wrexham and can be reached by ‘A’ roads, train and canal. The Lands End to John O’Groats cycle routes pass through Whitchurch.
Beautiful countryside surrounds Whitchurch inviting everyone to sample the delights of strolling along the canal, cycling through country lanes and enjoying the fresh air. The town itself offers a wealth of independent shops, cafés, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.
As you leave the marina on the Llangollen Canal, you will first head towards Ellesmere Tunnel, which is only 87 yards long.
Heading towards the tunnel, you will see why Ellesmere is known as the 'mini Lake District', as you pass some of the Mere's at Ellesmere. The largest mere is to the west of the tunnel as you approach it. Immediately after the tunnel is Blake Mere, then Cole Mere to the east. These Mere's were formed during the Ice Age.
You will now be cruising through a remote and underpopulated area, with no sign of life for several miles, but there are some pretty bridges.
If you cruise for 1.5 hours to Hampton Bank Bridge you can find a pub in either direction along the B5063, The Sun Inn at Welshampton is 1.1 miles to the north and the Horse & Jockey at Northwood 1.1 miles to the south, a 20 minutes walk.
If you fancy a fry up, cruise through the tiny village of Bettisfield and onto the Prees Branch (turn right) through 2 lift bridges to Whixall marina, where you will find the Waterside cafe which is open from 9-5 (during the winter 9.30 to 4 pm) .
It is 1.5 hours to here from your mooring at Hampton Bridge.
Back onto the Llangollen Canal, opposite you is Whixall Moss, a local peat bog nature reserve, which in 1996 was declared a National Nature Reserve because of its importance to wildlife. The Marches Mosses are National Nature Reserves in North Shropshire. Collectively the mosses form the third largest lowland raised peat bog in the UK and the second-largest natural network of ponds and wetlands in England. Lowland raised peat bogs are one of the rarest habitats on earth.
Turn right to continue towards Whitchurch along the Llangollen canal.
The canal now gently wends its way towards Whitchurch through a series of more lift bridges, peaceful countryside, until you reach the entrance to the Whitchurch Arm, on your right, where you can moor up and walk about ½ mile if you want to have a look around Whitchurch.
From its elevated position in the centre of Whitchurch, St Alkmund's Church is well worth visiting. It was opened in 1713, and in 1951 it was designated a Grade I listed building.
In the town, you will find lots of lovely pubs, shops and cafes. Lots of the buildings are of Tudor style, giving this pretty market town a rather quaint feel to it.
The Black Bear is opposite St Alkmund's, so an ideal place to sit and people watch with a nice cool drink, and perhaps a meal if you've not yet eaten.
It is 3.5 hours to here from Hampton Bank Bridge
Day 3 Day 4
Make your way back to the Marina - 5 hours cruising
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
Sorry, we don't have any maps for this route currently
Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.