Canal Holidays Masthead

Canal Holidays guide to the Llangollen Canal

The Llangollen Canal is considered the most beautiful waterway in the country.

It includes the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, one of the wonders of the canals, and is noted for its many lift bridges.

The full length of the canal is a week's cruise full of contrasts, from the staircase locks at Grindley Brook to Shropshire's mini lakes around Ellesmere, from the rolling plains of Cheshire to the hills and mountain scenery around Llangollen.

Distance, Time, and Locks

90 miles, about 40 hours cruising, 42 locks. A pleasant week, and a favourite with both new and experienced canal boaters.

Canal and railway bridges traversing the Ceiriog Valley

For those seeking a gentle week, the 30 mile long canal section between Llangollen and Whitchurch includes only 2 locks. Short breaks are available.

Cruising the Canal

From the eastern end of the canal cruise through rural scenery past Wrenbury village to Grindley Brook and the market town of Whitchurch.

Traverse the remote Whixall Moss peat bog into the little known Shropshire Lake District and past some of its seven Meres to the unspoilt small country town of Ellesmere.

After Ellesmere the canal continues past farmland and open country to Chirk and through the Chirk Tunnel, with Chirk Castle close by. Cross from England into Wales over the Chirk Aqueduct then cruise on to Thomas Telford's breathtaking Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte aqueduct

It carries the canal in an iron trough 1,000 feet across the River Dee at a height of 120 feet.

The canal hugs the steep sides of the Dee valley with superb panoramic views before entering Llangollen on a high embankment.

Places of Interest

The journey North from the famous Potcysyllte Aqueduct

Grindley Brook staircase locks
Ellesmere and lakes
Chirk aqueduct: tunnel, and castle
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Llangollen: interesting town with restaurants, pubs, and shops, famous for its International Music Eisteddfod held annually in July.
Horse drawn trip boat to the start of the canal at the Horseshoe Falls. Steam railway, motor museum.

Possible Holidays

One Week
The whole canal length makes a good one week holiday. Mooring close to Llangollen has improved with the construction of a new marina moorings.

Short Breaks
Mid-week and weekend breaks are available from all Holidays in the UK Bases on the Llangollen Canal except Base 22.

Historic Chester may be reached in a midweek break from Base 19 or on a short break from Base 18.

Longer Holidays
In a two week trip the Llangollen Canal can be combined with the Four Counties or Cheshire Rings, or can be extended with a visit to Chester, famous for its city walls and historic Rows.


Narrowboat bases on the Llangollen Canal

Click on a boat base below for more information and possible routes from that base.

Base 19 near Nantwich
Base 20 near Llangollen
Base 21 near Whittington
Base 22 near Llangollen
Base 23 near Llangollen


Customer Comments

One of the many lift bridges on the Llangollen canal

Read what some of our previous clients say about the London Circuit.

"Once we were out of London it became very picturesque and there were plenty of nice pubs to keep us entertained on the way. The weather was fantastic - the best weekend of the year so far!"
LS, USA

"We loved seeing London from a boat and found Camden Lock with its pubs and markets particularly nice. The canal tunnels were fun!"
JH, USA

"We were lucky enough to catch the right tide to go up the River Thames past the Houses of Parliament. A real treat."
KT, USA

"For us from Switzerland it was a bonus to spend time in central London."
PB, Switzerland

Blue Water Holidays
Association of Cruise Experts
Canal Holidays, Bowers Wharf, Skipton, BD23 2PD, United Kingdom