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Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Christchurch, New...
Level Contributor
18 posts
5 reviews
Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Can anyone help me with a couple of questions.

We are looking at doing this canal in August 2017, with only 1 week available to us.

1. We would ideally like one way but cannot find anything. Has anyone used a company that hires one way charters?

2. If we ended up only doing Ellesmere to Llangollen return how long would you recommend it takes at a leisurely pace? i.e. is a week too long?

3. Does anyone have any recommendations on what company to use? is any better than the other.

4. Any thoughts/recommendations from people who have done the trip would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thank

Lynette

19 replies to this topic
Preston, United...
Level Contributor
5,760 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Lynette - there are companies that do one-way canal hire, but not any on the Llangollen canal that i know about.

From Ellesmere it's about 16 hours cruising to Llangollen and back, so a week's hire would be too long for that. You could add a trip down the Montgomery canal as well, which would add to both length and interest - it's a beautiful and very peaceful canal. In my opinion it's better than the Llangollen which will be very busy at peak season in August. Of course you can also go the other way on the canal to fill up a week as well.

There are other hire options further back along the canal which would give you a fuller week's cruise - Whitchurch and Wrenbury for example. All three options can be done with ABC. Black Prince, another well-respected company that used a number of times before we got our own boat, has a base at Chirk, which is even nearer the end of the canal at Llangollen, but again you can go the other way as well.

If you want any more ideas on alternatives please let me know.

UK
Destination Expert
for Chester
Level Contributor
4,115 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

John has covered the most salient points. The Llangollen, whilst a pleasant canal, is not the favourite of most boat owners if only because it gets so busy in the summer. Are you considering it for any special reason or because it seems to be the best known canal down under!?

There are lots of other canals many of which have one way or circular route options. If you want other suggestions let us know what you hope to see and do - scenery, canalside pubs, places for shore excursions ( historic or picturesque towns and villages, etc) lots of locks or very few/none - and we will do our best to advise you.

Preston, United...
Level Contributor
5,760 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Chesterbff - I think most people, and particularly overseas visitors, want to go on the Llangollen just to see and go over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. In truth the canal apart from the last few miles and the aqueduct is not the best in the country by some way and gets very busy in high season. I would suggest if visitors want to take a canal boat holiday and to see the aqueduct to go somewhere else for the boat holiday and then before or after nip over to have a look at the aqueduct separately.

Lynette - as Chesterbuff says just let us know what particularly interests you and we can provide some good suggestions e.g. urban or rural (or mix of both), pubs, scenery, walks or tourist visits off the boat.

Christchurch, New...
Level Contributor
18 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Thank you to you both for your comments. You are correct in assuming that the Aqueduct is the attraction for the men on the trip. The comment of it being 16 hours cruising is very helpful, as one option had been to do a 4 day hire but thought it wouldn't be long enough. Our main interest are scenery (like photography), food (local flair/pub) and walking, we are looking at this part of the trip as a relax and watch the world go by experience. We generally travel for 6 to 8 weeks when we come to the northern hemisphere, so need a little down time. The canal trip seemed like a good idea for this. Any suggestions on other canals are appreciated. The Montgomery canal looks like it would add to the trip, but I note that it is only open for a small distance as it is under restoration.

UK
Destination Expert
for Chester
Level Contributor
4,115 posts
17 reviews
5. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

If you just want a few days ' down time' then 4 days Ellesmere to Llangollen and back sounds a good option - scenic and interesting. We like Ellesmere and its mere and of course Llangollen is a lovely little town, though busy in the summer. No locks on that section either, which is a bonus if you just want relaxation..

For another relaxing lock free cruise consider the Lancaster Canal which goes very close to the coast, passes through some interesting places ( Lancaster, Carnforth, Garstang) and has good transport links to the Lakes and the coast if you fancy a short trip away from the boat.

Lots of other options too but wherever you choose you will have a great time. Canal cruising is addictive and those of us who own our own boats tend to be enthusiastic proponents of the pleasures of boating

Preston, United...
Level Contributor
5,760 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

The Lancaster canal is indeed a good idea if you want lock-free cruising, although there is the Glasson Dock branch with a few locks on it if you want. This can easily be a shorter break than a week as well. Have a look at crabtreenarrowboathire.com.

If you want something a bit more energetic then my personal favourite is the Caldon canal, which goes out to the east from Stoke into the edge of the Peak District - prettier overall than the Llangollen and blissfully quiet. Also a number of very fine pubs and a steam train line to enjoy. You could do this from the Black Prince base at Stoke or heritage narrowboats at Scholar Green - the latter route would give you a 1.75 mile tunnel as well. Both also give an opportunity to visit potteries in Stoke direct from the canal.

middle england
Destination Expert
for Leicestershire, Norfolk
Level Contributor
3,682 posts
64 reviews
7. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Another vote for the Caldon Canal from me!

UK
Destination Expert
for Chester
Level Contributor
4,115 posts
17 reviews
8. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Good to hear from you again Aardvark. I wondered where you had got to as you seem to have been leaving all the canal posts to John and myself recently

middle england
Destination Expert
for Leicestershire, Norfolk
Level Contributor
3,682 posts
64 reviews
9. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Thanks for that chesterbuff. I've been away recently and also I normally refrain from commenting on canals and rivers I'm not familiar with. I know I can count on you to cover these.Best wishes to you.

Christchurch, New...
Level Contributor
18 posts
5 reviews
10. Re: Canal boat on Llangollen Canal

Thanks to you all for your help, it's certainly given us something else to look at and made the cloudy waters a little clearer. We really just need a whole lot more time so we can explore more of the lovely countryside.

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