Crest Canal Guides
112 Miles with 70 Locks, a 1 Week Cruise at 9hrs a Day.
Weekly Hire, or a more Leisurely Fortnight.
Leaving Chirk Marina and heading South, you enter Chirk cuttings which leads directly into the Chirk Tunnel (440 yards), then immediately onto Chirk Aqueduct which crosses the River Ceirog which forms the Wales and England Border. After passing some quite narrow sections, the canal opens up and you enter St Martins moor before reaching New Marton Locks, (2 locks about 1/4 mile apart).
The canal then passes through open cuttings until it reaches Frankton Junction where the Montgomery Canal joins from the right. (People wanting to experience the tranquility of the Montgomery would exit here having previously contacted with CRT (Canal & River Trust) to arrange passage through the Frankton Locks).
Continuing along the Llangollen it passes through an agricultural area before reaching the market town of Ellesmere where there are ample moorings and a Tesco store adjacent to the canal. The town has much to offer in the way of shops and refreshment houses. At the junction of the town arm stands the maintenance yard and buildings of the CRT.
Carrying on the Llangollen Canal brings more pleasant countryside before reaching Ellesmere Tunnel (100 yds), followed by the lovely Shropshire Lake District where there are pleasant moorings. After a short period you reach Whixall Mosses Nature Reserve. The canal bends left at Prees Junction where the original route was intended to make towards Shrewsbury. This never developed and the arm now leads only to Whixall Marina.
More pleasant countryside follows in rural settings until reaching Whitchurch, where the arm originally went into the town itself, filled in, in the late 1940’s this is only now a 200 yard stretch.
Leaving Whitchurch the canal soon reaches Grindley Brook. Here the staircase locks are usually controlled by lock keepers. At busy times quite lengthy delays can be encountered here. The staircase leads to three more locks in close proximity. More rural areas and more locks spaced further apart follow. The next village is Marbury situated about 1/2 mile from Marbury Lock and is a very pleasant setting. The canal continues to Wrenbury where a lift bridge over a busy road has to be opened using a BWB/CRT key. Wrenbury Village is about 1/4 mile from the canal passing 2 pubs.
More countryside follows passing through Baddeley locks (3) and Swanley locks (2). Burland village comes next, soon afterwards you reach the final four locks which drop down to Hurleston Junction and the main line.
Turning left at the junction leads towards Chester but first comes Barbridge where a pleasant pub is canalside and a short distance further you reach Barbridge Junction. Continuing ahead the canal passes Industrial units before reaching Calveley where there is a CRT services base. The area then becomes more rural and you soon arrive at Bunbury locks where there is a small staircase.
The next place on the map is Beeston famed for its auction market and castle ruins. Pleasant cruising follows for about 3 hours before reaching the fringes of Chester at Christleton. From this point the canal is much busier and we advise to moor near the Cheshire cat and to go into the city using the park and ride bus service which operates nearby. There is a turning point at bridge 121.
To continue into the city involves more locks but to go part way, there is another turning point near bridge 123D. Please remember that mooring in the city can be very noisy.