Crest Canal Guides
57 Miles with 4 Locks, a 1 Week Cruise at 6hrs a Day.
Leaving Chirk Marina and travelling first to Llangollen you soon enter Whitehurst Tunnel (191 yards), where you will sense the flow as your boat slows down dramatically. You then enter pleasant cruising and pass the remains of lime kilns before gaining sight in the distance of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which stands 126 feet above the River Dee.
The canal then makes a sharp left turn under a bridge to enter the route to Llangollen where it shares a ledge above the A539 road. This area is very narrow and it is advisable to have someone walk ahead from Bridge 41w to check that the canal is clear.
In Llangollen is the basin with all facilities for water, etc. for each mooring. The town is a walk down hill and a popular tourist destination.
On your return after passing Chirk Marina you enter Chirk cuttings which leads directly into Chirk Tunnel (440 yds), 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. Short breaks would turn back here and head back to Chirk.
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. Weekly hirers would turn around at Whitchurch and make their way back to Chirk.