The Spectacular Llangollen Canal…
Arguably the most famous feature of the Llangollen Canal is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009, which towers 126ft above the River Dee. There is also a second aqueduct at nearby Chirk which carries the Canal 70ft above the river Ceiriog. Attractions at Chirk also include the Chirk Tunnel, Chirk village with its 12th century church and Chirk Castle, completed in 1310.
The Eisteddfod town of Llangollen is divided by the spectacular River Dee. The town centre is largely Victorian so expect to see traditional stores like candle making accompanied by great pubs serving real ales, cider and food. Attractions nearby include a motor museum, canal exhibition and Victorian School.
Drift silently through the Welsh mountains on a 45 minute trip from Llangollen Wharf in a horse drawn boat. The water is clear as it flows straight from the River Dee. Alternatively, take the 16 mile round trip through the mountains to the quaint village of Carrog by steam train, which run regularly during the summer from the river.
Our Recommendations…..The Llangollen is a canal of two halves. The eastern side, incorporating the bases at Whitchurch & wrenbury or blackwater, is more rural & offers the greatest number of locks – perfect for the active family. The western side by contrast is almost lock free & contains the main tourist attractions.
Short Breaks……The bases at Chirk, Trevor & Whittington are ideally situated right in the heart of the aqueducts & offer a perfect weekend break.
A week’s cruising….. from Whitchurch or wrenbury or blackwater on the Llangollen Canal or Bunbury, Swanley Bridge & Nantwich on the Shropshire Union Canal will also be suitable to visit the aqueducts.
The Historic Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal…
If you’ve never visited the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, now is the perfect time to go. The canal – dating back over two hundred years – meanders its way through picturesque Welsh countryside from Pontypool to Brecon town centre, covering 36 miles and 6 locks. Expect to spot kites, herons and kingfishers in between visits to local country villages and canal-side pubs.
This canal promises a very tranquil and laid back boating holiday, ideal for beginners and experienced boaters alike. Much of the canal follows the River Usk and is within the Brecon Beacons National Park, making it a great escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Relics of the industrial revolution are still visible in many places, with old coal mines, lime kilns and abandoned tram line remains dotted along the waterways, as well as a beautiful aqueduct dating back to 1812.
The base at Gilwern has started a canal boat revolution; the marina has introduced electric boats to the fleet. These super quiet electric motors can cover 18 miles in a single charge. Recharging is simple – there are lots of recharging points along the Canal, at which you can hook your boat up and simply switch the power on.
Our Recommendations…..From one end of this isolated canal at Brecon town to centre to the other at Pontypool, offers peaceful views full of meandering cruising through valleys and countryside villages. Crickhowell is a great Georgian town to visit, situated near both the Goytre and Gilwern marinas. Explore the historic village with a historic castle and sample the exellent food in the village centre.
Short Breaks……The base at Gilwern provides a easily achievable weekend trip to Talybont-on-Usk and return. This route allows you to cruise further up the canal through the five locks at Llangynidr and through the Ashford Tunnel. From this village you can spot the old lime kilns dotted up the hillside and the abandoned tram lines. This village has lots of pictureque walks to explore where you can picnic near the Blaen-y-Glyn waterfalls or spend a day fishing on the River Usk.
A week’s cruising…..You can experience so much of the Mon & Brec Canal. From Goytre you can easily cruise to Brecon and back by cruising about 4 hours a day. Brecon is a charming market town, with a lot of ammenities, very popular for holiday makers, including a cathedral, castle ruins and historic buildings and offers pony trekking across the hilly countryside.