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Chirk: North Wales & Llangollen Canal

Boats Available:

Countess 4
Duchess 2
Duchess 4
Duchess 6
Duchess 8
Lautrec 4
Princess 2
Princess 4
Princess 6
Shakespeare 4

Based on the breathtaking Llangollen Canal in North Wales, Chirk’s lovely marina is situated near the National Trust site of the Chirk Castle. With much to offer, a narrow boat holiday on the Llangollen Canal meanders gracefully through the beautiful countryside where the World Heritage Site – the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – spans across the Dee Valley.

The Llangollen Canal unarguable has a lot to offer both first time and regular holidaymakers. It meanders gracefully through the beautiful countryside where the world famous "stream in the sky" - the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct spans the Dee Valley, such a feat of engineering is sure to snatch your breath away!

Perhaps you would like to visit the walled City of Chester. Another first that Black Prince Holidays are proud to announce is the opportunity to cruise the Montgomery Canal from the national canal network, very recently reopened to boats for the first time in over fifty years, a one and a half mile length of canal has now been restored, and has been officially opened, giving you the chance to be one of the first to cruise this once dormant sleepy waterway.

Click here for Base Information

Suggested Routes From Chirk
Route A  |  Route B  |  Route C  |  Route D


Click here for larger image

1. CHESTER AND RETURN - ROUTE A
112 Miles  |  70 Locks  |  1 Week Cruise  |  9 hours per day
Based on the breathtaking Llangollen Canal in North Wales, Chirk’s lovely marina is where you begin your canal boat holiday to Chester. The marina is on the site of the Chirk Golf & Country Club. The Llangollen Canal meanders gracefully through the beautiful countryside where the World Heritage Site – the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – spans across the Dee Valley. Such a feat of engineering is sure to take your breath away. Cruise the Montgomery Canal, recently reopened to boats for the first time in over fifty years, where a four mile length of the canal has been restored giving you the chance to cruise this once dormant waterway. This route is challenging, so you should not be disappointed if you do not reach Chester.

Travelling down the canal, you pass through the towns of Ellesmere and Whitchurch to Grindley Brook with its staircase of three locks. Whilst in Ellesmere, you can visit The Boathouse Restaurant and Visitor Centre, which has recently been refurbished, and see Ellesmere’s historic town hall, built in 1833. Whitchurch also has its delights, including the Grade I listed Church of St Alkmund, which was built of red sandstone in 1712.

The locks then become more frequent, taking you down through lovely countryside to the Shropshire Union Canal at Hurleston. The rural atmosphere continues through to Chester. Chester is a lovely city that contains a variety of interesting activities and delightful architecture. It also has great historic relevance as one of the final towns to fall to the Norman Conquest. The city was originally established as a Roman fort in the year 79 and has some of the best-preserved city walls in the UK as well as a stunning Norman cathedral. You can also find plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops.

A visit to Llangollen is well worthwhile to see the Castel Dinas Bran, a medieval castle standing on a hill above the town. It is important to remember, however that the Llangollen Canal flows, so it will take you longer to return to the base.


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2. LLANGOLLEN AND WHITCHURCH - ROUTE B
60 Miles  |  4 Locks  |  1 Week Cruise  |  4 hours per day
This narrowboat cruise from the Black Prince canal boat base at Chirk to Llangollen and Whitchurch features a very pleasant and easy route with very few locks – perfect for a first timer. Llangollen Canal Llangollen Canal Chirk’s marina is where your narrowboating journey begins. It is based on the magnificent Llangollen canal in North Wales, near the site of the Chirk Castle. In the location where breathtaking Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – a World Heritage Site – spans across the Dee Valley, the Llangollen canal can be seen gracefully meandering across miles of untouched countryside.

The sleepy waterway of the Montgomery Canal is sure to impress. Only recently opened to narrow boats for the first time in half a century, it features four miles of glorious sights sure to stick in the memory of anyone enjoying a canal boat holiday. The famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, standing 120 feet above the River Dee, is one of the first things you will cross on this narrowboat cruise as you head towards Llangollen. After this the canal perches on the side of the lovely Dee Valley up to the town of Llangollen.

In Llangollen, you can see the Castel Dinas Bran, a medieval castle that stands high above the town as its most famous landmark. Popular in literature, the castle can be accessed by a zigzagging path through the Welsh countryside from Llangollen. Retracing your steps, you encounter Chirk Aqueduct and go through to the lovely small town of Ellesmere. In Ellesmere you can visit the Town Hall, built in the 19th century, and take in a spot of food at The Boathouse Restaurant and Visitor Centre, which has recently been the subject of a £2million refurbishment.

After Ellesmere you travel through the Shropshire Lake District. While in the area, you can enjoy The Blake Mere, one of the most attractive lakes in the area. Blake Mere is full of wildlife, with only a towpath separating the Llangollen Canal and the lake. You can either moor your narrowboat up in this lovely area or simply enjoy a walk. Your final stop is the market town of Whitchurch. Whitchurch is notable for the sandstone Church of St Alkmund, a Grade I listed building that dates back to 1712.


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3. LLANGOLLEN CANAL - ROUTE C
88 Miles  |  42 Locks  |  1 Week Cruise  |  7 hours per day
This weeklong canal boat holiday from the Black Prince Chirk Hire Base goes along the whole length of the delightful Llangollen Canal, which crosses the border between Shropshire, England and Wales. Your cruise begins at Chirk’s narrowboat marina, located near the National Trust site of Chirk Castle. Here, the Llangollen canal twists and turns through the unspoiled Welsh countryside to a World Heritage Site – the breathtaking Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a feat of engineering suitable to impress anyone.

Travelling the canal towards Hurleston you cross the Chirk Aqueduct and head down the first two locks. This 70-foot aqueduct was designed by the famous civil engineer Thomas Telford and was opened in 1801, and featured his pioneering method of using cast iron as a means to hold water. After passing Ellesmere and its meres – shallow lakes – you come to the less hilly Whixall Moss to Whitchurch. The Whixall Moss National Nature Reserve is perfect for those interested in bird watching, with buzzards, kestrels and bullfinches common in the area, alongside a host of species of invertebrates. In the market town of Whitchurch, you can visit the Church of St Alkmund, a listed sandstone building that was built in the early eighteenth century. Whitchurch is also the home of J.B Joyce, the oldest clockmakers in the world, having been established in 1690.

Undulating countryside sprinkled with locks takes you down to Hurleston with its reservoir, which provides the water for Chester. Hurleston is an excellent spot for fisheries, especially in the winter. Carp is the most common catch in the area. Retracing your steps, you cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, and up the Dee Valley to Llangollen. In the town of Llangollen, you can visit its most famous landmark, the Castel Dinas Bran, a medieval castle that soars high above the town. It can be accessed via a zigzagging path that runs through the heart of the countryside, and offers scenic views. If you travel in July you can enjoy the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, which attracts over 120,000 visitors. Llangollen town centre is perfect for shoppers searching for unusual gifts and is popular with theatre and opera groups.


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4. FOUR COUNTIES RING - ROUTE D
187 Miles  |  136 Locks  |  2 Week Cruise  |  7 hours per day
This challenging two-week canal boat holiday along the Four Counties route from our Chirk Hire Base is most suited for a more experienced narrowboat crew. Your canal holiday features a host of locks at a quick pace, covering nearly two hundred miles in the process. You begin your journey at Chirk’s delightful narrowboat marina, which can be found near the National Trust site of Chirk Castle. At this lovely location, you can see the Llangollen canal moving with great grace through the Welsh countryside. Here lies a World Heritage Site, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – a feat of engineering which spans right across the Dee Valley.

You can cruise the sleepy waterway of the Montgomery Canal, which has only recently been reopened to canal traffic after over fifty years of dormancy. Travel down the Llangollen Canal to Hurleston, an area perfect for fishing for carp, especially in the winter. Here you join the Shropshire Union Canal, before travelling southwards through small towns and villages to join the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. This canal meanders through pretty countryside up to Great Haywood. Here your narrowboat joins the Trent & Mersey Canal and travel towards the more built-up area of The Peak District. Continuing up to Middlewich through a series of locks, you take the Middlewich Arm. There is plenty to do around this area. On the Middlewich Arm you will find a pub and bistro with a canal boat theme, and the opportunity to take in some magnificent rural views. Middlewich itself is a market town founded by the Romans, which was once renowned for its salt production. It now boasts an annual boat festival, Roman and Norman festivals and regular farmer’s markets.

After passing the Middlewich Arm, you will reach Barbridge. Barbridge is a peaceful hamlet, but nevertheless contains two Grade II listed buildings: its 17th century post office, and the 18th century Stoke Cottage. If you have time you could also moor your narrowboat up and relax in The Olde Barbridge Inn. After spending some time in Barbridge, you can return home via the Llangollen Canal. If you get the opportunity, you should visit the Castel Dinas Bran, a medieval castle that overlooks the small town of Llangollen.


Chirk Base Information

Hotels / Guest Houses
Moreton Park Lodge, Gledrid Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5DG.
Telephone: 01691 776666
Fax: 01691 776655
www.moretonpark.com
Price Guide: Double/Single room £59, Breakfast £5

 

The Hand Hotel, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5EY Tel. 01691 773472
Price Guide: Double room £60 Single room £50 Breakfast and transport to the base included.

Glenwood B & B, Station Road, Chirk, Wrexham Tel. 01691 772627
Price Guide: Double room £70 Single room £35 including breakfast


Public Transport

Nearest Railway Station: Chirk (connections from either Chester or Shrewsbury)
www.nationalrail.co.uk - Tel: 08457 484950

www.thetrainline.com - Tel: 0871 244 1545

Nearest Airport: Manchester International Tel. 0161 489 3000
www.manchesterairport.co.uk
 


Taxi / Minicabs
J.E.T.S Executive Transfer Services - Tel: 07725 222073
A1 Taxis - Tel: 01691 770043 / 01691 770117
B & L Taxis - Tel: 01691 776444

Example Prices:
A taxi for 4 people from Manchester International Airport to the base at Chirk would be approx. £60
(Prices courtesy of J.E.T.S - Subject to change)
Liverpool Airport to Chirk Marina. £60 taxi for 4 people
 

Car Hire
Hertz Car Hire have depots throughout the UK (including main airports) We have an exclusive agreement with Hertz who will provide reduced rates for all Black Prince customers. Drop-offs, collections and oneways are all available, allowing you to pick up a car at your arrival point and request a car to be waiting at the end of your holiday for onward travel. To book your car visit www.hertz.co.uk or call 0870 844 4844 and quote CDP 694816.
Flying into London
From Heathrow airport, get the London underground tube to Euston station.
From Gatwick airport, get the Gatwick Express to London Victoria station, then get a London underground tube to London Euston.
From Stansted airport, get the London underground tube to London Euston.
From Euston, get a train to Shrewsbury, then change for Chirk.

Visit www.tfl.gov.uk to plan your route on the London Underground.


Flying into Manchester
Get a train to Manchester Piccadilly or Wilmslow station, then change to Shrewsbury. At Shrewsbury, change to Chirk.


How To Find Us (By Car)

From the South: M6: Exit at Junction 10A and take the M54 towards Telford. Join the A5 for Llangollen and continue until you reach the South side of Chirk. Stay on the A5 for 400 yards, until you have passed three roundabouts. You will then see a left turning with a brown tourist sign to ‘Marina’. The Marina entrance is 500 yards on the left.

From the North: Take the A483 towards Chirk and until you reach the signposts for the A5 Llangollen. At the roundabout, turn right towards Llangollen and after a short distance you will see a turning to the left with a brown tourist sign to ‘Marina’. The Marina entrance is 500 yards on the left.
www.theaa.com/route-planner


Groceries
There are a number of good shops in Chirk, including a Spar supermarket and a large Tesco superstore can be found in nearby Cefn Mawr.

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