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Llangollen Canal Holiday from Chirk Marina


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Hello again Wise Ones! 

 

Husband and I are off on another hire boat adventure in a few weeks and this time it's the Llangollen canal, picking up the boat from Crest Narrowboats, Chirk. Got the boat for a week. 

 

Can anyone recommend a suggested itinerary? We are thinking Chirk to Llangollen, turn then from there to Ellesmere then back to Chirk. Also any good pub recommendations along the way?  

 

Thank you all once again, 

 

Hannah

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18 minutes ago, Hrk1ng said:

Hello again Wise Ones! 

 

Husband and I are off on another hire boat adventure in a few weeks and this time it's the Llangollen canal, picking up the boat from Crest Narrowboats, Chirk. Got the boat for a week. 

 

Can anyone recommend a suggested itinerary? We are thinking Chirk to Llangollen, turn then from there to Ellesmere then back to Chirk. Also any good pub recommendations along the way?  

 

Thank you all once again, 

 

Hannah

I would say too ambitious in a week in July/August.  It can be chaos in summer, especially this year when every hire boat in the country is out rushing around.

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It really depends how much cruising you want to do per day. That's a fairly relaxed weeks cruise. Canal plan suggests that will take 17 hrs, so less than 3 hrs of cruising per day with only 4 locks. That gives plenty of time to spend looking around your moorings. 

 

If it was me, I'd go beyond Ellesmere and go at least as far as Wixall moss, as it's quite interesting there. I wouldn't go any further than Grindley brook (staircase lock followed by 3 normal locks) as it'll probably take half a day to get through there!  

 

Whatever you do take it easy and enjoy yourself!

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As booke23 says it is about 17 hours cruising time but you need to allow a bit more for queuing at the aqueducts, tunnels, locks and the narrow sections just before Llangollen.

 

You could easily go as far as Grindley Brook and wind the boat in front of the top lock then moor on the visitor moorings and walk back to look at the staircase locks or moor in the Whitchurch Arm and walk into town.

 

Llangollen basin is a popular overnight mooring @ £6 per night and is a short walk away from the town and the Llangollen steam railway.

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1 hour ago, Tracy D'arth said:

I would say too ambitious in a week in July/August.  It can be chaos in summer, especially this year when every hire boat in the country is out rushing around.

That's easily done in a week, admittedly it can get hectic at the aqueduct, tunnels and lift bridge but it's a fairly easy weeks boating 

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1 hour ago, Hrk1ng said:

Hello again Wise Ones! 

 

Husband and I are off on another hire boat adventure in a few weeks and this time it's the Llangollen canal, picking up the boat from Crest Narrowboats, Chirk. Got the boat for a week. 

 

Can anyone recommend a suggested itinerary? We are thinking Chirk to Llangollen, turn then from there to Ellesmere then back to Chirk. Also any good pub recommendations along the way?  

 

Thank you all once again, 

 

Hannah

Unfortunately several of the nice pubs that I know of from when we did this stretch have closed -- and to be honest, there weren't that many even before this happened, there are long stretches of pretty much nothing -- not even decent views due to high hedges. You could try:

 

Sun Trevor

Telford Inn (north end of the aqueduct)

Bridge Inn, Chirk

Narrowboat, Whittington

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Before we had our boat we did Bunbury to Llangollen and back in a week in August.  Took us ages through Grindley Brook but it was still fine on time if you want to put in the hours.  I guess I am saying that the OP’s original suggestion sounds fine to me as a plan, you can always turn early if you are getting behind on time.

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We came from near Chirk marina to the basin at Llangollen today and it took over 4 hours. We were behind a deeper drafted boat who went very slowly from the aqueduct - in fact he went aground in a bridge hole at one point - and the flow against us seemed to affect our progress more than previous. We didn't get held up at the aqueduct or lift bridge . This timing might help you plan your route. 

The canal is amazingly busy and i I think the basin at Llangollen is full tonight.

Just go with the flow and enjoy !

 

Haggis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, haggis said:

We came from near Chirk marina to the basin at Llangollen today and it took over 4 hours. We were behind a deeper drafted boat who went very slowly from the aqueduct - in fact he went aground in a bridge hole at one point - and the flow against us seemed to affect our progress more than previous. We didn't get held up at the aqueduct or lift bridge . This timing might help you plan your route. 

The canal is amazingly busy and i I think the basin at Llangollen is full tonight.

Just go with the flow and enjoy !

 

Haggis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Pie Eater said:

As booke23 says it is about 17 hours cruising time but you need to allow a bit more for queuing at the aqueducts, tunnels, locks and the narrow sections just before Llangollen.

 

You could easily go as far as Grindley Brook and wind the boat in front of the top lock then moor on the visitor moorings and walk back to look at the staircase locks or moor in the Whitchurch Arm and walk into town.

 

Llangollen basin is a popular overnight mooring @ £6 per night and is a short walk away from the town and the Llangollen steam railway.

Thank you both re the Llangollen basin.
Do you know you can/need to book a mooring in the basin? Definitely want to spend a few nights here as want to explore Llangollen and would love to do the horse drawn trip to the Horse Shoe Falls, also wanted to go on the steam railway but the website states they’ve gone into liquidation which is incredibly sad. Must be another victim of the dreaded c word! 

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25 minutes ago, haggis said:

We came from near Chirk marina to the basin at Llangollen today and it took over 4 hours. We were behind a deeper drafted boat who went very slowly from the aqueduct - in fact he went aground in a bridge hole at one point - and the flow against us seemed to affect our progress more than previous. We didn't get held up at the aqueduct or lift bridge . This timing might help you plan your route. 

The canal is amazingly busy and i I think the basin at Llangollen is full tonight.

Just go with the flow and enjoy !

 

Haggis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unless anyone things things have changed, aim to be in the basin on Sunday and Monday nights, most of the hire boats get there Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, that what the CRT ticket man told me, and it was empty on the Sun and Mon in August when we were last there.

21 minutes ago, Hrk1ng said:

 

Thank you both re the Llangollen basin.
Do you know you can/need to book a mooring in the basin? Definitely want to spend a few nights here as want to explore Llangollen and would love to do the horse drawn trip to the Horse Shoe Falls, also wanted to go on the steam railway but the website states they’ve gone into liquidation which is incredibly sad. Must be another victim of the dreaded c word! 

The basin is first come you can not book it, and you pay £6 per night.

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28 minutes ago, john6767 said:

Before we had our boat we did Bunbury to Llangollen and back in a week in August.  Took us ages through Grindley Brook but it was still fine on time if you want to put in the hours.  I guess I am saying that the OP’s original suggestion sounds fine to me as a plan, you can always turn early if you are getting behind on time.

Grindley Brook delays in the summer vary from bad to terrible -- IIRC we waited about 3 hours in 2010, I think somebody else on the forum waited for 5 hours recently. To go down and come back up it would be safe to allow two half-days, most of which would be spent waiting -- so probably doesn't make sense for the OP since they'd have to go down and come back up fairly soon afterwards, so suggest turning at Whitchurch above the locks.

 

We did the whole of the Llangollen and back in a week from Nantwich, but that was with a crew of four who like travelling for long days...

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34 minutes ago, Hrk1ng said:

 

Thank you both re the Llangollen basin.
Do you know you can/need to book a mooring in the basin?

 

No you can't book....First come first served. There are a lot of online moorings on the approach to the basin too (you still have to pay for these). As a general rule the earlier in the day you arrive the more likely there are to be moorings.

 

Having said that, last August when we went up there we arrived at 7pm and there were still moorings in the Basin although we chose to moor on a very nice free on line mooring about a mile out of Llangollen with a lovely view of Dinas Bran.

Edited by booke23
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22 minutes ago, booke23 said:

 

No you can't book....First come first served. There are a lot of online moorings on the approach to the basin too (you still have to pay for these). As a general rule the earlier in the day you arrive the more likely there are to be moorings.

 

Having said that, last August when we went up there we arrived at 7pm and there were still moorings in the Basin although we chose to moor on a very nice free on line mooring about a mile out of Llangollen with a lovely view of Dinas Bran.

Ooh that mooring sounds perfect!! Maybe one night there and one night in the basin! 

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1 hour ago, Hrk1ng said:

and would love to do the horse drawn trip to the Horse Shoe Falls,

Some years ago we went on the trip boat,but it only went part way along the feeder. As I had a broken leg at the time I wasn't going to hike the rest of the way to the falls. I see from the website that they currently do trips all the way to the falls only on certain days.

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34 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Some years ago we went on the trip boat,but it only went part way along the feeder. As I had a broken leg at the time I wasn't going to hike the rest of the way to the falls. I see from the website that they currently do trips all the way to the falls only on certain days.

Yes I think that’s the Sunday’s itinerary sorted. I adore horses, especially shires so I’ll be in my element. Boats and horses in one!!! 

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I got back home from a trip on the Llangollen on Sunday.  We arrived at the basin on the Friday evening of the late May bank holiday weekend and there was plenty of space.  I counted just 10 boats, only one of which was a hire boat.  I think the basin has room for about 30 boats.  The main issue was the town itself, extremely busy.

Edited by davem399
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1 hour ago, davem399 said:

I got back home from a trip on the Llangollen on Sunday.  We arrived at the basin on the Friday evening of the late May bank holiday weekend and there was plenty of space.  I counted just 10 boats, only one of which was a hire boat.  I think the basin has room for about 30 boats.  The main issue was the town itself, extremely busy.

May retreat to the haven of the boat if it’s manic then!! 

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As others have said timing is everything in August. For Grindley arrive late in the evening and moor up, then drag yourself out of bed at 7am, do the locks when no one around, then moor up and have a relaxing breakfast and watch the chaos as everybody else turns up. When you leave Llangollen basin, wait for someone else to go first who have a few crew, then tuck in behind and let them do all the faffing through the narrows.

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Early starts are the way to go, best part of the day, very few others moving. Lift bridges etc all yours. Once clear of the next "obstruction" pause for a cuppa and a bacon butty and enjoy watching the first timers getting it horribly wrong - they'll learn, it just takes time.

BTW, if you see a large boat crewed by a group of young men, it's probably a stag party and should be avoided at all costs. If they're heading towards a lock either get in front of them, give them five hours to get through or if you're feeling very generous, help them with the lock. The people who were instructed on lock operation by the boatyard are probably asleep or drunk (well, it is 10 in the morning) so those operating the lock will need to be advised not to open every paddle they can see at both ends of the lock - don't ask how I know!

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16 hours ago, Hrk1ng said:

 

Thank you both re the Llangollen basin.
Do you know you can/need to book a mooring in the basin? Definitely want to spend a few nights here as want to explore Llangollen and would love to do the horse drawn trip to the Horse Shoe Falls, also wanted to go on the steam railway but the website states they’ve gone into liquidation which is incredibly sad. Must be another victim of the dreaded c word! 

The Llangollen Railway was in debt before covid came along. Think they spent too much money on the line extension to Corwen. It is about 3 different companies / charities.  It has been saved and may be reopened by the time you get here.

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56 minutes ago, manxmike said:

Early starts are the way to go, best part of the day, very few others moving. Lift bridges etc all yours. Once clear of the next "obstruction" pause for a cuppa and a bacon butty and enjoy watching the first timers getting it horribly wrong - they'll learn, it just takes time.

BTW, if you see a large boat crewed by a group of young men, it's probably a stag party and should be avoided at all costs. If they're heading towards a lock either get in front of them, give them five hours to get through or if you're feeling very generous, help them with the lock. The people who were instructed on lock operation by the boatyard are probably asleep or drunk (well, it is 10 in the morning) so those operating the lock will need to be advised not to open every paddle they can see at both ends of the lock - don't ask how I know!

Oh good god! I dread to think how you know!

 

Last time we went we ended up  nearly sharing the locks with another couple, who on the face of it, seemed very adept at boating - that was until we needed to wait for another hire boat to come up before we could start to go down. I said we should do the locks for the other hire boat - we were already out of ours boats primed and ready so seemed daft for the other couple to start faffing. Lady tentatively enters said lock and I open ground panel. The husband of our  potential lock partners opens THE LOT! Poor woman gets smashed from one side of the lock to the other. I tell him to shut the gate paddle and ask what on earth he's doing...looks at me like I have ten heads and says 'what you on about I've been doing it like that all week'. After a little discussion he says 'oh maybe we should have watched that DVD love' 😲 ... this was at the locks at East Marton, literally a few locks away from the memorial for the children lost in the locks at Gargrave! 

 

They weren't drunk etc - so can only imagine the horror of a drunken stag do! 

58 minutes ago, Tonka said:

The Llangollen Railway was in debt before covid came along. Think they spent too much money on the line extension to Corwen. It is about 3 different companies / charities.  It has been saved and may be reopened by the time you get here.

That is good news! 

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1 hour ago, manxmike said:

BTW, if you see a large boat crewed by a group of young men, it's probably a stag party and should be avoided at all costs. If they're heading towards a lock either get in front of them, give them five hours to get through or if you're feeling very generous, help them with the lock.

Caught up with a boat like that going down Tardebigge a few years ago. About 8 lads, whose build suggested they were on a rugby club outing. After they got the boat out of the lock, and shut the gates they all piled on board and motored the 50 yards to the next lock (empty) where they got off again and started to fill the lock. The idea that one or two might walk ahead to prepare the lock was quite alien to them. In the end, although there were only two of us, I ended up going ahead to prepare the next lock for them, then returning two locks to work our own boat through.

Fortunately, after about 3 locks they were too tired to carry on and they moored up, so we were able to pass them!

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At the locks coming up we met a boat going down with what they said was a stag party BUT there was a female on board. A bit unusual I thought.😀.

We have just come back from Llangollen and it took us two and a half hours to Chirk marina. A bit quicker than going up and we were following a not particularly speedy hire boat. 

 

Haggis

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