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NJC1971

Ellesmere to Chester and Back - Suggested Moorings etc

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We are on Countdown to our 4th Canal Boat Holiday, 2nd with kidsfrusty.gif and a pooch!

Can you give me suggestions as to overnight moorings along the Llangollen and Shropshire Union Canal, plus ideal places to stop for Food and where we can stop for Supermarkets/Shopping.

 

The plan is to stop at Chester for night and day so we can visit the City. Any mooring recommendations and advice on windingholes would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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Ellesmere arm for Tesco

Whitchurch arm for everything

Wrenbury for eating and drinking

Barbridge as above

Shady Oak as above

Chester for everything

Lots pubs in Ellesmere also

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I wouldn't say Whitchurch Arm is handy for shopping. It's a long walk to the town.

 

As has been said, stock up in Ellesmere with enough to keep you going to Chester. Chester has a canal side Tesco and Waitrose. If you need emergency supplies there is a small cafe/shop just before Calveley Services, with moorings.

 

If he is working, the volunteer lock keeper at Bunbury Staircase is more interested in demonstrating the Bunbury Shuffle than looking after your boat.

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This is a nice route.

 

The Montgomery canal is an interesting diversion if you have time, like canals used to be. Check opening times for the locks though, not sure if you might need to book.

 

Wrenbury has nice but popular moorings and choice of pubs.

 

Willeymoor lock pub is one of my favourites. Proper traditional canalside pub, food as well but nothing fancy. Superb beers.

 

Nantwich another interesting diversion.

 

Barbridge Inn always popular and good food beers etc. Slowest water point in the world at Barbridge junction.

 

At Chester a walk around the walls is well worth doing.

 

gabble

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In Chester itself, there's 4 choices for moorings. If you're not too keen on doing a lot of locks, you can moor in Christleton and get the bus into Chester, thus saving 5x broad locks down and up. But personally I'd do these. Once into Chester itself, there's a long straight section after the last lock which has loads of rings and offers good mooring, you could moor here. The winding hole is by the bridge before it goes round the corner, its possible to turn at the winding hole then go backwards through the bridge and around the corner to moor there instead (its a nice grassy area in the foot of Chester walls, opposite the old people's home. There's good shopping opportunities here, especially now there's a Morrisons on the canalside (on the straight bit). Or you can commit to the 3 chamber staircase, which takes about an hour, then moor below in the wide area by the Dee branch junction, dry dock etc (Telfords Warehouse is here too). There is a water point and pump out here if needs be too.

 

If you're ahead, then another 3hrs boating (each way) will get you to Ellesmere Port, which is worth visiting if you've not been - allow about half a day to visit the boat museum here. And you can moor in the upper basin or go down the 2 locks and moor in the lower basin too - 1st night's mooring is included in the museum entry fee; and 2nd day's museum entry is free (but day 2 onwards mooring is charged).

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Thank you for all your positive suggestions. We need to get on with our Route planning now.

 

Will Chester be manic for mooring in the middle of a week?

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Thank you for all your positive suggestions. We need to get on with our Route planning now.

 

Will Chester be manic for mooring in the middle of a week?

 

No.

 

Its worth mentioning that despite looking spacious, there's only space for about 4 boats below the staircase lock (you'd think there's 5 but there's a water point). So in theory its possible to descend the staircase then find this is "full" - but you could squeeze onto the corner, or breast up with another boat. I've only seen it full once or twice, in 25+ visits though, and that was when there was an event on at Ellesmere Port Boat Museum so loads of boats were heading that way.

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If he is working, the volunteer lock keeper at Bunbury Staircase is more interested in demonstrating the Bunbury Shuffle than looking after your boat.

"Bunbury Shuffle" ? Is that the two-up-one-down (.. or vice versa..) manoeuvre ? It disconcerted me somewhat the first time.. The gates open to reveal two boats coming at you in the middle, but it's easy once you've done it once.

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"Bunbury Shuffle" ? Is that the two-up-one-down (.. or vice versa..) manoeuvre ? It disconcerted me somewhat the first time.. The gates open to reveal two boats coming at you in the middle, but it's easy once you've done it once.

Yes, I first experienced it at the staircase on the GU between Napton & Birmingham. As you say it is confusing to be confronted with 2 boats until the process for paasing has been explained.

Edited by cuthound

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We did the Bunbury shuffle last week for the first time.Even though I knew what was happening,Paul said my face was a picture when the gates opened & I saw both of the boats??

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Will Chester be manic for mooring in the middle of a week?

Those nice green garden moorings under the wall by the cathedral mentioned earlier are an excellent place to visit the centre and they'd be my mooring of choice midweek. Friday and Saturday night, however, the shouting and shenanigans of Chester's extraordinarily high quota of alcohol fueled bad behaviourists make them an entirely different proposition. Chester is nonetheless a lovely city to visit by boat. Should you have slack to take up, maybe 2 hours further on there's Chester Zoo, surely one of the finest in Britain. Easy walk from the moorings, but these are unmarked so use your canal map.

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No.

 

Its worth mentioning that despite looking spacious, there's only space for about 4 boats below the staircase lock (you'd think there's 5 but there's a water point). So in theory its possible to descend the staircase then find this is "full" - but you could squeeze onto the corner, or breast up with another boat.

Not strictly true.

 

FB_IMG_1471185905057_zpsio1mebul.jpg

(Photo courtesy of Nb Alton)

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If he is working, the volunteer lock keeper at Bunbury Staircase is more interested in demonstrating the Bunbury Shuffle than looking after your boat.

 

This is very true. Lots of arm waving and excitement and directing the two boats coming up who already knew exactly what they were doing (as one of them was us). Totally failed to notice that the inexperienced single boat coming down had got his fender caught up on the gate.

 

.................Dave

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Not strictly true.

 

FB_IMG_1471185905057_zpsio1mebul.jpg

(Photo courtesy of Nb Alton)

 

Thats a great picture! It proves my faded memory was right in that you can only get 4 boat lengths along the left hand side, which is the official mooring area; obviously more boats can be accommodated by breasting up. And my vague memory suggests that recently the right hand side is now boarded up and there's the development of flats there, its never been official moorings but people did - is it still possible and do people still moor that side nowadays? I should revisit it and have a look really.

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We did the Bunbury shuffle last week for the first time.Even though I knew what was happening,Paul said my face was a picture when the gates opened & I saw both of the boats

It always reminds me of that little square game I had as a kid, were you move the squares around to solve the puzzle.

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