Cruising the Llangollen Canal on a Narrowboat
There are no more pleasurable way to see a beautiful part of The british isles than to take a leisurely trip on a narrowboat along the Llangollen Canal. The waterways of The british isles wind their way through some of Britain’s most scenic country side and you can stop along the way wherever you wish. You might need to visit one of the local towns or tie up at a canal-side pub for a pint and a friendly yarn Batıkent lavabo tıkanıklığı açma.
Waterways were the major means of transporting goods in He uk from the sixteenth century to the mid 19th century, when railways started to lead. By the mid 20th century very little consignments was being carried and some of the little used waterways started to fall into disrepair. In the latter section of the century, tourists and holidaymakers started to recognise the wonder of the waterways and take advantage of the leisurely pace and relaxed style of canal holidays.
In company with two friends we set out from the Swanley Bridge Marina near Nantwich, in Cheshire, and started our journey along the Llangollen canal towards Wales. The narrowboat was very clean and comfortable with it’s own shower an commode, separate accommodation, and everything we needed in the galley. We soon self taught themselves how to operate the locks and checkpoints and to raise links. Life on the canal is certainly very relaxing as you travel along so slowly and apart from the occasional lock to negotiate, or bridge to lift, there is little to do except enjoy the scenery as you pass by. The pace is slow, but at no time did we feel bored as there is plenty to see along the way.
The canal locks are made to raise or lower the quality of the water in an encapsulated section of the canal, the lock, to allow boats to go to another level of water. Lock checkpoints have to be swung open at one end of the lock to allow the boat to come in. There is just enough room for one narrowboat at a time to enter the locks on this canal. The checkpoints are then closed behind the boat and valves are opened, by hand turning them, at the other end of the lock to allow water to flow in and raise the water in the lock, to the level at the other end. As soon as the water level inside the lock and outside in the canal, are equal, the checkpoints at the forward end can be opened and the boat can proceed coming.
Apart from the locks, there are some links that need to be raised, as well as many cost links and three tunnels on the canal. However the highlight your journey on the Llangollen Canal was traversing the two aqueducts, near the town of Chirk, that carry the canal high above surrounding country side.
The bigger of the aqueducts, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, carries the canal 1007 feet (307 meters) across the River Dee valley. It is 126 feet (38 meters) above the river Dee at it’s highest point. A cast iron trough, just wide enough for one boat, holds the water on the aqueduct and there is a narrow pathway beside it. Most amazing is that construction of the aqueduct started in 1795, and completed in 1805. All the work have to have been carried out physically — an amazing achievement.
The narrowboats travel at about four miles an hour so there is sufficient time to see and revel in the passing scenery and wonder about the people who live in the occasional canal-side houses or surrounding farms. If you feel like elongating your legs, you can talk a walk along the path near the canal, and stay informed about the boat.
There is always something to attract your attention in the ever changing scenery. Wildflowers grow profusely along the banks and birds flit by among the woods and hedges. Greedy other poultry and poised swans are always looking for something to eat, and we saw herons, kingfishers, robins, yellow wagtails, and we heard others about the canal. On one occasion we moored near a poised sauna launch whose passengers were enjoying an outing on the Llangollen Canal.
When it is time for lunch so they can stop for the night, there is usually a nearby pub where you can enjoy a drink or a hearty meal, and interesting towns or towns to visit. A popular memory is of a very pretty whole village, Wrenbury, where our visit coincided with it’s amazing and amusing scarecrow competition. It was here too that, on our return trip, we enjoyed our last night’s dinner at the Cotton Arms Hotel, which combines excellent food with friendly service, in keeping with the other canal side brs we visited.