Welcome to the story of Hale and Hearty travelling the canals of Great Britian

Monday, 25 July 2011

Two go to Wales (and back)

Well, what an exciting time we have been having. We have not been able to get a good enough signal on the dongle for a while so we have a long gap to fill.
We couldn't leave Nantwich without going back fcor some more of the lovely brownies at the Cheshire Cat, but that also allowed me to find the most lovely shop Doll, where the owner made a point of trying to fulfil the needs of ladies of a more shapely disposition and I bought some new clothes (weddings ahead).
We filled up with water and set off for the LLangollen canal. We had been warned that it might be busy, with long waits for the locks, but we were very lucky and sailed through with little delay. Suddenly we were on a narrow rural canal again, and passing through lovely countryside. We visited Whixall Moss, a place where old peat workings have made a valuable wildlife habitiat, and the little town of Ellesmere where we reprovisioned the boat. After that we had the excitement of passing through two tunnels and the two famous aquaducts at Chirk, where it is not too scarey as there is a path on both sides, and the Pontcysyllte, the one you see all the pictures of, which is quite terrifying! Martin sailed across, looking down into the valley with great aplomb, I clung on for dear life!
After that we turned up the last bit of the canal, never intended to be navigable, fast flowing from the river Dee feed and narrow and shallow. It was gloroius and there in the distance were the hills of Snowdonia. The canal basin is a beautiful setting (running out of superlatives!). It is really hard to believe that we had not gone up very far, as by the time we reached the town of Llangollen it was in a valley below us and there were hills all around. Llangollen is a lovely town, with all a boy could need, a lovey fishing river, the canal, mountains and a steam railway! Martin had a days walking and I locked myself out of the boat. We had a day going up and down the railway with both steam and deisel locos and a picnic with our toes in the Dee at Carrog. It must have been a nice day, we have not had many.
We could only stay 48 hrs in the town so moved off and went back over the aquaducts - I walked and looked at my feet and sang, what a wuzz. We visited the National Trust Chirk Castle, a good mile and a half walk from the canal (we are getting plenty of exercise) and then on the Montgomery canal. Only 7 miles have been re opened but it is even more remote and lovely. It was here that we met a couple from Taunton and shared a beer or two. On the way back passed Ellesmere we stopped a night beside the Blake Mere, with a mereside mooring where we could set up our table and enjoy outdoor eating with a view of the birdlife. Here we heard again from Ali and Stu and arranged to meet up with them on another little arm, only a mile long and share a few more beers before they returned their hired boat.
There followed 2 busy days, one when we cruised for 10 hours against a strong wind which was rather tiring, back onto the wide waterway of the Shropshire Union main canal, which feels like a motorway, travelling towards Chester, where we arrived on Sunday and are now moored below the city walls - what a spot.


  1. This is me, Kathy in France ( I am blogging my Dad's letters home from the war, hence the POW and number.

    Great to be following. It sounds fantastic....and I think I have stood and looked at the massively high aquaduct near Llangollen (I was 10!).
    Bon voyage mes amies xxx

  2. http://pow16783-lettersfromstalagv111b.blogspot.com/
    Dad's blog.

    Oh and, I hope you have lashings of Ginger Beer!