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Llangollen, Denbighshire, Canal Walk - Wales - Llangollen Canal Walk

Welsh Canal Walk - Chirk to Llangollen – 9 miles

Chirk aqueduct and railway viaduct
This walk was designed and supplied by: www.meanderholidays.co.uk

Additional information: A torch is recommended

This Llangollen Canal route takes in the stunning canal architecture of the Chirk aqueduct and the world heritage site of the Pontcysyllte aqueduct the highest and longest aqueduct in the UK and into the attractive tourist town of Llangollen.

There is a large free car park in the centre of Chirk. - MAP Alternatively park in Llangollen and take a bus to Chirk.

From the car park cross the main road bear left and then turn right onto the B4500. After 500m you will reach the canal. Walk down the path to your left and this will take you directly onto the Chirk aqueduct, pictured above.

The Chirk aqueduct carries you 70 feet (21m) above the River Dee Valley on 10 stone arches, a total length of 700 feet (220m). The towpath is broad and has railing on the towpath side. To your right you will see (you can’t really miss it!) the later railway viaduct which is approximately 40 feet (13m) higher, but with arches which stylishly mirror those of the aqueduct.

Re-trace your steps along the aqueduct.

After the aqueduct the canal enters the Chirk tunnel. This is 420m long and as with the other tunnels on the Llangollen canal has a towpath and a railing between the canal and towpath. The tunnel is straight but a torch is recommended. If you prefer not to travel through the tunnel take the path to your right. Follow the signs for the railway station and turn left outside the station to rejoin the canal. The canal then follows a cutting for 1 mile before entering the shorter Whitehouses tunnel. This is circa 170m long and also has a towpath with railings.

Unfortunately there is no easy route to avoid the Whitehouses tunnel.

After Whitehouses tunnel the railway crosses the Dee Valley to the right while the canal begins to cling to the Dee Valley side. As you advance along the route you will also begin to glimpse the Pontcysyllte aqueduct crossing the valley to your right.

Bridge 28 is a footbridge over the canal giving access to the village of Froncysyllte which has a pub and shop, takeaway and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct toilets should you wish to seek fortification before crossing the Pontcysyllte aqueduct. To access Froncysyllte cross bridge 28 and take the road rising to your left (not the track that follows the canal) at the main road turn right for the Aqueduct Inn. Turn left for the general store (NB: it looks closed but it’s probably open!). A little further on to your left is a lay-by with toilets and take-away Fish and Chips.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct To cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct remain on the right hand towpath and as the canal bends to the right you will see it extending in front of. Please be aware that any winds will be stronger on the aqueduct itself.

Those of you preferring not to cross the aqueduct should leave the canal at Bridge 28 although we suggest you walk to the start of the aqueduct to admire the view and this feat of engineering. If you do not wish to cross the aqueduct cross Bridge 28 and turn right and exit the car park. Turn right and follow the road downhill. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct This gives excellent views of the aqueduct to your right. Cross the river bridge which gives further great views of the aqueduct and river. At the end of the bridge turn right and follow the road uphill. You will then cross the Llangollen arm of the canal, which you can join to continue your walk, or continue straight on to explore the basin at Trevor.

Every eight years the aqueduct is drained – each end is blocked and a plug removed from the middle which sends the water cascading into the Dee.

On the other side of the aqueduct is Trevor. The canal splits with a tight left turn into a narrow arm leading to Llangollen. The right arm was originally intended to be the main route to Chester via Ruabon. It now terminates at Trevor and serves as a basin. Trevor is a useful place to take a break. There are toilets in the car park to the right, a shop in the marina complex serving teas and coffees and the Telford Inn

The Llangollen arm was originally intended to only be used as a feeder carrying water from the Dee at Llantisilio, but was upgraded to be navigable to Llangollen, although it’s narrow in places.

To continue your journey cross the footbridge over the Ruabon arm in the basin and walk through the car park. out of the gates and across the road to rejoin the towpath which shortly crosses the canal and then continues along the valley side high above the Dee affording fantastic views across the valley and ahead to the mountains. At bridge 38 the Bryn Howel hotel provides a pleasant stop for a late lunch or afternoon tea.

After this the canal is crossed by the disused railway which once linked Llangollen to Ruabon, before you approach the attractive town of Llangollen. To reach the town leave the canal at Bridge 45 and walk down the hill

Horsedrawn trip boat at LlangollenLlangollen is a pleasant tourist town on the upper reaches of the River Dee. It grew with the development of the canal, railway and A5 Trunk road passing through it and is now probably best known as the home of the annual Eisteddfod which attracts 120,000 visitors to the town each July.

There are lots of independent shops to browse and lots of places to eat. You could also visit Plas Newydd house and gardens, ride the steam train along the Dee Valley. The more energetic could walk up to Horseshoe Fallsthe castle or rejoin the canal and follow the path to the Horseshoe Falls where the river feeds the canal with water, or to the ruined Valle Crucis Abbey.

If you have parked in Chirk you will need to take a bus from the Llangollen town centre.

Food and Drink

Aqueduct Inn – Bridge 28 - 4.5 miles

Take Away – Bridge 28 4.5 miles

Telford Inn – Bridge 29 – 5 miles

Bryn Howel Hotel – Bridge 38 – 7 miles

Llangollen – 9 miles


Froncysyllte – Bridge 28 – 4.5 miles

Trevor Basin – Bridge 29 – 5 miles

Llangollen – 9 miles


Froncysyllte – Bridge 28 – 4.5 miles

Trevor Basin – Bridge 29 – 5 miles

Llangollen – 9 miles

This walk was designed and supplied by: www.meanderholidays.co.uk