Blackwater Meadow Marina
Canal: Llangollen Location: Birch Road, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9DD
Phone: 01691 624391 E-mail: email@example.com
Blackwater Meadow day boat hire is situated close to the Ellesmere Arm on the Llangollen Canal which offers scenic beauty and breathtaking engineering. You can either travel East towards Prees or West towards Owestry on your day trip offering around 5 – 6 hours cruising time all together.
Route Option 1
Prees & Return – 6 Hours with 0 Locks
A short distance from leaving the Marina you will pass lush parkland lined with old oak trees. A legacy from a once thriving canal industry where raw materials were planted to replace their carrying fleet.
The canal then enters the Ellesmere Tunnel and emerges into open parkland beyond. The navigation then runs alongside Blake Mere, a charming lake and a lovely place to have a picnic, possibly on your return trip as you will only have been cruising for around 30 minutes. Hidden from the canal by tall trees on your right you will pass Cole Mere Lake, another beautiful picnic spot with a circular walk. You will need to moor on the opposite side of the canal and cross bridge 54 into Yell Wood to reach the lake. The Meres were carved out during the Ice Age and have famously been called the mini lake district. Continuing ahead through the hilly, wooded landscape you will reach open countryside and after around 1.5 hrs cruising arrive at Hampton Bank. Hampton Bank is one of the Llangollen Canal’s lesser sung engineering achievements, carrying the canal perhaps 30ft above a headwater of the River Roden.
Although you will not find any facilities to speak of, this is a great spot to stop, stretch your legs and take in the breathtaking views. Spot the hillside church at Bettisfield on your left as the canal now takes you towards Whixall Moss. A raised bog, rich in flora and insect fauna and an important site for rare plant life. As you approach Prees Branch you will have been cruising for roughly 3 hours (without stopping) and as the arm is wide it is a good place to turn and head back to the Marina.
Features a great picnic spot
Straight cruise with no locks
Featuring an 87 yard tunnel
Route Option 2
Oswestry & Return – 5 Hours with 0 Locks
As you leave the Marina you will see a fine old warehouse and a small canalside crane, testament to the canal trading that used to take place on the Llangollen Canal. The canal rapidly escapes into empty countryside, skirting the playing fields of Ellesmere College.
The main line of the canal to Llangollen bears round sharply to the south west as you pass farms and small villages such as Tetchill on your left. Val Hill is a tree-topped glacial mound picturesquely forcing the canal into an extra bend or two on its way to Welsh Frankton. South-east from the canal you can see Grinshill and in clear conditions the outlines of the Wrekin, Clee Hills and Wenlock Edge.
Following the canal and continuing through Frankton Junction (you will not be able to cruise down the Montgomery Canal with our dayhire boats) you will cruise through quiet, beautiful green countryside. Passing under several bridges you will eventually reach Maestermyn bridge (5) where you will be able to moor for a break, should you wish. You will now have been cruising for around 2 hours and will need to think about turning around, a suitable place for this is just after Pollets Bridge (6) where the canal widens
Plenty of turning points on route
Straight cruise with no locks
Shopping for a picnic?
You will find a Tesco in Ellesmere but rumour has it Vermeulen’s Deli on Cross Street by the Town Square can’t be beaten. They open around 7am by which time the aroma of baking bread has drifted down to the canal!
Location: Blackwater Meadow
Type: Self Drive Tuition: Included
Carries up to 10 people
Facilities: Fridge, 2 burner hob / grill, sink, bathroom, indoor and outdoor seating.
Pets Welcome Check in: 9.30am Return: 4.30pm £100 deposit [?] Layout not to scale