Saturday, 3 May 2014

Whitchurch to Ellesmere

It's a delightful walk of about a mile through the nature reserve into the town centre of Whitchurch, where we stocked up. Whitchuch is great for supermarkets there's Lidl, Tesco and Sainsbury, the town has lots of lovely buildings and a few coffee shops. Once the shopping was put away we set off towards Ellesmere. I thought I was going to be in for a laid back journey as no locks to contend with but no I was wrong we went through four lift bridges and a couple were hard work, one didn't make it easy as the winding gear was nearly my head height (yes I know I'm really short). We passed Mo and Ness on Balmaha, they were going the other way having already been up to Trevor.

This lovely house is situated on the Prees Branch junction
Onward through Whixall Moss, which apparently came into existence at the end of the Ice Age when huge blocks of ice were left behind when the ice cap melted and drained off into what is now the Severn Valley. It has a peat surface and is now a SSSI and home for rare insects and plant life. We could see for miles across this open area to the hills beyond, it just didn't feel like a scene from British at all.

The amazing Whixall Moss
We decided to stop at Bettisfield just after Bridge 47, in a nice quiet rural spot.

Nice, open and peaceful
We had only been there about 10 minutes and what should turn up opposite us .......

'Muck' spreading, so now add smelly as well
Wednesday we continued our journey towards Ellesmere and I did have it nice and easy no locks and no lift bridges.

Passing lovely bluebell woodland
We passed a couple of the Meres for which the area is known, Cole Mere was much larger than I thought it would be and from the embankment of the canal we looked down over it, then on passed Blake Mere, we were lucky as there was no wind at all so it was amazing looking over these very still lakes. 

Blake Mere
We just had Ellesmere Tunnel today, which is one way and on a bend so I jumped off and checked if it was clear, there was a boat behind us and I thought he was going to overtake, luckily he didn't as a boat was coming through so we had to wait. We moored up just after the tunnel had lunch then James did some wood turning whilst I got on cleaning the inside of LJ as he was out of the way.

Just after Ellesmere Tunnel
Just want to say hi to the guy we passed on a bend just before Ellesmere tunnel (just after for you) who said he read the blog, didn't see your boat's name so sorry don't know who you were.

On Thursday we moved the short distance to the Ellesmere Arm where we found a space just over half way along. We had a wander through the town, there is a Tesco right by the basin so very handy if you need any heavy things, we didn't as we had stocked up in Whitchurch.

Off to Ellesmere for us
Another lovely junction house, this time Ellesmere
Moored down the Ellesmere Arm
This is the basin at the end

12.5 miles and 0 locks

Total 125 miles and 98 locks


  1. Hi guys! I was the crazed fan you passed on the bend near Ellesmere tunnel :-) We've just been down on the Monty and round Ellesmere, painting the boat hence no name on yet ('Morgawr'). Enjoy your time on the Llangollen! Neil

  2. Hi Neil, thanks for letting us know who you were - shame we didn't meet properly always wondered who Neil R was from our followers list, maybe next time. We're loving the Llangollen. Debbie