The Llangollen Canal

There can be few more spectacular ways to arrive in another country than passing high above a river on the splendid Chirk aqueduct. As if this wasnít exciting enough, the canal then takes a deep breath and plunges into a long tunnel, beyond which moorings are provided for the little town of Chirk and itís 600 year old castle.

On any other canal Chirk aqueduct would steal the show, but this time it is just the curtain raiser for Pontcysyllte, the famous 1000 feet long iron trough aqueduct which carries the canal a vertigo- inducing 127 feet above the rushing waters of the river Dee. Crossing it by boat is tantamount to free flight.

Afterwards the canal heads slowly towards its terminus giving ample time to savour the mountainous panorama of the Vale of Llangollen.

Itís not just the aqueducts which leave you memories to treasure. The Llangollen canal has characteristic lifting bridges, quaint affairs whose simple operation provides an enjoyable counterpoint to lock working. And did you know about the Shropshire Lake District - the seven meres which surround Ellesmere and provide a haven for wildlife.

All in all this is a trip which fully deserves the extravagant praise it tends to receive.