Saturday, 2 March 2013

A stroll along the Llangollen Canal

Horseshoe Falls
Llangollen Canal Trail

The Llangollen Canal Trail  is a series of  80+ caches running from the Horseshoe falls West of LLangollen to just South of Chirk

Our mission for today was to do the whole of the LCT series in Llangollen.  We'd spotted the series at the end of last year and had put in on our to-do list straight away, we'd decided it would be a great series to do on a sunny day, we'd been umming and ahhing about it for a couple of weeks now the nights are starting to draw out nicely and as the forecast was going to be good for today we decided to go for it.

The plan was to get up early to arrive in Chirk for 7am to catch a bus to Llangollen where we'd walk to the start of the series at Horseshoe Falls then back towards the car in Chirk.

Waiting for the bus on a cold and frosty morning

Well luckily all went to plan, apart from one minor hiccup - the bus we'd intended to catch didn't seem to exist so we had to wait around for half an hour for the next one to come, but this wasn't really a problem and it saved us having to take 2 cars with us - the bus ticket was £2.80 single each.
Chirk Aqueduct & railway viaduct behind
 The walk is extremely picturesque and there's loads to see along the way:

We walked through 2 tunnels along the route -  Whitehouse Tunnel (174 metres) and Chirk Tunnel (421 metres)

Chirk Tunnel
 We crossed 2 aqueducts - The 710 foot long and 70ft high Chirk Aqueduct - you start off in Wales at one end and walk into England when you get to the other side.  It was good to have a have a return visit to the Pontcysllte Aqueduct - we enjoyed a walk across it in 2010 after making a detour on our way home from a trip up Snowdon.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
One of the prominent landmarks in the area is the Kraft/Cadbury chocolate factory in Chirk.

Chocolate Factory
 Some interesting facts about the factory:

They take delivery of specially picked cocoa beans from Ghana, clean, roast and grind them to produce cocoa mass for chocolate products - They process an average of 180 tonnes of beans per day, generating 40,000–60,000 tonnes of cocoa mass each and every year.  The factory was built in 1969 and the Chirk site was chosen following the demise of the region’s coal mining industry, providing jobs for hundreds of local people. In addition to the all-important cocoa mass, and its derivative cocoa butter, the 150 people working at Chirk today are responsible for producing Cadbury Drinking Chocolate and Cadbury Bournville Cocoa.

Nearly spring!

We were so lucky with the weather, although it started off at -4 the sun shone for most of the day which helped lift the temperature.

The canal has to be one of the best we've ever walked along, a very popular walking area but extremely pleasant and fantastic scenery.

The walk certainly was long, by the time we got back to the car we'd clocked up just under 19 miles and as the tow-path is quite hard underfoot our feet were very tired at the end.  Altogether the walk took us 8½ hours to complete from getting off the bus in Llangollen then back to car.

A brilliant day out that we'll always remember.

View of Chirk Aqueduct

Llangollen Canal

1 comment:

  1. Wow!
    This was a very interesting account as we virtually copied your route when we completed (all but one) of the series in December.