FROM April 5 2019, Anglo Welsh Waterway Holidays will begin offering canal boat hire from Whixall Marina, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire.
The Bristol-based hire boat company, now one of the largest in Britain, offers a choice of 160 boats from 11 boat yards across England and Wales.
Rob Lawrence, managing director for Anglo Welsh, explains: “We are delighted to be able to offer our customers the opportunity to take a narrowboat holiday from Whixall from this spring.
“Surrounded by beautiful Shropshire countryside, from Whixall Marina it takes just 30 minutes to reach the main line of the Llangollen Canal, one of the most popular on the network and home to the incredible World Heritage Status Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
“From there boaters can choose from a fantastic range of cruising destinations – from short and easy lock-free cruising breaks perfect for beginners, to epic journeys around challenging cruising rings for more experienced boaters on longer breaks.”
As well as choice of six standard boats, with 2019 prices starting at £495 for a short break and £705 for a week on a boat for four people, Anglo Welsh will be operating four luxury canal boats from Whixall, including its new Constellation Class 10-berth Gemini, the Constellation Class boat for four people Aquila, boat for six Perseusand boat for 12 Andromeda.
These stars of the Anglo Welsh fleet have all been custom built to offer canal boat holiday-makers extra space and comfort on board, with full-size showers, a range of flexible and private berths, full radiator central heating, fuel stoves on the four and six berth boats, a large TV and Wifi, spacious kitchens with modern fittings and lighting, and semi traditional sterns.
Constellation Class prices for 2019 start at £730 for a short break on a boat for four people, and £1,045 for a week.
The 41-mile long Llangollen Canal crosses the border between England and Wales, and links the Eisteddfod town of Llangollen in Denbighshire with the Shropshire Union Canal, just north of Nantwich in Cheshire.
The waterway offers breath-taking views, iconic canal structures, and a series of historic market towns and nature reserves to explore, with scenery varying from rural sheep pastures and ancient peat mosses, to tree-lined lakes and the dramatic foothills of Snowdonia.
Ten years ago, an 11-mile section of the waterway from Gledrid Bridge to the Horseshoe Falls in Llangollen (including the incredible Pontcysyllte and Chirk aqueducts), was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Soaring 38m above the rushing waters of the River Dee, which tumble out of Snowdonia, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was built by the great canal engineers Thomas Telford and William Jessop, and completed in 1805. Supported by 18 giant pillars, it’s the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, carrying a 307m long iron trough water passage for a single narrowboat and a towpath for pedestrians.
On a short break (three or four nights) from Whixall canal boat holiday-makers can head west along the Llangollen Canal to Ellesmere and the Shropshire Lake District, or travel on to Chirk with its magnificent aqueduct, 459-yard long tunnel, choice of canalside pubs and access to the National Trust’s mediaeval Chirk Castle.
On a week’s holiday, boaters heading west along the Llangollen Canal can cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and travel on to the pretty Eisteddfod town of Llangollen on the edge of the Berwyn Mountains. Boaters can also travel a navigable section of the Montgomery Canal from Frankton Junction to Maesbury.
Heading east, in less than four hours boaters can reach the pretty historic town of Whitchurch, where there’s a selection of independent shops and places to eat, including the Wheatsheaf Hotel and the award-winning Black Bear pub.
From Whitchurch, it takes around nine hours, passing through 19 locks to reach Hurleston Junction, where the Llangollen Canal meets the Shropshire Union Canal. From there, on a week’s holiday from Whixall, boaters can head to Nantwich, Market Drayton or Chester, or on a 10-day or two-week break, they can tackle the Four Counties Ring.
Anglo Welsh also offers canal boat holidays and day boat hire on the Llangollen Canal at Trevor, towards the western end of the canal.