The Pontcysyllte aqueduct must be one of the most spectacular in Britain. The canal is fed from the River Dee at the Horseshoe Falls just out of Llangollen and the Dee runs under the aqueduct. The famous engineer, Thomas Telford, built Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen in 1795. Today, it is a protected Grade I listed building, a Welsh National Monument and is one of the seven wonders of the British Inland Waterways System
I wanted to hire a narrowboat for a week and do this canal, but could not due to time constraints. I had only a long weekend that that's not enough time to get from the hire station to the aqueduct and back. So I settled for driving up in a car and walking across.
I understand that you can hire a boat for the day for up to 12 people at 2 local Marinas to travel on this canal.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was built by Telford in 1795. It is a Welsh National Monument and is one of the seven wonders of the British Inland Waterways System. But it is very hard to photograph, and also pretty hard to get to. In our case, it was hard to get to it because the road bridge that we would have used to get to the end of the canal in Trevor was under construction. So we eventually found our way to a parking lot at a church on the other end and we walked across. Our son even got a ride going partway.
Later when he saw a Roman aqueduct, he wanted to know where the boats were.
You can get barge trips up to the Aqueduct from Llangollen, but we decided to just drive up to the canal and walk across as we were hiring a canal boat at the weekend. (Quoting from the literature: "Two hour trips ..to carry your through the beautiful Vale of Llangollen and across the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct built by Thomas Telford between 1793 and 1806. The country's biggest aqueduct towers a massive 126 ft (38 m) above the River Dee supported by 18 stone piers. The canal runs through an iron trough 1007 ft long, 11ft 10 inches wide and 5 ft 3 inches deep..Live commentary from your cheeky "Captain".. A fully stocked bar provides something to steady the nerves..Price Adult £7, Child £6")
What to buy:
When we went back to the carpark in Llangollen, I went in to get a birthday card (£1.99 - well actually just a card with space to write whatever message you want) for my Mom whose 93rd birthday was the next week. She is an iris judge and this card had a picture of an iris on it. I also got some clotted cream fudge (£2.00). It tastes to me like the old fashioned caramels that my husband's granny used to make, but sort of grainy. I got the carmel/fudge so that we'd have enough to make an amount that the shop would take without having to give change.
I didn't actually do any shopping in Trevor.
The aqueduct is 125 feet in the air and the water trough is 1007 feet long and only about 7 feet wide and 5.3 feet deep. And the railing on the canal path is only about 4 feet tall. The pictured sign warns that you should not leave children on the aqueduct unsupervised.
I've seen people standing on the top of the boat cabin to take photos as they go across the aqueduct - they obviously do not have a problem with heights.
But some people do. The literature on the short trip from Llangollen comments that there is: A fully stocked bar .. to steady the nerves.
The book I read which inspired me to want to come and see the aqueduct was written by Emily Kimbrough (titled "And A Right Good Crew" which is a phrase from "H.M.S. Pinafore") and she WAS afraid of heights. At the time she went (in the 50's) the water in the canals (before extensive renovation had been done on the canals) was too low for them to get all the way to this aqueduct. Her traveling companion was disappointed, but she was pleased because she was dreading being up so high.