Cruising the Llangollen and Montgomery canals

Cows on the LLangollenWell, we made it on to the Langollen (‘The Welsh’ as I am reliably informed by a real insider) and tis truly the holy grail of canals as we were led to believe.  We moored to soak up the scenery, opening the side hatches for a splendid view of cows’ bottoms. Rural and tranquil.

We hit Wrenbury as The Cotton Arms were holding a music event curiously called The Snakey Festival in support of a good cause and drank Mr Swift’s Pale Ale whilst Bob On Our Side banged out some great Dylan numbers.Snakey Festival

The following day saw us approaching Quoisley Lock on our way towards Grindley Brook. I thought I could pick out a seated man with a hat and long beard by the towpath – a part of the trees. How keen our minds are to see animate objects in trees and fire and clouds. But our creeping nearer caused this figure to release itself from the branches of the tree and reveal itself to be a real green man of the lock – springing into action this barely-toothed fellow assisted me with the lock and sold us firewood and potatoes. Handy.

Sun dripped on us all the way along the watery path to Ellesmere. Plenty of tempting mooring spots by little lakes appeared but we had a date at the Thai Mere restaurant and settled nearer town. We were treated to a delicious dinner which was followed by refreshingly stellar live music at The White Hart by Mary and The Mudlarks accompanied by Shropshire Gold at £2.60 a pint. Yes: £2.60 hooray!

Cressy plaqueA late Monday morning in June before 10.00am saw us telephoning the CRT (as required) to  book ourselves onto The Montgomery canal for passage that same day. Twelve boats are permitted on the short seven navigable miles nearest Frankton Junction and the window of opportunity is as short between midday and 2pm. But following this time – sensitive organised protocol your time on the canal is suspended in scenic stillness, set to the parking metermusic of bird chatter and busy insects. No parallel train lines and only a brief interruption from the A5. The Montgomery’s gateway of Frankton Locks pays homage to Tom Rolt’s narrowboat Cressy and the formation of the Inland Waterways in the guise of a smart plaque at lock 3. A strange contrast to the bizarrely sited parking meter in a garden prior to the locks which pays homage to charging you excessively to park your car. Montgomery canal

We moored outside The Navigation pub (advertising free range and ethical produce) but found it to be closed on a Monday, reopening on a Tuesday evening. A local lady said she hoped we’d pay a visit to the Canal Central Cafe but this delight we missed also it being shut Mondays and Tuesdays. (Perhaps we were just out of season). Such closures rarely affect you when your home is your transport and your surroundings are peace personified though.  Our second Monty night we spent by the aqueduct and really felt wonderfully isolated and detached from the world. The Monty in June is luscious, fat with vegetation and has a strikingly secret feel to it. Shushhhh!

Thanks to Donna, Mark and Inky for permission to publish their cruising blog.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

Facebook | Twitter

About | Terms | Privacy| Refunds & Returns| Sitemap | Contact Us

With over 800 pages, this website uses cookies to record visitor behaviour using Google Analytics. More information on Privacy Page. Page last updated: 30/06/2014.