CHESTER AND RETURN FROM BLACKWATER

 

Route Info | Boats | Map overview of route | Cruising Notes | Maps & Guides | Links | Pub Guide

 

You can do this route from :
Blackwater Meadow Marina


Cruise to Chester through Ellesmere's mini Lake District, the Meres or Lakes were carved out during the Ice Age.

There is a wealth of things to do in the Roman City of Chester which can be seen on foot, because of the amazing survival of the old city wall. You can walk right round Chester on this superb footpath.

Chester Roman Amphitheatre is the largest in Britain, used for entertainment and military training by the 20th Legion, based at the fortress of 'Deva' (Chester).Discover 1,000 of shops behind the façades of the black and white buildings, find high street brands to designer boutiques. Shop in Chester's Rows where 21st century stores thrive in a Medieval setting. Take home some Cheshire cheese which is one of the oldest recorded cheeses in British history and is even referred to in the Domesday Book.

Lying outside the town is Chester Zoo is home to 7000 animals including some of the most endangered species on the planet.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Cruising Days : 7.00

Cruising Time : 42.00 hours

Total Distance : 80.00 miles

Number of Locks : 50

Number of Tunnels : 0

Number of Aqueducts : 0

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Read our cruising notes.

 

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Cruising Notes


If you want to spend a day or so at Ellesmere, there are some lovely castles & stately homes within a short drive:
If you base yourself at Ellesmere on the first or last few days, Powis castle is only 25 miles away by car (30 minutes), this is the home to the Earls of Powis, and was built by the Welsh Princes in medieval times.

Also only about 30 minutes away from Ellesmere is another National Trust property- an 18th century Regency mansion.

Day 1

Turn left out of the marina and soon you will see why this area is known as the mini Lake District, as you pass some of Ellesmere's Meres (lakes). The largest mere is off to the north just before Ellesmere Tunnel, but after the tunnel you pass the small Blake Mere, then off to your right is Cole Mere. The Meres were carved out during the Ice Age.
The canal now passes through a very remote and underpopulated area, passing no villages for miles.

There is a lovely lift bridge past the Press Branch canal junction (keep left the canal to your right is a dead end)

Just past the lift bridge is Whixall Moss, a raised bog with rare insect and plant life, but there might be mosquitoes as well! The bog was also formed during the Ice Age. There are walks & cycle routes over Whixall Moss, see leaflets near bridges 44 & 45.

Stop near Platt Lane bridge 43.
It is 3 hours 20 minutes cruising to here & a good place to stop for the night.

Day 2

Another lift bridge is encountered at Bridge 42, and the Canal weaves its way through the quiet countryside until it reaches the town of Whitchurch, which is preceded by two lift bridges at 34 and 33. Another lift bridge marks the entrance to the Whitchurch Arm of the Canal, where you can moor to take the ½ mile walk to visit the town centre.

It is 2 hours cruising to here from Platt Lane bridge 43

Whitchurch is an old town dating from the Roman times and has some beautiful old houses of all periods in the town centre. There are lots of splendid pubs in the town, and shops & a swimming pool.

Worth a visit is St Alkmunds Church, built in 1713 on a hill, it has a stunning interior and is on a grand scale.
Leaving Whitchurch you travel up to the Grindley Brook Locks, these famous staircase locks have made this a canal monument.
The 3 staircase locks are closely followed by 3 more locks, a friendly lock-keeper is on hand to help from April-Oct 8.30 am to 18.30.
By the Locks is the Lockside Stores, selling local produce and with tea & coffee & snacks served in the adjacent cafe, which has internet access.

The Canal travels again through quiet countryside only interrupted by the occasional lock- the 2nd of which has a Pub called the Willeymoor Lock tavern, formally the Lock keepers cottage, it contains some fine Canal paintings.

½ mile south from Marbury Lock is the enchanting village of Marbury.

Further on is the village on Wrenbury, access can be reached from Bridge 20 or 19, about a ¼ mile walk. There are some thatched magpie cottages around the village green.
The Dusty Miller pub is by the Lift bridge and the Cotton Arms is just down the road from the Bridge.

It is just over 5 hours cruising from Whitchurch to here.

Day 3

From Wrenbury marina you will soon encounter a Lift bridge, if it is down you need to get your windlass out and let someone off the boat to open it up.
There are 3 locks at Baddiley but apart from that the countryside is flat, rich farmland.

You can moor up for refreshment aftera couple of hours cruising by Halls lane bridge 12, and take the track to Ravensmoor where you will find the Farmers Arms serving real ale & meals.
There are 2 locks at Swanley but no more until you reach the end of the Llangollen canal at Hurleston, where there are 4 in quick succession. Hurleston reservoir is off to the left.
Turn left at Hurleston junction onto the Shropshire Union Canal, you will follow the reservoir for a short while. At Barbridge you reach the junction of the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union, but you carry straight on and head towards Chester, you are joined by a busy road until it turns away at Calveley. There is a bar & grill at Barbridge.

At Bunbury Wharf, 2 staircase locks require thought before action, they are 14 feet wide like all subsequent locks between here and Chester. The village of Bunbury is 1 mile south west of the Locks and has stores, butcher & take away fish & chips & a couple of pubs.

Bunbury water mill is up the hill from Bunbury Wharf, & is open Easter-Sep & gives guided tours around its fully restored watermill.
You can moor up for the night at Beeston Broom Bridge 107, there is the Beeston castle Hotel here.

It is 7.25 cruising hours to here.

Day 4

From Wharton Lock is an excellent view of Beeston castle- a massive ruin dating back to the 14th century which is visible from 30 miles away. The castle was built by the Earl of Chester in 1337, & is situated on the top of a steep hill dominating the surrounding countryside. It is open April to September.

Beeston Castle is also known as the the formidable ‘Castle of the Rock’. Climb to the top of this impressive crag with incredible views over eight counties, from the Pennines to the Welsh mountains. Legend has it that Beeston still guards King Richard II’s lost treasure – maybe your family can find it? An exciting exhibition details the secrets of 4,000 years of Beeston Castle’s history, from Bronze Age settlement to Iron Age hill fort, the Castle itself was begun in 1225.

With over 40 acres of unspoiled woodland trails to explore and an abundance of wildlife Beeston Castle and Woodland Park makes for a truly exhilarating and enchanting day out for all the family.

The Canal continues through the flat but green Cheshire landscape, the Cheshire cycleway following the canal here, and continues all the way into Chester.
Off to the left by bridge 113 there is a pub- the Poachers Pocket.

Continue through the quiet countryside there are no stores until you get to Waverton where there is a shop.
Just past Waverton off to your left was the site of the Battle of Rowton Moor in 1645, where one of the last major battles of the Civil War took place, with the Parliamentarians beating the Royalists.

You are now on the outskirts of Chester and some of you may wish to moor up here and turn around at Christleton, near bridge 121, near the Cheshire Cat pub, thus saving 6 hours of cruising time to negotiate the 10 locks down into Chester and back. There is a very convenient Park & Ride here which can take you into the city of Chester in a few minutes.

It is 3 hours and 15 mins cruising to here.

CHESTER-
There is a wealth of things to do in this Roman City which can be seen on foot, because of the amazing survival of the old city wall. You can walk right round Chester on this superb footpath.
There has been a church on the site of The Cathedral for over 1,000 years originally a Saxon Minster then rebuilt as a Benedictine Abbey this magnificent building is a national treasure in the heart of the city. Visitors can view the Norman arches and Gothic columns and the medieval shrine of St. Werburgh. The Cloisters and Church form one of the most complete medieval monastic complexes in the country.

Handel gave his first public performance of the Messiah here in 1742.

Discover 1,000 of shops behind the façades of the black and white buildings, find high street brands to designer boutiques. Shop in Chester's Rows where 21st century stores thrive in a Medieval setting. Take home some Cheshire cheese which is one of the oldest recorded cheeses in British history and is even referred to in the Domesday Book.

Discover 2000 years of Chester life in the Grosvenor Museum see the impressive collection of Roman tombstones and displays depicting Roman Chester - look out for the Roman soldiers on the way. Discover the world of the famous naturalist Charles Kingsley and explore 'hands-on' the geology and natural history of the area. Also visit the Cheshire Military museum situated inside the tower of Chester castle. Little of the Castle remains but the 13th century tower is open to the public.

Grosvenor Park miniature Railway is one of Chester's premier attractions for 9-90 year olds!. Open April to Oct Sat Sun & school holidays, where you can experience this steam railway laid out in the Grosvenor Park amongst the ducks, moorhens & geese.

Lying outside the town is Chester Zoo is home to 7000 animals including some of the most endangered species on the planet.
Take a journey through the Butterfly house a 400sq meters tropical house and is home to more than

Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
It is 21 hours cruising back to Blackwater, so cruise for about 7 hours per day & you should be OK!

 

NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.

Boats

We have the following boats available to do this route

Archers Lark (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Clarks Grebe (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Hagar (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Scops Owl (Sleeps a maximum of 10 People).

Streaked Weaver (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Tawny Eagle (Sleeps a maximum of 7 People).

Tyr (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Adelaide Rosella (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Askam Loop (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Barrel of Ale (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Crimson Rosella (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Cuban Amazon (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Devon Maid (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Emily of Blisworth (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Furness Railway (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Great Western (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Great Western 2 (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Heart of England (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Heart Of England 2 (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Mucky Duck (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Plumpton Junction (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Plumpton Junction 2 (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Pride Of Furness (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Pride Of Furness 2 (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Scotts Fun Fair (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Wendy of Freeth (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Wild Swan (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Pubs available on this canal route:-

  Pub Name Pub Address Distance from Blackwater More Info
The Red Lion 18 Church Street, Ellesmere SY12 0HD 0.40 Miles Full Details
The Dog And Bull Coton, Whitchurch SY13 2RA 7.87 Miles Full Details
The Anchor Inn Pepper Street, Whitchurch SY13 1BG 9.73 Miles Full Details
The Black Bear 49 High Street, Whitchurch SY13 1AZ 9.76 Miles Full Details
The Horse And Jockey Grindley Brook, Whitchurch SY13 4QJ 9.27 Miles Full Details
The White Bear High Street, Whitchurch SY13 1AR 9.76 Miles Full Details
The Willeymoor Lock Tavern Tarporley Road, Whitchurch SY13 4HF 10.63 Miles Full Details
The Swan Wrenbury Road, Marbury, Whitchurch SY13 4LS 12.22 Miles Full Details
The Olde Jack Inn The Olde Jack Inn Calverhall, Whitchurch SY13 4PA 12.50 Miles Full Details
The Cotton Arms Cholmondeley Road, Wrenbury CW5 8HG 14.47 Miles Full Details
Bear And Billet 94 Lower Bridge Street, Chester CH1 1RU 19.65 Miles Full Details
The Plough Inn Plough Lane, Chester CH3 7PT 19.54 Miles Full Details
The Albion Inn The Albion Inn Park Street, Chester CH1 1RN 19.77 Miles Full Details
Alexanders Bar Rufus Court, Northgate Street, Chester CH1 2JW 20.13 Miles Full Details
Old Harkers Arms 1 Russell Street, Chester CH3 5AL 20.11 Miles Full Details
The Bull And Stirrup Upper Northgate Street, Chester CH1 4EE 20.19 Miles Full Details
The Frog And Nightingale Canal Side, Chester CH1 3LH 20.11 Miles Full Details
The Pied Bull Hotel The Pied Bull Hotel Northgate Street, Chester CH1 2HQ 20.07 Miles Full Details
Telfords Warehouse Telfords Warehouse Tower Wharf, Chester CH1 4EZ 20.10 Miles Full Details
The White Hart Birch Road, Ellesmere SY10 0ET 22.33 Miles Full Details
The Bunbury Arms The Bunbury Arms 2 Little Stanney Lane, Stoak, Chester CH2 4HW 24.29 Miles Full Details
The Narrowboat 22 Lewin Street, Midddlewich CW10 9AS 27.23 Miles Full Details

NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.

 

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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.