ELLESMERE PORT FROM NANTWICH

 

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

 

You can do this route from :
Nantwich Marina

Lovely cruise through the Cheshire Countryside to visit the Roman City of Chester and Ellesmere Port.

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.

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.

In Ellesmere Port part of the old Dock complex is home to the Boat Museum. Exhibits, models and photos trace the development of the canal system from early time to its heyday in the 19th century.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Cruising Days : 4.00

Cruising Time : 24.00 hours

Total Distance : 54.00 miles

Number of Locks : 28

Number of Tunnels : 0

Number of Aqueducts : 0

Read the Cruising Notes

Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holiday

Read our cruising notes.

 

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Download our cruising notes.

 

 

 

 

Cruising Notes

Day 1

From Nantwich marina head north and you will soon pass the Hurleston Junction on your left where the Llangollen canal meets the Shropshire Union. Ignore this turning and head straight on, and soon you will also see the Barbridge Junction where the Middlewich canal goes up to the Trent & mersey, again ignore the turning and keep straight on towards Chester.

The Olde Barbridge Inn is Canalside at the Barbridge Junction.

The countryside is flat, rich farmland.

The Davenport Arms is at Calveley by bridge 104.

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.

It is 2 hours to here so a good place to stop for the night.


Day 2

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.

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.

The next settlement of note on the Shropshire Union is Christleton, a delightful village with a green and lots of old houses, just on the outskirts of the city of Chester. Christleton has moorings and a canalside pub called the Old Trooper.

You are now on the outskirts of Chester & there is a very convenient Park & Ride here which can take you into the city of Chester in a few minutes. Moor up by Christleton Bridge 122, it is 4.5 hours to here .

Continue on through the 5 locks into the City of Chester.
Moorings in Chester are as follows:
Chester after Bridge 123D to The Frog and Nightingale PH (14 days)
Chester after Cow Lane Bridge 123E to Chester City Walls (48 hrs) Good access to City from Bridge 123e
Chester between Bridge 123L and water point before dry dock (7 days on rings)
But be aware that the pubs can be a bit noisy at night!
It is 6 hours to here from Bunbury.

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.

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).

Excavations by English Heritage and Chester City Council in 2004-5 revealed two successive stone-built amphitheatres with wooden seating. The first included access to the upper tiers of seats via stairs on the rear wall, as at Pompeii, and had a small shrine next to its north entrance. The second provided seat access via vaulted stairways. The two buildings differed from each other and from all other British amphitheatres, underlining the importance of Roman Chester.

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 30 species of butterfly from South America, Africa and South East Asia. One of the most critically threatened species around, the Philippine Crocodile is new to Chester Zoo and a breeding programme is in place for this species to ensure its long-term survival.

The Chester Visitor & Craft Centre is open Mon-Sat 9-5, and has working craft shops and cafe.

Chester Heritage Tours- – see highlights of Historic Chester from an open top 1930s vintage omnibus. Or experience Chester in an open top bus -www.city-sightseeing.com, the tour takes 55 minutes.

Chester Market in Princess Street is that site of an undercover market with up to 100 stalls selling fresh produce, and conditions the tradition of a market in the city that started in the 14th Century.
Open Mon-Sat 8am to 5pm.



Day 3

Continue on through Chester right through the middle of the town. Passing the site of an old lead works and a great variety of bridges, the navigation approaches the old city and suddenly curves round into a very steep rock cutting.

Soon the Northgate staircase locks are reached , at the bottom is a sharp right turn to Tower Wharf. Northgate Locks are hewn out of solid rock, and these impressive locks lower the canal by 33 feet.

There is a handy store next to Bridge 128.

Sweeping northwards along the lock free pound from Chester to the Mersey, the canal enters open country as it crosses the Wirral.

Turn around near bridge 147, as you cannot go onto the Manchester Ship Canal.

It is 3.5 hours to here



In Ellesmere Port part of the old Dock complex is home to the Boat Museum. Exhibits, models and photos trace the development of the canal system from early time to its heyday in the 19th century.

Vessels on display include a diverse array of narrowboats and some restored period cottages.
This exciting and expanding venture in a splendid setting beside the canal is not to be missed.
Open April- October 10-5 & Nov – March Sat-Wed 11-4.

Blue Planet Aquarium is west of bridge 140a . It is a new aquarium with 2 floors of interactive exhibits, themed restaurant, Caribbean reef, Amazon Jungle and shop.

Easily reached by bus from Ellesmere port, Birkenhead is worth a visit. Birkenhead Park has benefited from an £11m restoration, and the gardens inspired the designs for Central park in New York.


At Birkenhead Tramway & transport Museum you can travel back in time on either a genuine Hong Kong Tram or the beautifully restored 1901 Birkenhead Tram. Also see the Baxter collection of cars and motorcycles. . Open April to Oct Sat & Sun 1-5pm, also Wednes – Friday during School summer holidays & Easter.

German U Boat at Birkenhead-View the amazing life on board a German U Boat, you can look into the U boat and discover well preserved artefacts and a rare Enigma machine. The U Boat story is at Woodside ferry terminal inn Birkenhead.


Make your way back to Christleton to moor for the night, you will have cruised for 8.5 hours

Day 4
Day 5
It is 7 hours back to Nantwich marina, so make your way back


It is 15.5 hours back to Wrenbury , which can be done in 3 leisurely days, or 2 full days.

 

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

The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)

Adele Marie (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Pubs available on this canal route:-

  Pub Name Pub Address Distance from Nantwich More Info
Olde Barbridge Inn Old Chester Road, Nantwich CW5 6AY 2.88 Miles Full Details
The Old Trooper Whitchurch Road, Christleton CH3 6AE 14.84 Miles Full Details
The Frog And Nightingale Canal Side, Chester CH1 3LH 16.75 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.