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Blackwater Meadow Marina in Shropshire

Birch Road, Ellesmere, Shropshire. SY12 9DD

Things to do from Blackwater Meadow Marina

Cruise in the spectacular countryside of the Dee Valley, marvel at two aqueducts the Chirk and the magnificent Pontcysyllte. Visit Llangollen home to the world famous Eisteddfod.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - Built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop and opened in 1805 it spans 1000 feet over the Dee Valley, cross over in a narrow boat and experience the feeling of being suspended in mid air.

Llangollen - World famous for the annual International Musical Eisteddfod when each July over 4,000 competitors from more than fifty countries come together in a gala of song, music and dance.

Chirk Aqueduct - 70ft high with ten huge circular arches spanning the River Ceiriog it is flanked by an equally sturdy railway viaduct and was completed in 1801 by its architects and builders Thomas Telford and William Jessop.

Chirk Castle - Owned by the National Trust this rectangular Marches fortress has spectacular views over the surrounding countryside view the award winning gardens.

Chester Zoo - With over 7000 animals to visit and to learn about a visit to Chester Zoo is an unique experience, hundreds of different types of plants reflect the natural habitats of some of the more exotic species.


By Road : Blackwater Meadow Marina is situated in Ellesmere, Shropshire, approximately 16 miles North West of Shrewsbury. North and South take the M54/A5 towards Shrewsbury, and then follow A528 to Ellesmere. On arrival in Ellesmere, follow signs for town centre.

Turn left just after the garage, and enter one-way system. The Marina is sign-posted left. You are now on Birch Road and the marina is situated approximately half a mile on the left.

By Rail: From London Euston station to Shrewsbury, then change and take train to Chester, which passes through Gobowen. Leave train at Gobowen and take Taxi to Blackwater Meadow Marina (5 miles).

By Air : n/a

The Blackwater Cruising Route Map


Llangollen & Return | Chester or Ellesmere Port & Return | The Cheshire Ring | The Four Counties Ring

Llangollen & returnThe Llangollen Canal Cruising Route Map
• From Whitchurch 7 nights, 4 hours per day, 4 locks

The Llangollen Canal is arguably the most beautiful canal on the whole system and combines the gentle countryside of Shropshire and the more dramatic landscape of the Welsh border.

It boasts one of the most striking features on the UK canals - the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which can be reached from both Whitchurch and Wrenbury in a week or 4 night mid week break (you will not be able to cross over the aqueduct in a 3 night weekend break).

Unusually, this canal has a flow of 2mph as it feeds other canals, so the outbound journey will always be slower than on the way back. The last locks are at New Marton, half way between Ellesmere and Chirk. From there on, as it clings to the hillside contours, an enchanting blend of aqueducts and tunnels takes the canal, lock free, to Llangollen.

New visitor moorings in Llangollen are now available, but charges do apply (£5.00 per night per boat, need to arrive by 4.30pm).

Take a steam train ride from Llangollen up the Dee Valley or visit the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran.

Chester or Ellesmere Port & returnChester and Ellesmere Port canal routes
Chester, 7 nights, 5 hours per day, 66 locks

For Ellesmere Port add 1.5 hours per day and 8 locks On this popular countryside route the locks are well spaced for easy cruising. You can choose to travel to Chester and then retrace your steps back to the marina or continue along the Shropshire Union main line to its historic terminal on the River Mersey at Ellesmere Port.

Mooring in Chester is within easy reach of the walled city centre with its medieval ‘rows’ where there are a variety of shops, galleries and the majestic cathedral. Chester TIC 01244 402111

Chester Zoo is just a short walk from the canal. 01244 380280

The fascinating Boat Museum 0151 355 5017 at Ellesmere Port is a few locks beyond Chester, near to the junction with the Manchester Ship Canal. The museum has an extensive collection of preserved inland waterway craft and display areas in many of the former warehouses.

The Cheshire RingThe Cheshire Ring Cruising Route Map
14 nights, 6 hours per day, 137 locks

A fascinating trip that takes you through the heart of Manchester and the Peak District with its distinctive stone architecture.

Moor at Castlefields to explore the city of Manchester, including Old Trafford, home of Manchester United F.C. 0870 4421994, the huge Arndale shopping centre and the Science & Industry Museum. 0161 832 2244

The trip will let you enjoy glorious scenery as the Pennine Range overlooks the canal and, if time allows, detour along the Peak Forest canal to its terminus.
Enjoy the stunning views from Marple and at Anderton pause to visit the fabulously restored boat lift which now operates throughout the cruising season to link the canal with the River Weaver.

Four Counties RingFour Counties canal ring Cruising Map
14 nights, 6 hours per day, 132 locks

This is a popular circular route that takes you on a fascinating journey through parts of Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Cheshire.

This is an active trip, but well worth the extra effort. There is lots to see including Wedgwood Pottery factory 01782 204141 and the Wedgwood Museum at Barlaston 01782 282986, the
impressive 2926-yard long Harecastle Tunnel and Shugborough Hall 01889 881388 at Great Haywood.

You will travel on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, the Trent and Mersey, Shropshire Union and Llangollen Canal depending on which base you start from, giving you a variety of scenery from the rolling Staffordshire countryside to the Cheshire Plains to extensive views of the beautiful Shropshire countryside.

Customer Testimonial

I'd like to say a big 'thank you' to the staff at Union Wharf for the great service afforded us last weekend. We had a warm welcome and received explanations about the process for loading the boat, the tuition and how your system works, including how things worked on board. We were very pleased with the boat - good condition, clean, tidy and very well equipped. The tuition and information we received was straightforward and well-delivered, which helped us to enjoy a very lovely weekend - thank you. I would certainly recommend you in the future. Sue Bridgehouse

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