The Big One! – Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Todays timelapse video is here:

Ooooh exciting!

Today is the day that started the whole idea for this trip. I’d seen this bonkers structure and just knew I had to bring Māhina (and us) over it. As I haven’t been able to take any pictures of it from afar, here it is in all it’s glory that someone else captured.

Started off with a short hop from the previous nights mooring. Passed a lovely looking roof garden.

There no easy way to do this so here is some photo and video taken from our journey over the aqueduct. In facts and figures here is some info about it:

It was a massive project between 2 canal masterminds, Thomas Telford & William Jessop. It took 10 years to build, started in 1795 and completed in 1805. Essentially it’s 1008 feet (307 metres) in length, a series of cast iron troughs on 18 pillars that are sat 126 feet (38 meters) up in the air that enable boats to cross the river and the valley below.

It’s only 12 feet wide including the towing path so it’s a snug fit for the boat going over. Although there is a handrail on the path side there is nothing but a sheer drop the other which is pretty scary when you’re stood on the boat.

Made it through in a floatilla of 3 boats and took the left hand turn to follow the smaller Llangollen arm down to the basin.

There are a couple of sections here where the navigation narrows to a singular boat width so you have to send someone ahead to stop other boats coming into the section. Speedy legs Richard was dispatched with that duty as I would have taken ages to walk it! Very pretty but i’m glad we were also behind another boat and travelled through it together. Some folk get a bit grumpy about waiting their turn so it was a bit nicer to have strength in numbers.

Phew! made it through those and only had a little bit of reversing to do before going into the wharf and didnt fluff it up. Found a spot in the basin and I moored up and did a little happy dance as pontoon mooring is still not my forté. You pay £6 for 24 hours on the pontoons and that includes electric hook up and water so we paid for 2 days as we’re going to explore Llangollen town a little this afternoon and tomorrow.

The wharf cafe and office

We went to the wharf to pay for the mooring and stopped for a lovely coffee and panini and watched the horse drawn trip boat go out then ventured into the town.

The heritage train station
The lovely River Dee flowing through the heart of the town

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