Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen

It’s been a beautiful day again today. Warm, bright and sunny, in fact perfect cruising weather.

Just as we were ready to set off this morning another boat came past and by the time we got to Whitehouse Tunnel another boat had caught us up, so for the first time this year we were travelling in a convoy.

queuing at the lift bridge

The first 50 feet into Whitehouse Tunnel was covered in spiders webs. I’ve never seen so many before and the spiders were pretty big too.

I’d been dreading going over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct as last time it was so windy it almost blew the flower pots off the roof and made the crossing so bumpy and scary I had to sit inside on the engine steps.  This time it was calm and there were lots of walkers crossing with us so I was OK and even managed to look out to take the photos. The views are beautiful but it’s a bloody long way down!!!

For those of you not familiar with this aqueduct here are the stats. It was built in 1805, is 1007 feet long and crosses the River Dee at the dizzy height of 126 feet. It holds 1.5 million litres of water and takes over 2 hours to drain. It’s the longest and highest cast-iron aqueduct in the world and is a Grade 1 listed building, a Welsh National Monument and is one of the seven wonders of the British Inland Waterways. It’s also a World Heritage Site.

Two sections of canal on the approach into Llangollen are too narrow for boats to pass so I walked on ahead to make sure nothing was coming, although as there are so few boats moving I'd have been very surprised it we had met anyone.

This is the view down into Llangollen town, taken from the boat as we went up to the basin. The River Dee looks quite turbulent, we'll go and have a closer look tomorrow.

There are several boats moored in Llangollen, most are showing winter mooring permits and are plugged into the electric points.  We carried on to moor in the basin and were surprised that there were only 2 other boats here.  One of them has since gone so now there’s only the 2 of us here. In the main cruising season it costs £6 a night to moor here, inclusive of electricity so maybe one reason there aren’t many boats here is because the electric hook-up points have all been switched off.

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