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Llangollen weekend Saturday Aqueduct paddle

'We all met in the car park behind the hostel around 9.30 am and set off in convoy for the Pontcysyllte aqueduct at Trevor. Weather was good and the forecast was reasonable for most of the day.

We unloaded the boats - variety of vessels! - and started our voyage paddling single file through a bank of moored barges in the basin. We had to wait a while for a couple of barges to come off the aqueduct so happily basked in the sunshine chatting. Then it was our turn and we made our way single file again onto the aqueduct - an 18-arched stone and cast iron structure completed in 1805 - apparently known locally as the 'stream in the sky'. It is only 12' wide (the same as the length of my kayak!) but is the longest in Great Britain (307m) and the highest in the world (38m)! The views were amazing!

We then continued to paddle along the Llangollen canal, beautiful scenery on both sides making it feel more like paddling on a river than a canal. People walking along the banks were curious to see such a large group paddling together and stopped to chat. 

We reached the small road bridge that had to be raised manually by one of our group leaders and stopped shortly after this to have a snack break and stretch our legs (still in the boats!) before heading into the first tunnel. Head torches on and the temperature dropped significantly while underground! We all made it through uneventfully and headed back out into the light and continued paddling. Leaves were falling off the trees like confetti in the sunlight. 

Next came a longer tunnel before crossing the Chirk aqueduct which is adjacent to a rail viaduct - wierd feeling paddling alongside a train briefly! We crossed the border into England before turning round, back over the Chirk aqueduct and stopping just before the tunnel for a welcome lunch break.

The clouds were building by this time and the sky was darkening as we set off again retracing our steps along the canal and back over the 'stream in the sky' - just before the heavens opened!

An awesome day's paddle (just under 9 miles) incorporating two aqueducts, two tunnels - and two countries! All finished off with an amazing 'bring and share' meal at the hostel ... what more could you ask for?!

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