Together with my wife we continue discovering Wales and this time I would like to share beautiful experience we had travelling on Llangollen canal.
Llangollen is a charming and historic Victorian border town on the banks of the River Dee in north east Wales.
It is very famous with its canal – the Llangollen, or just The Welsh as it is known to enthusiasts, arguably the most beautiful canal in Britain, certainly it’s the most popular.
Cutting through the beautiful Welsh countryside, before running alongside the River Dee, this charming canal is over 40 miles long.
There are various trips you can take along the Llangollen Canal. Hop on a canal boat and take a ride over the towering Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and enjoy the stunning views from this section of the canal, which was awarded World Heritage Site status in 2009.
You can also take a trip on a horse drawn barge, and admire the beautiful scenery as you travel through the Welsh mountains. You can enjoy this amazing boat trip pulled by one of gorgeous heavy horses only few times a year. This was the reason we actually arrived to Llangollen that day.
This service is operated byLlangollen Wharf.
What is Horse Drawn Boat?
A horse-drawn boat or tow-boat is a historic boat operating on a canal, pulled by a horse walking beside the canal on a towpath.
This tradition goes back to ancient times, the Romans are known to have used mules to haul boats on their waterways in the UK.
Later on boat horses were the prime movers of the Industrial Revolution, and they remained at work until the middle of the 20th century. A horse, towing a boat with a rope from the towpath, could pull fifty times as much cargo as it could pull in a cart or wagon on roads. In the early days of the Canal Age, from about 1740, all boats and barges were towed by horse, mule, hinny, pony or sometimes a pair of donkeys.
Horse-drawn boats were used well into the 1960s on UK canals for commercial transport, and are still used today by passenger trip boats and other pleasure traffic.
The Horseboating Society has the primary aims of preserving and promoting Horseboating on the canals of the United Kingdom.
This is where the horse-drawn barge starts at Llangollen Wharf with its own small tea rooms.
Along your journey keep your eyes peeled for the fascinating wildlife located all along the canal side; there are lots of fish, different birds and even the occasional mussel. A stop at the end allows you to admire the Chain Bridge across the River Dee, and marvel at the man-made Horseshoe Falls.
It was overall fantastic experience: watching the horse pulling the barge, absolutely no other power used, and it was so peaceful just watching the world go by along the canal…
When you take two hours tour there is a 30 minutes stop next to the Horseshoe Falls, during this half an hour you can just walk around or if you would like to have a drink or something to eat lovely Chainbridge Hotel offers that. The restaurant affords a romantic and magnificent panoramic view over the river and Chain bridge of course.
Featured image © Copyright Stephen Craven