Runs from Ellesmere Port to Autherley Junction near Wolverhampton
Junctions with the Manchester Ship Canal at Ellesmere Port, River Dee at Chester, Middlewich branch (Trent & Mersey), Llangollen Canal at Hurleston Junction, Staffs & Worcs canal at Autherley Junction
The Shropshire Union Canal runs from the edge of urban Wolverhampton through wonderful canal holiday scenery across some of the most rural and least populated areas of England on its way to the River Mersey at Ellesmere Port. Two weeks allows the Shropshire Union Canal to be explored in comfort from either our Llangollen base or Four Counties base. A Chester only trip is possible in one week from Llangollen.
This is a spectacular route of deep cuttings, straight lines, aqueducts at Stretton and Nantwich and high embankments with panoramic views over the Welsh Marches. The flights of locks like the 15 at Audlem are grouped together and make a breathtaking descent onto the Cheshire Plains.
Take the Shropshire Union Canal and head north across Cheshire pasturelands to visit Chester where the canal skirts round the famous Roman walls, cutting through the solid sandstone with houses and offices sitting high above. You can moor close to the city centre and visit the famous "rows", shops on two levels overlooking the street which date back to the middle ages. The National Waterways Museum is worth the short trip up to Ellesmere Port.
Or head south, climbing the long but easy flights of locks at Audlem and Adderley, through deep and leafy cuttings and over high and windy embankments with views to The Wrekin and the Welsh Borders. Visit the medieval market towns of Nantwich and Market Drayton with their half timbered buildings and pleasant villages such as Audlem and Brewood.
The Shropshire Union Canal was one of the last canals to be built and used civil engineering methods developed for the railways, resulting in deep cuttings & high embankments. It travels in straight lines cutting through hills and across valleys, rather than twisting along contour lines like the earlier canals did. It quickly became an important trade route between the North West and Midlands and London.
The Shropshire Union Canal forms part of the popular Four Counties Ring cruising route, with the Staffs and Worcestershire canal and the Trent and Mersey canal.