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The Locations in Wales Attracting People to Canal Holidays

Montgomery Canal

More and more people are going for canal holidays in Wales. It’s the perfect way to explore the best of the Welsh countryside and navigate its picturesque towns and villages. The Welsh countryside boasts lush valleys, especially in the southwest, weaving through rolling hills and several acres of woodland. Below, check out the top locations in Wales attracting people to canal holidays.

  • Montgomery 

Montgomery is one of the most beautiful places you’ll see on a canal holiday in Wales. It’s a small town in Powys County along the scenic River Severn, close to the border of England. The historic town is home to numerous old buildings and historical sites and is worth a stop while exploring the canals of Wales. You will also find several restaurants, shops, and cafes. 

Situated along the border of England and Wales, Montgomery is close to two of Wales’ most important tributaries, Rhiew and Camlad rivers, and are both part of the river Severn. The Romans established a fort in the town but torn down during the Civil War, leaving a few ruins behind. 

As you stroll around town, you’ll find many interesting sites. Some are a reminder of its vibrant past. The Dragon Hotel is one of the best examples of an old-fashioned building, which you’ll find in the town centre. Visit Montgomery Castle, a stone-built castle overlooking the gorgeous views of the town. It’s one of the Norman castles you’ll find along the border between Wales and England, and its strategic importance in the Welsh Marches means it was destroyed and rebuilt several times.

With its long history, Montgomery is a must-visit on your canal holiday in Wales, especially for history lovers fond of buildings with historical significance. It also has a lovely cultural scene, home to numerous restaurants and shops.  

  • Swansea 

Swansea is another reason to go for a relaxing canal holiday in Wales. The beautiful coastal city lies along the south coast of Wales, boasting rich history and cosmopolitan culture. 

If history is your thing, you’ll have a great time exploring Swansea, especially at the Waterfront Museum. It’s one of Wales’ most fascinating museums, featuring mesmerising exhibits spanning several centuries. The museum tells the story of the city’s industrial and maritime history when it supplies the world with steel and coal. 

The Clyne Gardens is another beautiful place to see in the city, especially if you’re seeking a quiet place to enjoy the tranquillity. Surrounded by lush parklands, it’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.

The place to have a taste of the local culture is the Swansea Indoor Market. You’ll have a great time roaming the market, checking out the stalls selling local foods, including locally reared meats and homemade cheeses, bread, and cakes. You’ll also find colourful crafts and designer accessories for souvenirs.

  • Llangollen 

Llangollen is another lovely town worth a stop at during your canal holiday. You can also use it as your base since there are many great places in Llangollen to hire canal boats, perfect for exploring the canals in Wales at your own pace. Llangollen lies on the banks of the stunning River Dee, sitting at the foot of the Berwyn Mountain range.

Surrounded by picturesque rolling hills and lush green countryside, Llangollen is a haven for nature lovers. It’s also steeped in rich history, packed with historical sites, including a medieval castle and a well-preserved steam railway. 

While there are plenty of fantastic things to do in Llangollen, it is best known for its annual festival, the International Music Eisteddfod, taking place every year during the second week of July. During this time, dancers and singers from around the country would come to Llangollen to perform. If you are in Wales during this time, you should pass by Llangollen to witness the festival.

A scenic stroll in Llangollen will reveal many beautiful sites. So, dock your boat, and take the path that follows the river, passing through Riverside Gardens. If you walk through the water’s edge, you’ll see a beautiful bridge peeking through the trees. Walk up the steps towards Mill Street, then turn left towards the town centre. 

  • Newbridge 

Newbridge is a quiet town in South Wales lying within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire. While it may not be among the most visited places in Wales, it’s worth a stop during your canal boat holiday. 

Newbridge has an interesting history and was part of England until the late 20th Century. The town’s name means “land around a new bridge” built at the Ebbw River during the 18th Century. If you’re passing through this river during your boat holiday, Newbridge is one of those towns you should pass by. 

For those who want to explore the great outdoors, you may want to climb Twmbarlwm, a famous summit near Newbridge. You can follow the 11.6-mile loop trail that starts in Cwmcarn. It’s a moderately challenging route, taking around six hours to complete. The trail is perfect for hiking, walking, and running, and you will be less likely to encounter many other people, which makes for an even more enjoyable adventure.

  • Chirk 

When passing along the Llangollen Canal, you’ll come across Chirk Aqueduct, a 70-foot-high navigable aqueduct stretching to the Horseshoe Falls on the river Dee. Built in 1801 by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, it is about 710 feet long, carrying the canal 70 feet above the beautiful river Ceiriog.

Along the towpath, you’ll find the Chirk tunnel, one of the first tunnels in the UK to have a towpath. If you’re brave enough to explore the dark, you can walk through the tunnel, which locals call the “Darkie,” and requires walking through the entire 400 metres of darkness!

Aside from the Chirk Aqueduct, you’ll find many other beautiful sites worth exploring in Chirk. It lies along the enchanting Ceiriog Valley, which many call a “little Switzerland.” Don’t miss the gorgeous Chirk Castle, nestled within the large expanse of beautiful gardens with colourful flowering shrubs.