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  • Writer's pictureRuss Tierney

A walk along the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Trevor Basin, Wrexham, North Wales

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct from below shot by Splash Point Photo

I have always wanted to visit an aqueduct! I don't know why, I think I just had it in my head that it would be scenic and interesting to photograph. Furthermore, I knew there was one in North Wales, and in years past, I had looked online at them but never thought too much about it other than storing it at the back of my mind as a possible location to shoot at. Then, I created this blog and the social media platforms to coincide with it, and as I've suggested in the past, it was with the intention of it making me get out and explore more... so I guess it's working!

I'm not sure what I did and didn't expect mentally that made me think it would be so appealing, and I'm not sure that I even knew you could get on-and-across them when I was piecing the concept together in the far reaches of my mind either, but of course, with Dr Google to hand, you can find it all out pretty sharpish. Being in North Wales too, it occasionally makes the news when paddleboarders cross it given it's not considered safe to do so while standing on one, yet narrow boats and kayaks are fine. That's in no small part down to the fact that there's only a barrier on the pedestrian walk way and nothing on the canal side. That walk way, by the way, is two people wide and a little sketchy with bags, dogs, pushchairs and the like.

Walking along the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

When I say 'it', of course, 'it' being the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wrexham.. or Llangollen, depending on how confused you wish to be when looking online. Basically, from what I can tell, it has a Wrexham postcode but crosses the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen, kinda like when I used to live in Solihull right next to the Birmingham NEC, that was in Solihull but had a Birmingham postcode and was named as such - yeah I duno either.. basically, it's in either Wrexham or Llangollen.. maybe a bit of both. Anyways, I emphasise it because there are several aqueducts in the area, never mind North Wales, you can see one in the landscape from atop of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, but Dr Google did us good pointing us to this one as I gather the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is by far the most scenic, and thus most touristy amongst it's other accolades.

Views from the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct shot by Splash Point Photo

I'm not actually sure if it's another aqueduct, I tried to research but found nothing, so maybe it's a railway? If you know, let me know. There are still several aqueducts in North Wales :)

Speaking of accolades and Dr Google, here's some i've stolen from off of it, so you'll have to excuse me if I've pillaged some of your words from a Google snippet, and you end up reading this..

It is 12 feet (3.7 metres) wide and is the longest aqueduct in Great Britain and the highest canal aqueduct in the world.

The aqueduct’s name is a reference to the name of the town where it is situated. The Welsh name “Pontcysyllte” refers to the historic township section of the hamlet of Llangollen and means “Cysyllte Bridge” or “Bridge of Cysyllte.” - so not Wrexham then?

It took around ten years from design to construction and cost around of £47,000. Adjusted for inflation, this is equivalent to more than £4,060,000 as of 2023. The Pontcysyllte aqueduct officially opened to traffic on 26 November 1805 Right, that's enough stolen fact from the far reaches of the Internet and Wiki

The Trevor Basin

The Trevor Basin is the best place for you to park up. If you put "Pontcysyllte Aqueduct" in to Dr Google, it'll direct you here.. to this WREXHAM address (help)! The basin it's self is lovely, and there are toilets on site, a visitor centre, some other historical things to take a peak at, while on the other side (from the aqueduct access point), there are pub gardens, tearooms and such. There are also a bunch of narrow boats moored here that you can hire (I imagine in advance), or on the day there are scheduled boat trips too that you can just rock up to, but they were behind glass on a touristy barge, so I didn't fancy it - if it were an open air fronted boat, I would have jumped on. The guys you see me speak to in the video below as I cross the Aqueduct are "bearded men adventures", and they do a canoeing experience across it. For that one, you definitely need to book in advance in the town or online, as I tried to hire a canoe on the day and failed. There must be a place to hire canoes outside of a full experience too, as that's pretty price, I just didn't find it!

And finally, some other nuggets for you. The circles you see in the thumbnail above on the bottom right, is a small sewage plant. The geometry of it makes them kinda interesting to shoot, and while I didn't notice a smell standing on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, if you walk down the side from the Trevor Basin access point to get different views, there were a few moments where I was looking where I was stepping, assuming dog poo, yet thinking it was decisively human, before I put two and two together on the way back.

A house surrounded by nature as seen from the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct shot by Splash Point Photo

Not Ryan Reynolds' new house.. although rumour has it (aka the local news sources), he's now bought a place in Wexham. The other nugget, which I found interesting, and again I didn't realise the most logical reason until we discussed it on the way back, was, there were a few American accents about. Now, I live in a seaside town in North Wales, and I can't remember the last time I heard an American accent in these parts, so I found it curious! We then of course we put two and two together (and here's another point for Wrexham in the Wrexham v Llangollen debate), that it is probably in no short part due to Mr Ryan Renyolds and Rob Mcelhenney. I think they truly put Wrexham on the map with their series "Welcome to Wrexham", and that's despite the ongoing joke we Brits aim towards Americans about them not knowing that anywhere else exists outside of the good olde gun toting US 'o A.

I think with the pair buying Wrexham FC, and the understated beauty of North Wales to foreigners, it stands to reason that more Americans would be curious of the area and want to check out local beauty spots while checking out the club fanfare. By default, now, I imagine Wrexham probably has the most American 'soccer' fans outside of the fashionable branded or oil clubs hovering in the Premier League. Celebs too! Again, it often makes the local news when the likes of Will Farrell or some other Hollywood actor has been down their local on game day, throwing back some beers with punters before the match... but hey, my boys have Tom Hanks! #UTV

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