Walk 2905 - printer friendly version
The Llangollen Canal from Ellesmere Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km
Ascent - 460 feet / 139 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SJ406345
Lat 52.904636 + Long -2.884593
Postcode SY12 0PA (approx. location only)
This north Shropshire walk explores the interesting landscape surrounding the small town of Ellesmere. Of particular interest in this area and the numerous meres, which have resulted from the unique combination of geology and geomorphology found in this area.
The start is the large pay and display Castle Field car park (grid ref SJ406345) on the A495 Welshampton road just west of the town centre. Exit the car park and walk down to the main road. Cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and turn left along the shore of The Mere, which should be on your right. The onward route follows the shore of the Mere passing though pleasant gardens and woodland. The path turns southeast and narrows as it enters woodland. Exiting the woods you reach a path junction (grid ref. SJ408351). Turn left signed Welshampton.
The path is initially enclosed by a hedge and fence but soon joins a track. This is followed towards Crimps farm. Just before reaching the farm (grid ref. SJ414355), turn right down an enclosed track This leads to open pasture land and the only section of uphill walking in the route. In general the waymarks are adequate although a map helps with navigation on this section. At first the path heads generally east but in the fifth field turns south east and soon becomes track. This leads to the main road in the village of Welshampton (grid ref. SJ431349).
Turn left into the village and then take the lane on the right, signed Lyneal, just after the picturesque church. The lane is relatively quiet although care is needed on some of the bends. After approximately 1 km you reach the Llangollen Canal. Join the towpath and walk west. The path is wide and well maintained and you soon reach Yell Bridge (grid ref. SJ434335). Here you can leave the towpath and investigate Cole Mere. This mere has wooded shores and is used for sailing. You can make a complete circuit using the shore path and this would add 1.5 miles (2 km) and about 45 minutes in time to the walk.
Continue west along the canal towpath. The walking is pleasant and you soon reach Blake Mere on your right. A wooded shoreline with Rhododendrons in season, make this a very pleasant corner of Shropshire's countryside. You soon reach the western end of Blake Mere and the next feature is the canal tunnel under a main road. The tunnel is dark and care is needed although a handrail offers reassurance. A torch would be useful but is not vital.
You soon pass a signed footpath on your right, which could be used to reach the car park. However our route continues passing a modern marina to reach a junction of canals. We are continuing straight ahead, crossing to the other towpath using the footbridge. Reaching the wharf at the end of the canal (under redevelopment, Spring 2008) turn right towards the town centre. Here you will find a wide range of shops, a few cafes and pubs. Signs in the centre direct you to the Mere and all you need do is follow its southern shore back to the car park.