Home Outdoors Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: Canals, Panoramic Views and a Disused Railway

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: Canals, Panoramic Views and a Disused Railway

by Adam Howarth, Editor
184 views
View south towards the aqueduct

I’d had my eye on a walk involving the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct for a while now, and a visit to Garth and Trevor a couple of weeks ago made up my mind for me.

It really was a breath-taking three hours, with the view over the Vale of Llangollen from the Panorama Walk a particular highlight. The total ascent is just under 1,142 feet or 348 metres, with the highest point being 919 feet or 280 metres.

The map is available online at explore.osmaps.com/route/21457314 if you have an OS Map subscription.

Starting Point

I parked in the car park at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (01978 822 912) on the B5426. The postcode is LL20 7TY and the What3Words reference is what3words.com/defeated.bypassed.direct. Parking cost me £3.20, which allows you to park all day.

Overview

The route is reasonably dog- friendly, although you do pass through fields that could contain livestock. Field exits were shared equally between gates and stiles.

The walk is about 7 miles long and should take about 3½ hours.

Important: Your safety is our top priority. Before attempting any of our walks, you must read and understand the disclaimer at love-wrexham.com/walk-disclaimer.

Walk Directions

Pontcysyllte Monument

Leave the car park at the opposite end to the entrance. The exit is to the right of the Pontcysyllte monument (1). Walk down the path and onto the canal towpath. Leave the canal on the left at the first bridge and climb over the stone stile onto the road. Turn right and cross the bridge, turning left at the T-junction onto Station Road and passing the Telford pub on your left.

(1) Pontcysyllte Monument
(1) Pontcysyllte Monument

Just before the next bridge, turn right at the wooden signpost on your right and walk along the canal towpath with the canal on your left. Cross the bridge over to the left-hand towpath and then turn right. Walk a little further along the towpath and then cross the black metal bridge with the attractive criss-cross design (2) a little further on to return to the right of the canal. Walk through a gate into a field with a fenced-off horse obstacle course to your left.

You’re now on Offa’s Dyke Way. Walk to the far end of the field and turn left after exiting through a green metal kissing gate. Walk along the path with the barbed wire fence to your left. Turn right through the archway underneath a bridge. Turn left once through the arch and follow the path round to the left as it joins a disused railway.

(2) The Criss-Cross Bridge
(2) The Criss-Cross Bridge
Stunning Views

* You’ll rejoin the disused railway from the opposite direction at this point towards the end of the walk.

Turn right and go through the “inverted-V” gateway, which has a metal gate immediately beyond it.

Take a moment to appreciate the stunning views all around you. Walk along the railway track for just over a quarter of a mile before reaching a shed with a corrugated iron roof in a field on your left and a yellow arrow waymarker post on your right. Turn right off the track here, down a short slope, through the wooden gate and onto a lane.

Head right, walk up the lane past some kind of utility station and cross the main road.

Trevor Chapelry

Go up the wooden steps on the other side of the road, go through the metal kissing gate and walk up the sloping field, following the double fence line on your right.

Exit the field through the kissing gate in the far fence line. Go through another wooden gateway a couple of yards afterwards. Follow the path to the right and take your first left before the corrugated metal shed. Walk up the old stony vehicle track. Turn right around the barn in front of you and then turn left along the track, heading in a south-westerly direction. You’ll see a path to the right almost immediately with a yellow waymarker arrow.

Walk up the slightly overgrown path with the horizontally timbered fence on your right. Hop over the stile onto a driveway and turn left. Walk between the high, well-kept hedgerows. Go past Trevor Chapelry (3) and take the left turn before the gates of the house at the end of the drive. Hop over the wooden stile and walk down the grassy slope with the wonderful views of the hillside ahead.

After a few minutes, look for the stile on your right. Turn left once over the stile and head into the woodland. Walk through the gap in the wooden fence, with the single stone set just beyond it.

(3) Trevor Chapelry
(3) Trevor Chapelry

Wild Garlic

Following the left-hand barbed wire fence line, you’ll walk through a small boggy area around a metal frame covering a drain (?). Carry on along the path flanked by wild garlic over some fallen tree trunks and branches.

After about seven or eight minutes walking through the wood, you’ll come to a stile that takes you into an open field.

Walk to the left of the large oak tree and follow the path across the slope. Keep the brambles and nettles to your left. Make your way around the nettles and walk past a solitary hawthorn tree.

Walk to the left or right of the huge oak tree with the patch of nettles in front of it. You’ll see the path behind it drops and leads to a wooden stile. Cross the stile and walk over some muddy ground with some stone steps. Cross a tiny stream.

Head straight on towards the white houses in front of you and go through the rusty metal cattle gate onto the gravel lane. Have a look under the charming old bridge before continuing (4).

(4) Bridge by the white cottages
(4) Bridge by the white cottages
Pen-y-Graigh

Go straight on up the lane so you pass the houses on your right and their outbuildings on your left. The lane surface becomes recently tarmacked as you approach a holiday chalet park on your right. This park is set slap-bang in the middle of what looks to be an old quarry and the sheer cliffs make for quite a dramatic backdrop.

Cross a cattle grid by the Private Footpath sign. The road surface becomes concrete as it bends away to your right. However, we’re going straight on and walking down a narrow path between two barbed-wire fences. Go through the metal walker’s gate at the end of the fences and carry straight on along the well-trodden path.

After a few yards, take the left fork (it’s really straight on) and continue slightly downhill. Hop over the wooden stile with the yellow arrow waymarker by the metal cattle gate. Don’t miss the sign on the other side of the gate post!

Carry on down the slope until you arrive at a hairpin bend on a lane (5). Follow the road as it slopes upwards. You’ll walk past the entrance to a property on your right called Pen-y-Graigh after a while.

Cross a cattle grid. Look up to your right to see some of the marvellous rock formations. Ignore the wooden gate and stile to your right after a few minutes.

(5) Go up the lane here
(5) Go up the lane here

Panorama Walk

If you did our Chirk Castle walk a few months ago, you’ll recognise the stretch after the gurgling stream which runs under the road just past the white cottage on the right with the abandoned Range Rover and Isuzu. We’re heading in the opposite direction to the one we took back then, so you’ll walk up the road until you reach the T-junction and Panorama Walk.

If you look west or left along the road you’re joining, you’ll also be able to see Dinas Bran – another walk location from a few months ago.

Turn right and walk up the road. It’s a good climb to the top of the Panorama Walk, but it’s well worth it because of the amazing views over the Vale of Llangollen (6).

(6) View from the Panorama Walk
(6) View from the Panorama Walk

About 15 minutes after the T-junction, you’ll see an outcrop of rocks and a yellow grit bin to your left. Go round the corner and leave the road to the right by the blue post with the “No Fires” and “Keep Dogs On A Leash” pictures on it (7). Walk down the gravel path beyond (Offa’s Dyke Way). The track twists and turns until you reach the gateway to a house. There’s a path off and down to the right, as indicated by a yellow arrow waymarker.

(7) Offa's Dyke path off Panorama Walk
(7) Offa’s Dyke path off Panorama Walk
Woodland

Take this path and follow the stone wall of the house around to the left. Turn left through the metal gate with the acorn icon saying you are on the Offa’s Dyke Path. Walk past the house, which is now on your left and carry on into an area of woodland.

Walk between the moss-covered stone walls and then through a wooden kissing gate with a yellow waymarker arrow. Take care with the exposed tree roots in the next stretch. Go through the metal gate. You’ll notice how the deciduous woodland has now changed to coniferous and pine needles and mini cones are now underfoot.

The vegetation then becomes mixed with deciduous trees to your right and mainly coniferous ones to your left. After a little while, turn left at the small dead tree trunk and the short wooden post with the yellow arrow waymarker (8). Walk along the short path to a four-way “crosspaths” with a post that has three yellow arrow waymarkers on it. Go up the wooded slope which climbs to the right in front of you.

(8) Turn left here
(8) Turn left here

Drover’s Path

It’s quite steep but only short. Negotiate the fallen tree on your way up. At the top of the slope, turn left, following the left arrow on the waymarker post. The path levels out and you’ll go through a metal kissing gate with a yellow waymarker arrow.

You’re revisiting another stretch of walk we have previously covered.

Go straight on, keeping the dry stone wall to your right. Cross the narrow strip of field, down into a dip and up the other side. You’ll come out of the trees and onto what looks like an old drover’s path, which slopes downhill between two dilapidated stone walls. Walk over the cattle grid at the bottom of the slope.

Walk along the farm track until you reach Garth Road, which runs across you and up to your left. Hop over the wooden stile on the other side of the road and walk along the left-hand edge of the hedgerow in front of you.

The Farmhouse

The path down to your right is actually the public footpath but is very overgrown and practically impassable.

Turn right through the gap with the overgrown cattle feeder on the right. Then turn left so you’re walking to the left of another cattle feeder lying on its side. Walk along the slightly overgrown and uneven path, past the metal gate on your right.

After a couple of minutes, you’ll reach a farmyard. Walk on a few paces and turn right down the drive. The farmhouse is to your left. Carry on down the drive, which bends to the right and then the left.

You’ll come out onto a housing estate. Turn immediately left and hop over the wooden stile into the field. Then turn right and go through the gap in the fence on your right after the garden fence. Turn left and follow the left-hand hedge line. Go through the metal kissing gate about 150 yards further along it.

Gwernydd Farm

Head for the right-hand hedge and fence line and follow it down the slope. Pass the yellow waymarker post lying on the ground. You’ll see a metal kissing gate in the hedge line further down, with the red brick Gwernydd Farm beyond it (9).

In the next field, you’ll see a metal kissing gate in the fence on the other side of the field to the left of a telegraph pole. Go through the gate and you’ll find yourself on the drive of the farmhouse. Cross over the drive and go through the gateway in front of you.

Follow the left-hand hedge line and walk through the gap at the left-hand end of the hedgerow in front of you. You’ll be able to see the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in the distance. Follow the tyre tracks in the ground and walk through the gap in front of you into the next field.

(9) Gwernydd Farm
(9) Gwernydd Farm
The Coach House

Follow the right-hand hedge and fence line. The stile to exit the field is hidden in a pocket in the far right-hand corner of the field.

Once in the next field, follow the left-hand barbed wire fence and walk through the gap next to the overgrown stile. The path narrows, with a damaged temporary fence to your left and a hedgerow to your right. Walk through the first metal gate, which is wedged open, and then a second one which you’ll have to lift to open. Hop over the wooden stile onto the downhill track (10).

Walk past The Coach House and onto the A539. Cross over and onto Station Road. Turn right immediately through the gate and onto the disused railway. After about 10 minutes, you’ll re-join the stretch you walked along at the beginning of the walk.

You can now retrace your steps from the * point marked at the beginning of the walk description.

We hope you enjoyed reading ‘Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: Canals, Panoramic Views and a Disused Railway‘, if you’d like to see some more of our walks, click here.

(10) Turn right at the barns
(10) Turn right at the barns

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