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Route L8 – Llangollen Canal (20 miles-harder)

Audlem is known for its canalside location. But here's an opportunity to visit another canal, although arguably it's a different branch of the same Shropshire Union canal. What is today recognised as the Llangollen canal, referring to its final western destination, lies to the north-west of Audlem and this route offers the opportunity to sample a short rural section of it, between Swanley (Bridge 8) and Baddiley (Bridge 14) in a quiet and pleasant rural circular route. There are short sections of moderate gradient either side of the bridge over the Weaver, but otherwise the road route is largely flat.

  • A 1 mile section of the A525 Whitchurch Road to Coole Lane is involved in the exit and return to Audlem. This is a busy main road requiring caution, especially around the narrow bridge crossing the River Weaver.
  • The two crossings of the A530 at Aston and Sound require care.
  • As an alternative to the on-road route via Wrenbury, there is the option to shorten the route by use of Woodcotthill Lane which links Aston with Wrenbury Heath. This lane is a mixture of metalled roadway and unmade track, with a deep ford in the middle. Do not cycle through the deep ford, but instead dismount and walk your cycle round the footpath and causeway on the east side of the ford. Cycling is not permitted on the footpath and care should be taken in walking with a cycle as the path is narrow and on a steep bank. The south end of the path can be muddy and slippery after rain and use of this alternative route is not recommended when river levels are high. To the north of the ford, the track is fairly steep.
  • The towpath section between Swanley and Baddiley requires caution as the surface is earth / grass, which can become wet, muddy and slippery after rain and is uneven and sloping in places. It is not recommended in wet or icy winter conditions. Cyclists should dismount on the flights of steps linking the towpath with the road at bridges 8 and 14. Watch out for Anglers, use your bell well ahead and be prepared to dismount.


The Bhurtpore Inn, Aston

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