Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

The next day we headed out to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal. I didn’t know anything about the site until we arrived. I read the information board to learn the Aqueduct is a World Heritage site. It is the longest navigable aqueduct in the UK and is also the tallest, standing proudly at 126ft 8inches (39m.) To help imagine the height, the information board gave the example of 9 double decker buses piled on top of each other. That didn’t really help an Aussie, as we don’t have that many double decker buses to compare with back in Oz. It also gave the example of how the aqueduct holds 1.5 million liters of water, which is enough to fill 8,572 bathtubs. Now that is more to my liking I can imagine that. Lets see, with a bath every day, it would take over 24 years to use the same amount of water. Wow that is a lot of water but that is the water, which is in the aqueduct at any one time. 50 million liters of water crosses it daily.   (I don’t want to think how many baths that would be.) They started to build the aqueduct in 1795 and it took 10 years to complete at a cost of £38,499.  The base has been made with a cast iron trough making Pontcysyllte one of the earliest aqueducts to do so.

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Ok, armed with all the information we started our walk across the bridge.

The canal is very thin, just enough room for a houseboat to drift down it. I was surprised. I guess I was expecting something more like a road, with two lanes. Silly I know but in my defense the canals I have seen in Sale are wide enough for more than two houseboats to pass. I had expected a houseboat to float past us at anytime while we were crossing the bridge but no. We were on our own.

The view from the walkway was amazing. If you weren’t interested in the aqueduct itself, the views would have captured you. You can see for miles. On the left side we saw what looked like a railway bridge. Now I don’t know if it is or not but to us it looked like the one they used in the Harry Potter movies. I asked Adrian to point at the bridge for a great interesting shot. He gave me one of his looks and then pointed. When I had taken the photos he started pointing in all directions. ‘Oh look at that,’ he kept repeated to me as he pointed everyway. He thought it was funny. It was, as it was my turn to give him a look and now I have the photos to tease him about it later. Ha Ha.

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When we had crossed the bridge, we found the canal opened up wider like the one I had seen in Sale. A lovely little village was off to one side. We walked around it for a bit then made our way back. It was a beautiful walk. (We didn’t see a houseboat crossing as we were walking back either. Not happy.)

When we arrived back at our starting point we noticed a lot of the houseboats lined up.   Adrian was inspired when he read you could hire them. Some looked like party boats but others looked like they were for accommodation. We both talked about how nice it would be to hire one and drift around the canals of England. We will be back in about 2 years for another wedding so it was something to think about them.

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