Visiting A UNESCO Heritage Site
There are so many fantastic places to visit near Lion Quays – but did you know we’re just five miles away from a UNESCO World Heritage site. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is just a short drive (or canal trip) away from Lion Quays. It’s a remarkable piece of 19th-century engineering, set in beautiful scenery on the Wales-Shropshire borders.
Here’s a bit more about the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and how to visit this spectacular tourist attraction.
About the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
A solution was needed to take the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee, and engineer Thomas Telford came up with this majestic-looking structure. It was no easy brief: the terrain is tricky, and they couldn’t use canal locks.
Telford’s final design is this elegant, 18-arched aqueduct that spans the valley and river. It’s made from stone and cast iron, combining strength with beauty. It’s described as a “masterpiece of creative genius”, and demonstrates Britain’s engineering skills during the Industrial Revolution.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
It’s spectacular to look up at the towering aqueduct – but you really can’t beat a trip across it. You can either walk along the towpath, or for the full experience, take a boat trip along the Llangollen Canal. We’d like to make this very clear now: if you don’t care for heights, admire the aqueduct from the Dee valley below. 38 metres is pretty tall…
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct’s website has ideas for itineraries, so you can make your visit part of a longer walk, or take in the beautiful Horseshoe Falls on the same day out. The Trevor Basin Visitor Centre is next to the aqueduct – make sure you call in here to find out more about its history.
Getting to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct from Lion Quays
At Lion Quays, we are right on the banks of the Llangollen Canal – so it would be a shame to drive to the aqueduct! There are several local boat companies offering trips down the 11-mile heritage stretch of the canal, and you can even hire your own.
If you’re feeling fit, take the tow path walk alongside the Llangollen Canal and cross the aqueduct on foot. On a sunny day, this is simply the best way to enjoy the stunning Shropshire and Welsh countryside.
By road, it’s just a five-mile drive, and there are three car parks close to the aqueduct.
Other World Heritage Sites near Oswestry
In an area as rich in history as the Welsh borders, it’s not surprising that there are other UNESCO sites nearby.
Ironbridge Gorge is about an hour’s drive away from Lion Quays, and has a fascinating collection of museums. Liverpool has UNESCO status as a “Maritime Mercantile City” which encompasses areas of both the city and docklands. Again, it takes around an hour to get to Liverpool by car from Oswestry.
Several places share a third UNESCO listing, which is “Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd”. This includes Harlech, Beaumaris on Anglesey, Caernarfon and Conwy. All are worth the drive, with Conwy being especially good for a day out (about 60 miles from Lion Quays).
We feel really lucky to have such an incredible visitor attraction on our doorstep. If you’d like to know more about visiting Poncysyllte Aqueduct or any other places near Oswestry, please just ask us at Lion Quays.