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Route 85

Route Description

The section of Route 85 between Llangollen to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a popular with families. Llangollen has often been referred to as the gateway to North Wales, and it’s easy to see why.  It’s a haven for sightseers, cyclists and walkers of all ages. The area's natural beauty is part of what brings people here. 

The River Dee weaves its way through the Vale of Llangollen providing some of the most spectacular scenery in Wales.  The restored canal has now become a popular leisure boating destination and its weir (named Horseshoe Falls after its distinctive appearance) is well worth a look.  Famous structures, gardens and historic buildings can be found in the town, such as Plas Newydd.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the highest and longest aqueduct on the UK canal system, built by Thomas Telford 200 years ago. It is over 1000 feet long and stands 126 feet above the river Dee. You can take a horse-drawn boat to the canal’s source with Llangollen Horse Drawn Boats.


Work is ongoing in Llangollen to improve further sections of the Llangollen Canal towpath. A partnership including the Canal & River Trust (formally British Waterways), Denbighshire County Council, Taith and Sustrans recently upgraded this 6.5km section of the Llangollen canal towpath between the world famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen to shared use standard. The towpath is part of a wider route planned for the Dee Valley.

A new leaflet has been produced to promote the Llangollen Canal Towpath (National Cycle Network Routes 84 and 85) between Llangollen and Chirk and the World Heritage Site.

Things to see and do

Free Maps and Leaflets

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National Route 85 of the National Cycle Network in North Wales will run south from Chester to Wrexham and then head west towards Llangollen, Corwen and Bala to pick up Lon Mawddach at Dolgallau. A section of the route is open between Trevor and Llantysilio via Llangollen alongside the Llangollen Canal.