Why a scenic narrowboat break can also be a daredevil adventure

why a scenic narrowboat break can also be a daredevil adventure

I call out from our narrowboat to a man on a mobility scooter who is overtaking us on the towpath: “Is that the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct ahead?”

“Yes, don’t worry,” he replies. “There’s a pub on the other side!”

As I edge on to the magnificent bridge, barely wider than our boat with no barrier to my left, I look down over the 126ft (38m) drop to the River Dee below and feel the butterflies gathering in my stomach. I quickly realise this daredevil crossing is enough to turn even a teetotaller to drink.

“Straighten up, you’re going to hit the side,” my panicked partner shrieks at me while my daughter laughs with glee, although I notice she’s standing on the side next to the towpath so she could easily step off if a calamity should actually occur.

We edge forward slowly – the narrowboat equivalent of tiptoeing – across the 1,007ft-long (307m) aqueduct which, built in 1795, is the highest and longest in the UK and is now a Unesco World Heritage Site until we finally reach the canal basin of Trevor and I feel palpably relieved.

But if I thought this was time to relax, of course I was wrong; despite crawling along at an average speed of 3mph, there is always a challenge ahead when narrow-boating…

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