The Montgomery Canal is situated in the stunning countryside on the border of Wales and England. In the north it is in England’s North Shropshire while in the south it follows a route through Wales’s old Montgomeryshire to Newtown in Powys.
Parts of the canal are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest and in Wales the canal is also a Special Area of Conservation. The Monty is home to the largest UK populations of the rare aquatic floating water-plantain and grass wrack pondweed. Otters have been seen near Welshpool and Aston Locks.
The Montgomery Canal connects to the main canal network at Frankton Junction, between Oswestry and Ellesmere in Shropshire, and ends at Newtown in Powys, following a route past Maesbury – near Oswestry, Llanymynech and Welshpool. Some sections of the canal are still dry and the southern section is cut off from the main canal network, which is why the Monty is the subject of major restoration works.
There are many places along the route where access is available on foot, by car and by bike. Some of the principal places where you could start your exploration of the canal are at:
- Llanymynech Wharf Visitor Centre
- Canal Central, Maesbury Marsh *
- Welshpool Town Wharf *
- The Wern Nature Reserve *
- Belan Locks
- Berriew Aqueduct (car park below) *
- Queen’s Head for Aston Nature Reserve
- Frankton top lock
- The Weston Arm
- Buttington Wharf and Lime Kilns
- Brithdir lock – behind The Horseshoes public house.
*If you require level access, for a wheelchair or pushchair, for example, these are perhaps the best sites to come and view the canal, until the towpath is restored at more points.