North West canalside camping: Llangollen Canal

Pitch up beside a pub in one of England’s prettiest villages

The Cotton Arms


The UK boasts a plethora of magnificent canals, some amazing pubs and many marvellous campsites. And if you put all three together, you get the Cotton Arms: a great pub with a lovely campsite that backs right on to the wonderful Llangollen Canal.

The Cotton Arms is a popular boating pub located in the charming village of Wrenbury. As might be expected, the 16th-century watering hole has a fitting watery history: it’s said that ship timber was used to construct the pub, while a tributary of the River Weaver flows through the cellar and was once used to keep the beer cool. Until it was expanded in the early 1900s, this tiny pub only had room for eight people.

The pub sits on the English side of the border, not far from where the Llangollen Canal meets the Shropshire Union. It offers two large fields for camping, with pitches for tents, caravans, campervans and motorhomes, as well as electrical hook-up points, showers, a bowling green and children’s play area

Visitors are drawn to the Llangollen Canal as much by the breath-taking engineering as by the picturesque countryside. As it crosses the border between England and Wales, the canal travels through some stunning and remote countryside. The steep terrain presented a real challenge to engineers William Jessop and Thomas Telford, who devised a series of dramatic structures to navigate the hills and valleys: aqueducts, tunnels, bridges and cuttings transformed what was deemed possible in terms of canal engineering. Highlights include the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the largest navigable aqueduct in Britain and a World Heritage Site, and the charming Chirk Aqueduct.

Plan your stay at the Cotton Arms, and find out more about the LLangollen Canal on the Canal & River Trust website.