Ellesmere is an historic market town that takes its name from the nine lakes – or meres – around it.
It’s Shropshire’s own mini version of the Lake District, and the largest mere, on the edge of the town – The Mere – has been recently re-modelled with The Boathouse, a visitor centre, arboretum, children’s play area and a park at Cremorne Gardens.
After centuries as a backwater, the dawn of the 19th Century saw Ellesmere come of age as a transport hub between the Midlands and the Mersey and the world beyond.
The Ellesmere Canal saw the the town prosper and grow, and many of its fine buildings date from the 1900s heyday of the canal.
Now Ellesmere is a hub for the booming canal tourist industry, though the canal is now better known as the Llangollen Canal. And what was once a bustling, noisy industrial town is now a rural haven.
Things to do and see in Ellesmere
Ellesmere is a quiet town, but there’s lots for all ages to do, from walking and cycling on the towpaths and quiet lanes around the town, to boating and wildlife on the meres – have a look at the Heronwatch project and the Meres Meander Leaflet from Shropshire Council (PDF download) .
- The Mere at Ellesmere – a guide from Shropshire Council
- Visit Ellesmere tourist website plus download a map of Ellesmere (PDF download)
- Ellesmere Sculpture Trail
- Shropshire’s Great Days Out: The Mere at Ellesmere – Shropshire Star
Ellesmere makes a great base from which to explore the surrounding area. Nearby is Whittington Castle (above)
It’s in easy driving distance of the popular tourist destinations of Shrewsbury, Llangollen and Chester, as well as the rest of North Wales and, of course, Shropshire.
On the canal theme (again), the World Heritage site covering Thomas Telford’s two aqueducts at Chirk and Pontcysllte is a must see.