October 9, 2017
By Beacon_PR

Is the ‘Shroppie’ Britain’s Spookiest Canal?

Waterways Holidays, the UK’s leading boating holidays agency, reckons the Shropshire Union Canal is the most haunted in Britain, making a few days afloat a novel getaway for Halloween!

The canal runs for just over 66 miles from Ellesmere Port to Wolverhampton, winding through Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire countryside and market towns. Ghostly sightings are well-documented, and the southern stretch, where the canal passes through moss-covered cuttings, beneath looming embankments are particularly atmospheric!

Chester is the place to spot the ghost of a Roman Centurion guarding the old Northgate at the point where the canal was cut into the city’s moat. Near Market Drayton the ghost is heard rather than seen, with many stories in the canal community of a ‘shrieking spook’ at Betton Cutting. Sadly, a more ‘modern’ ghost has been spotted at Little Onn in Staffordshire, where an American pilot crashed his plane beside the canal.

At Tyrley Middle Lock, near Market Drayton, a friendly ghost is said to help out late-night boaters by pushing the lock gates shut after the narrowboat has passed through.  As cruising after dark is no longer permitted, the ghostly lock-keeper now has little work to do!

The ghastliest ghost is certainly the monkey-like beast – or man – who lurks around Bridge 39, a bridge constructed in 1832 close to Norbury Junction. The ‘monkey man’ is said to be the ghost of a drowned boatman, with one of the earliest documented sightings in 1879.

More recently, in the 1980s, a family on a narrowboat holiday was preparing lunch in the galley while dad stayed at the helm. When he steered the boat under Bridge 39 he looked up to see a “huge black hairy monkey” staring back at him! He shouted, but by the time the family came up on deck, the boat had passed through and there was nothing to see.

Waterways Holidays can suggest half a dozen different start points on the spooky Shroppie, with – for example – a four-night hire of a narrowboat called Python from Norbury starting 30 October costing as little as £645. The 56-feet long narrowboat can sleep up to six people at maximum occupancy and is equipped with everything needed for a self-catering break afloat. Except a ghost-buster!

01252 339023, www.waterwaysholidays.com


Prices and availability correct at date of issue.

Release written and distributed by Beacon PR: 01572 748 800

Waterways Holidays’ spokesman is managing director Nigel Richards: 01252 796400


Waterwaysholidays.com offers live availability on more than 1800 narrowboats, cruisers and sailing yachts operated by the UK’s leading boat operators and with more than 80 different start locations.  The website offers advice on boating holidays as well as featuring listings of the latest special offers. Boating holidays in France and Portugal also available.




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