Another excellent midweek excursion is the 50 miles or so trip to Ellesmere taking 4 nights and incorporating 30 locks. Over the centuries Ellesmere has developed into a vibrant market town with numerous Georgian and half timbered buildings surrounding the medieval streets. The weekly market still runs since it was granted its charter in 1221 by Henry III. The mere, created from a retreating ice age 10,000 years ago, is the largest of nine meres and mosses in the area and is the size of seventy football pitches! Here you can hire rowing boats or book a trip on the steam powered launch. The wildlife and heron watch centre has a comfortable indoor viewing area. Three are formal gardens and woodland walks. With plenty of cafes, pubs, inns and restaurants there is plenty of choice for refreshment to recharge before discovering the many antiques, craft and gift shops, not to mention the delicatessen and other independent shops.