Grand Union Canal

The Grand Union Canal links London to Birmingham. It is 137 miles long (main line only) and has 158 locks. There are several canal arms branching off this canal such as Wendover, Aylesbury and Slough.

We have not travelled the full length of the Grand Union Canal yet but we have spent many hours enjoying what it has to offer.

Below is a link to a YouTube playlist containing 18 videos of our travels along the Grand Union Canal. Our journey starts in April 2018 when we waved goodbye to our mooring at Engineers Wharf and ended when we turned onto the Oxford Canal at Braunston.

We have also visited two of the arm canals.

Wendover Arm

Our first visit to the Wendover Arm was by car way in June 2016 when we attended the Wendover Arm Trust Open Day.

It was a glorious sunny day, perfect for a walk to see the restoration progress. We really hope that the trust are able to raise the money that they require to enable them to continue with the great work that they have already been able to complete.If you are interested in finding out more, including making a donation, please visit the website: http://www.wendoverarmtrust.co.uk

The Wendover Arm was originally 7 miles long. However, it is only possible to navigate the first 1.5 miles by narrowboat. The journey starts at Bulbourne Junction and ends at a winding hole (and 48 hour mooring spot).

It is a beautiful stretch of canal and well worth a visit if you are in the area. There are no locks so why not make the short trip and enjoy 48 hours moored in the middle of nowhere!

Aylesbury Arm

The Aylesbury arm breaks off from the main line of the canal at Bulbourne Junction and takes you, via 16 narrow locks, to Aylesbury Basin.

Our first visit along the Aylesbury Arm

We have navigated the Aylesbury Arm Twice. It was also the location of our first ever “Through The Hedge!”

Shopping

Just before the basin, there is a visitor mooring along a new section of gravel towpath. Through the hedge is a reasonably sized Tesco supermarket. It is very handy to moor up here for 14 days and treat the supermarket as an extension of your kitchen.

A short walk (or narrowboat trip) down the towpath will take you to the basin. Here there is a Waitrose supermarket and boater facilities. Also a very nice winding area for turning the boat.

Venturing off the towpath completely will take you to Aylesbury town centre. Here there are a number of shops – mainly selling goods for charity on the high street. There was also a Marks and Spencer clothing store and most importantly for us, a Post Office! In the shopping centre, there were more shops and a nice little cafe where we enjoyed a tea (and coffee) with a new friend.

Walking

grand union canal - aylesbury arm-walk-map

On the way back up the Aylesbury Arm (or indeed on your way down), you can literally go through the hedge and take a lovely walk along a public footpath. The path is between lock 10 and 11. The walk roughly follows the red line in the map below – VERY ROUGHLY. When you are on the walk, its quite obvious which path to follow.

It takes you to Wiltstone Reservoir (not the reservoirs at Marsworth as we had assumed). This is a lovely place to visit and has a little hut for bird watching.

From here, you can walk to the Wendover Arm of the canal if you are interested in a long walk. This will give you an opportunity to see the non navigable section of the Wendover Arm if you are interested.

Pubs

There is a pub part way down the Aylesbury Arm. We didn’t go in it so can’t give you any helpful information other than its name – The Half Moon.