The Grand Union Canal - Slapton via Marsworth Locks and Tring Summit to Northchurch.

With beautiful countryside and with lots to see including many canal locks and several huge reservoirs, this part of the Grand Union Canal is particularly excellent to visit.


The following is a continuation from our Wolverton to Soulbury 3 Locks - Grand Union Canal in England item.
The Canal passes by The Chiltern Hills on this stretch of it's journey south - The Chilterns are inundated with walking and cycling opportunities. The canal provides good links to some of these walks which can be made into circulars using the towpath and also by walking parts of the two Canal Arms which leave the Main Line in the Bulbourne area. One of these Arms is the Wendover Arm - only partially open to narrowboats at the moment, The Wendover Arm is one of the most beautiful stretches of canal you can find and provides excellent towpath walking.
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Canal Bridge 111 on the Grand Union
Canal Bridge 111
Grand Union Canal Swing Bridge 112
Swing Bridge 112
Grand Union Canal Leighton Lock 27
Leighton Lock 27
Grand Union Canal Locks - Leighton no.27
Leighton no.27
Grand Union Canal nicely bricked Sluices
Canal Sluices
Great brickwork on a Grand Union Canal sluice
Great brickwork sluice
roadbridge carrying the A505 over the Grand Union Canal, England.
A505 Bridge
Grand Union Canal - Grove Lock no.28
Grove Lock no.28
Double arched Bridge 116 on the Grand Union Canal, England.
Double arched Bridge 116
Church Lock no.29, Grand Union Canal.
Church Lock no.29
Grand Union Canal Locks - no.29 Church Lock
Church Lock 29
Bridge 118, Grand Union Canal.
Bridge 118
Slapton Lock no.30, Grand Union Canal
Slapton Lock no.30
Grand Union Canal - Slapton Lock no.30 locgates.
Slapton Lock no.30
Bridge 120, Grand Union Canal.
Bridge 120
Grand Union Canal Bridge 121Grand Union Canal - Horton Lock 31If you look at the photo above showing Slapton Lock 30's lock gates you can see on the right where there was once a second lock. To help with barge throughput quite a few of the locks in this part of the Grand Union Canal were turned into double or twin locks. Ultimately though these were turned back into singles as the commercial traffic movement on the canal declined (mostly due to the new railways being built which took much of the business away from the canals). The two photos on the left show Bridge 121 at Wolverton followed by Horton Lock 31.
Grand Union Canal Bridge 122 shown just below clearly shows how some of the bridges were built with double arches - the idea at one time was that the canal would have double locks along it's route to improve barge throughput but these double locks were not constructed in the end.
Ivinghoe Lockgates - Grand Union Canal, England.
Ivinghoe Lock Gates
Grand Union Canal and Ivinghoe Lock 32
Ivinghoe Lock 32
Grand Union Canal Bridge 122
Bridge 122
Ivinghoe Lock 33 lockgates on the Grand Union Canal, England.
Ivinghoe Lock 33
Grand Union Canal Bridge 123
Bridge 123
Seabrook Lockgates - Lock 34 on The Grand Union Canal.
Seabrook Lock Gates
Grand Union Canal Seabrook Lock 34
Seabrook Lock 34
Seabrook Lock 35
Seabrook Lock 35
Seabrook PumpHouse beside the Grand Union Canal, England.
Pump
house
Grand Union Canal Seabrook Lock 36
Seabrook Lock 36
Grand Union Canal Bridge 125
Bridge 125
Railway Bridge crossing the Grand Union Canal, England.
Railway Bridge
Grand Union Canal Bridge 126
Bridge 126
Marsworth Lockgates for Lock 37, Grand Union Canal
Lock37 Gates
Grand Union Canal Marsworth Lock 37
Marsworth Lock 37
Grand Union Canal Marsworth Lock 38
Marsworth Lock 38
Grand Union Canal Bridge 129
Bridge 129
Grand Guion Canal Bridge 130
Bridge 130
Grand Union Canal Bridge 131
Bridge 131
Grand Union Canal - Lower Ickneild Way Bridge 132
Bridge 132
Lower Ickneild Way Bridge 132 - Grand Union Canal, England.
Lower Ickneild Way Bridge132
Marsworth - Canal Lock 39 - Grand Union Canal, England.
Marsworth Lock 39
The Grand Union Canal and Marsworth Lock 40.
Lock 40
Lock 41 at Marsworth - Grand Union Canal Lockgates.
Lock 41
Gates
Marsworth Locks - Lock 41 - The Grand Union Canal in England.
Marsworth Lock 41

Marsworth Lock Flight, Tring Summit and The Grand Union Canal, England.

The area around the 9 canal locks which make up Marsworth Lock Flight is very popular with visitors - there are many excellent walks both short and long which you can do around the area. Lock-keepers house beside Lock 42 on the Grand Union Canal, England. This includes a wander along part of the narrow Aylesbury Canal Arm which leaves the Grand Union near to Bridge 131.

Entrance for narrowboats to the Aylesbury Arm is controlled by a staircase lock.

This is where the upper gate of one lock also serves as the lower gate of the lock above it. The Aylesbury Arm was originally planned to go via Aylesbury to Abingdon then via the Wilts and Berks canal to link up with The Kennet and Avon Canal - creating a canal route from Bristol to The Grand Union and London. Another excellent walk in the area is along part of the really beautiful Wendover Canal Arm which leaves the Grand Union Canal under a nice bridge at Bulbourne Junction.
The Grand Union Canal Lock 42 at Marsworth in England.
Marsworth Lock 42
Marsworth Lock 43 - Grand Union Canal, England.
Lock 43
The canal  Lockgates at Grand Union Canal Lock 44.
Lock
gates Lock 44
Grand Union Canal Lock 44 at Marsworth
Marsworth Lock 44
Marsworth Lock 45 controlling The Grand Union Canal, England.
Lock 45
There are also several large reservoirs which were constructed to provide a water supply for the Lock Flight in the immediate area including

Startops End Reservoir (which is one of four reservoirs collectively known locally as Tring Reservoirs)

- this reservoir nestles right up to the parking area just outside of Marsworth Village [HP23 4LJ] The area is not only very popular with fishermen but also with families - children love the place because of the huge amount of wildlife - including permanently hungry ducks and swans - which are always around waiting to be fed. Just by Grand Union Canal Bridge 131 at Startops End there is a really nice public house and there is also a cafe just inside the British Waterways car park. Note the car park is pay and display (in June 2015 this was UKstg 1.50 for 3 hours or UKstg 3 for all day) - the car park gets really busy during weekends and bank holidays if the weather is remotely nice but much quieter during weekdays.
Grand Union Canal Lockgates for Lock 45
Marsworth Lock 45 Gates
Entrance to the Wendover Canal Arm of the Grand Union Canal, England.
Grand Union
Wendover Arm Jcn
Bulbourne Canal Junction on the Grand Union Canal England
Bulbourne Junction
Old canal workshops at Bulbourne Junction - The Grand Union Canal.
Work shops Bulbourne
Upper Icknield Way bridge no.133, Grand Union Canal, England.
Upper Icknield Way
Bridge 133
Grand Union Canal Bridge 134 hidden in dense foliage
Bridge 134
Very well hidden Bridge no.134 - Grand Union Canal, England.
Bridge 134
Bridge 135 - Grand Union Canal, England.
Bridge 135
Pipe Bridge near Grand Union Bridge 136
Pipe Bridge near 136
Bridge 136 on the Grand Union Canal England
Bridge 136
Cowroast Lock 46, Grand Union Canal, England.
Cowroast Lock 46
Grand Union Canal Bridge 137
Bridge 137
Lockgates at Dudswell Lock on The Grand Union Canal, England.
Dudswell Lock 47
Lock Gates
Grand Union Canal - Dudswell Lock 47 - Grand Union Canal, England.
Dudswell Lock 47
Looking into Canal Lock no 48 at Dudswell - Grand Union Canal, England.
Dudswell Lock 48
There is a small old pumphouse situated at Northchurch Lock and also a convenient seat too. Of possible interest is that from Northchurch Lock there is a nice 11 mile walk which goes via Northchurch Common and then along The Hertfordshire Way back down to the Grand Union Canal a little further along around Berkhamstead. Please see our Northchurch to Berkhamstead circular walk which describes this.
Grand Union Canal Locks - Dudswell Lock no.48
Dudswell Lock 48
Canal Bridge 138 - Grand Union Canal, England.
Bridge 138
Bridge 139, Grand Union Canal, England.
Bridge 139
Grand Union Canal Northchurch Lock no.49
Northchurch Lock 49
NorthChurch Lock - Grand Union Canal, England.
Northchurch Lock 49
Bushes Lock 50, Grand Union Canal.
Bushes Lock 50
Grand Union Canal Bridge 140
Bridge 140
Pipe bridge near Northchurch - Grand Union Canal, England.
Pipe
Bridge
Gas 1 Lock on the Grand Union Canal, England.
Gas 1 Lock 51
Large lockgates for Gas Lock 1, Grand Union Canal.
Gas 1 Lock Gates 51
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