The Northampton Arm in England - Bridges, Locks, Features and Photos.

The Northampton Canal Arm was opened in 1815 and linked The Grand Central Canal at Gayton Junction - via the River Nene - to Peterborough and The Wash

Brewery beside the Northampton Canal Arm Situated in the English Midlands, The Northampton Arm starts (or ends) at Cotton End Wharf at Lock 17 on the southern edge of Northampton where it connects with the River Nene and then proceeds on it's fairly short 4 3/4 mile course to link up with the Grand Union Canal at Gayton Junction. You can get onto the Northampton Canal Arm from the bridge which carries the A43 south out of Northampton - turn right on the towpath and walk the short distance up to the first of the canal's lock - Cotton End Lock no.17. Then of course being a canal the route is totally straightforward - just go back past the A43 roadbridge and stay on the towpath all the way down to Gayton Junction. Around Cotton Lock 17 the canal is somewhat scruffy with some litter and so on lying about but once you get past the first railway bridge things improve a lot. As is sadly the case these days the first few bridges have been painted on with ugly graffitti but again this stupidity disappears quite soon once you are a little way along. There are some lovely old bridges to be seen and sadly two modern concrete things - the lack of any attempt at design on modern bridges especially where they have to go anywhere near our lovely canals is disgusting. The attitude seems to be let's just pour concrete over the poor canal and that will do.
Some of the missing lift bridges (or drawbridges) on the Northampton Arm are being repaired/re-instated and these look pretty good - they are fixed in their open position however.
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The Northants Canal Arm in England
Northants Canal Arm
Cotton End Lock 17, Northampton Canal Arm.
Cotton End Lock
Northampton Canal - Cotton End Lock no.17
Lock 17 Cotton End
Pipe Bridge - Northampton Canal
Cotton End Pipebridge
Bridge 17, Northampton Canal Arm.
Bridge 17
Railway Bridge 16, Northampton Canal
Railway bridge 16
Northampton Canal feature ?
nice brickwork
Railway bridge 15, Northampton Canal Arm.
Railway Bridge 15
Pipe Bridge - Northampton Canal
Pipe Bridge
Lock 16 on the Northampton Canal
Lock 16.
Northampton Canal - Lock 16 and a Pipe bridge
Lock 16 and PipeBridge
Briar Hill Bridge, Northampton Canal Arm.
Briar Hill Bridge 14
Briar Hill Bridge 14 - Northampton Canal
Briar Hill Bridge 14,.
Bridge 13 and a nearbye Pipe bridge, Northampton Canal Arm.
Bridge 13 and PipeBridge
Northampton Canal - Bridge 13
Bridge 13
Northampton Canal's Hardingstone Lock no.15
Hardingstone Lock 15
The Northampton Canal Arm's towpath is in an excellent condition throughout the entire - easy to both walk and cycle on and good enough for a comfortable wander along using for instance a pushchair. There is a thriving community of ducks (fat ducks of course) plus moorhens, coot etc. living their lives happily all along the canal's route - also lots of reeds, trees and other foliage to be enjoyed - making a walk really enjoyable. Perhaps the only real drawback is the constant traffic noise from the A34 road which accompanies the canal Arm for quite some distance.
Hardingstone Lock 15, Northampton Canal Arm.
Hardingstone Lock 15
A45 Roadbridge no.9b - Northampton Canal
A45 Roadbridge 9b
Northampton Canal Bridge
Northampton Canal Arm Bridge.
Possible site of a missing drawbridge on the Northampton Canal
Missing Drawbridge perhaps ?
Banbury Lane Bridge, Northampton Canal Arm.
Banbury Lane Bridge 9
Northampton Canal - Banbury Lane Bridge no.9
Banbury Lane Bridge 9.
Wootton Lock Gates - Lock 14, Northampton Canal Arm.
Wootton Lock14 lock gates
Northampton Canal - Wootton Lock no.14
Wootton Lock 14
Northampton Canal Aqueduct
Aqueduct
Aqueduct - the Northampton Canal
Arm Aqueduct
Northampton Canal Drawbridge no.7
Arm Drawbridge 7.
Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock, Northampton Canal Arm.
Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock 13.
Northampton Canal - Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock 13
Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock 13
Northampton Canal - M1 sliproad Bridge
M1
sliproad Bridge
M1 roadbridge crossing the Northampton Canal
M1 roadbridge.
Rothersthorpe Lock 12, Northampton Canal Arm.
Rothersthorpe Lock 12
Northampton Canal - M1 sliproad bridge
M1
sliproad
Northampton Canal - Rothersthorpe Lock 11
Rothersthorpe Lock 11
Rothersthorpe Lock 11, Northampton Canal Arm.
Lock
11
Drawbridge no.6 on the Northampton Canal
Draw
bridge 6
The maximum size for canal boats travelling on the Northampton Arm is:
Length 72 feet, Beam 7 feet, Height 7 feet 6 inches and a maximum draught of 3 feet. The canal features a flight of 17 single locks - you can see most of them from the top of the flight at Rothersthorpe Top Lock (no.1). In the summer and particularly on weekends this area is extremely popular with visitors on holiday in England as well as locals - you can see Rothersthorpe Locks in a much more peaceful way during weekdays of course.
Rothersthorpe Lock 10, Northampton Canal Arm.
Rothersthorpe Lock 10
Northampton Canal - Rothersthorpe Lock 9
Lock
9
Rothersthorpe Lock no.9, Northampton Canal Arm.
Rothersthorpe Lock 9.
Northampton Canal - Rothersthorpe Lock 8
Lock
8.
Rothersthorpe Lock no.8, Northampton Canal Arm.
Rothersthorpe Lock 8
Rothersthorpe Lock 7, Northampton Canal Arm.
Lock
7
Northampton Canal - Rothersthorpe Lock 7
Rothersthorpe Lock 7.
Rothersthorpe Lock no.6, Northampton Canal Arm.
Lock
6
Northampton Canal - Rothersthorpe Lock no.6
Rothersthorpe Lock 6.
Drawbridge no.5 on the Northampton Canal, England
Draw
bridge 5
Rothersthorpe Lock 5, Northampton Canal Arm.
Lock5
Northampton Canal Arm, Rothersthorpe Lock no.5
Rothersthorpe Lock 5.
Rothersthorpe Lock 4, Northampton Canal Arm.
Rothersthorpe Lock4
Rothersthorpe Lock no.4 -
Lock
4.
Northampton Canal Arm - Rothersthorpe Lock 3
Rothersthorpe Lock 3
Rothersthorpe Lock no.3 on the Northampton Canal
Lock
3
Northampton Canal Arm - Bridge no.4 and Pipe Bridge
Bridge 4 and PipeBridge
Bridge no.4, Northampton Canal Arm.
Bridge 4.
Northampton Canal Arm - Rothersthorpe Lock 2
Lock
2
Rothersthorpe Lock 2, Northampton Canal Arm.
Rothersthorpe Lock 2.
Northampton Canal - Rothersthorpe Top Lock 1
Rothersthorpe Top Lock
Rothersthorpe Top Lock, Northampton Canal Arm.
Lock
1.
Sand Landing Bridge no.3 on the Northampton Canal
Sand Landing Bridge3
Northampton Canal Arm - Sand Landing Bridge no.3
Sand Landing Bridge.
Arm End Bridge no2 and Pipes on the Northampton Canal
Arm End Bridge 2
Northampton Canal Arm - Arm End Bridge no.2
Arm End Bridge
Northampton Canal Arm and the Grand Union Canal at Gayton Junction
Gayton Junction
Turnover Bridge near Gayton Junction
Turnover Bridge
The Photos shown above are of Arm End Bridge (bridge 2) and then Gayton Junction where the Northampton Arm meets up with The Grand Union Canal. Parking is available in Stoke Bruerne in the Canal Museum car-park and you can catch a bus (the bus stop is on the museum side of the bridge) which leaves at 1018hrs (but this time needs checking for updates) to go into Northampton and then return back by walking the towpath.
To continue on to Stoke Bruerne you have to go left along the Grand Union Canal for several 100 yards to reach Turnover Bridge 47 - this is an interesting old canal bridge as it has a walkway for the horses which used to pull the canal boats. Cross the bridge and go back along the other side of the Grand Union - passing Gayton Junction and continuing on South. The canal passes to the west of Blisworth and then reaches the third longest navigable waterway tunnel in the United Kingdom - the 3057 yards long Blisworth Tunnel (which was originally opened in March 1805).
An airshaft serving the Blisworth Tunnel
Tunnel airshaft
The north end of the Blisworth Tunnel
Blisworth Tunnel North
Blisworth Tunnel's South end portal or entrance.
Blisworth Tunnel South
The Grand Union Canal at Stoke Bruerne
Stoke Bruerne
The modernised tunnel allows two 7 foot wide canal boats to pass - however there is no towpath through the tunnel. To continue walking you have to climb up on a pathway to a small country track, turn left and then almost immediately right onto a road. Follow the road until it bends half right - a wide signposted path on the left hand side of the road goes ahead from here and takes you gently down to reach the southern end of Blisworth Tunnel and the towpath. From here it is only a relatively short distance back to Stoke Bruerne.
Please take a look at our Grand Union Canal Home Page - covering the entire length of the Grand Union Canal Main Line and also it's Canal Arms and Sections. Our Regents Canal plus River towpath walks in England website has also quite a few "Watery" topics and lots of walks to enjoy some of which are circulars made up partly by using the Grand Union Canal towpath.

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