The Slough Canal Arm - Walking or Cycling along the Slough Arm's Towpath.

The 5 mile long Slough Arm travels in a fairly straight line from the Grand Union Canal at Cowley Peachey Junction into Slough terminating by Stoke Poges Road.

The Slough Arm - part of the Grand Union Canal in England.

About the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

As building increased rapidly in London there was an insatiable requirement for bricks so a new brick works was built in Slough and the Arm was used to get these bricks via Cowley Peachey Junction to Hanwell Lock Flight - Grand Union Canal Main line and then on into London. The canal was also used to carry sand and gravel until these supplies were exhausted in the early 1940s.
Construction of the Slough Arm started in 1880 and was completed right at the end of 1882 - the Arm then enjoyed continued commerical operation right up to 1960 when British Waterways took it over. They considered the canal not to be worth saving and of course along came Slough Council who wanted to do what they and so many of our councils do best - shove concrete everywhere and destroy a bit more of our English Heritage. Fortunately The Slough Canal Group was created and they fought a vigorous campaign along with the help of the Slough Observer Newspaper to keep the canal alive - this campaign was successful and the canal was re-opened in 1975.
It is interesting that the big thing these days in England is to get people out and about for some healthy exercise etc. - canals and their towpaths are ideal for this be it walking or cycling.
You only have to see how many families and people are out on the canals on a nice Sunday afternoon to see that if the enviornment is safe, clean and accessible then areas get used. However in the case of canals the amount of money to upkeep them is in effect being reduced with the result that canal banks and towpaths are often not kept in good condition and the canal starts leaking - paths and towpaths get more and more unpassable - therefore the canals stop being used. The whole situation is quite pathetic- our old canal systems should have more money spent on them not less. Anyway - the Slough Arm towpath is fortunately in really good condition for both cyclists and walkers. There are several bridges over the canal and three very interesting aqueducts which are used to cross Fray's River, the River Colne and Colne Brook. There are no locks on the Slough Arm apart from the barely visible sight of the original stop lock at the Grand Union Canal end of the arm at Cowley Peachey Junction. (see the bottom left of the first picture shown below).
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Slough Canal Arm Old Stoplock + Cowley Peachey Jc.
Stoplock + Cowley Peachey Jc.
Footbridge to the Marina on the Slough Canal
Foot bridge to Marina
Aqueduct over Frays River, The Slough Canal Arm.
Aqueduct Frays River
Frays River Aqueduct
Frays River Aqueduct
Frays River with the Slough Arm crossing above.
Frays River
Footbridge no.1, The Slough Canal Arm.
Foot bridge no.1
Slough Arm - Footbridge 1
Foot bridge
River Colne Aqueduct, The Slough Canal Arm.
River Colne Aqueduct
The River Colne seen from the Slough Arm
The River Colne
The River Colne with the Slough Arm crossing above it
River Colne, Slough Arm above
Colne Brook aqueduct, The Slough Canal Arm.
Colne Brook aqueduct
Slough Canal - Colne Brook Aqueduct
Colne Brook Aqueduct
Overflow/sluice on the Slough Canal Arm
Sluice
Conveyor Bridge no.2 with pipe bridges in foreground on the Slough Arm
Conveyor Bridge2
Slough Arms Conveyor Bridge no.2
Slough Arms
Conveyor Bridge
Pipe Bridges on the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal
Pipe Bridges

The Slough Canal is quite wide and does seem to have a reasonable depth of water although we have read elsewhere that it is quite silted in places. We walked along the Slough Canal Arm at the end of February and it was evident that some work has been done especially on the sides where many of the trees have had their overhanging branches lopped etc. Although of course in our winter the canal looked quite bare there are plenty of trees and shrubs and reeds around and one imagines it is a very green area to walk or cycle along/around once Spring arrives.

M25 crosses the Slough Arm - no bridge design just masses of concrete
M25
bridge
M25 bridge makes it's ugly way across the canal
M25 bridge
Slough Canal Bridge no 3
Bridge no 3
Canal Bridge no.3 - Slough Canal
Bridge 3
Meads Bridge no.4, The Slough Canal Arm.
Meads Bridge 4
Slough Arm - Meads Bridge 4
Meads Bridge
Dismantled canal bridge no.5, The Slough Canal Arm.
ex canal bridge 5
Bridge no.5 (dismantled) on the Slough Arm
ex Bridge 5
Market Lane Bridge no.6 - Slough Canal
Market Lane Bridge6
Market Lane Bridge, The Slough Canal Arm.
Market Lane Bridge
Langley Park Road Bridge, The Slough Canal Arm.
Langley Park Road Bridge 7
Slough Arm and Langley Park Road Bridge no.7
Langley Park Bridge
Trenches Bridge, The Slough Canal Arm.
Trenches Bridge
Trenches Bridge 8 on the Slough Arm
Trenches Bridge 8
St Mary's Roadbridge, The Slough Canal Arm.
St. Mary's Roadbridge 9
Slough Arm - St Mary's Roadbridge no.9
St Mary's Bridge
Middle Green Roadbridge, The Slough Canal Arm.
Middle Green Roadbridge 10
Slough Canal Arm - Middle Green Roadbridge no.10
Middle Green Bridge
The Slough Arm - Uxbridge Roadbridge no.11
Uxbridge Road Bridge 11
Uxbridge Roadbridge, The Slough Canal Arm.
Uxbridge Bridge11
Slough Arm - Wexham Roadbridge no.12
Wexham Road bridge 12
Wexham Roadbridge, The Slough Canal Arm.
Wexham Bridge
Slough Arm - canal arm basin
Slough Arm basin
The Slough end of the Slough Canal Arm
end of Slough Arm
The Slough Canal Arm ends in Slough next to the B416 Stoke Road and sadly this area in a bit of a dismal state - the canal arm's small basin is scruffy and littered with rubbish and the the basin itself appears quite silted and weedy with grotty stained water. Surrounding the basin there are simply parking slots, a wharf and a builders yard. If you consider for instance how the canal basin at the Market Harborough end of The Market Harborough Canal Arm looks then maybe the authorities at Slough have missed a trick or two in appreciating the commercial benefits of a canal on their doorstep. Another example of local authority indifference is where bridge 5 used to cross the Arm - there is still enough of Bridge 5 that it could be re-instated. Perhaps if the council heroes concerned skipped one of their wasteful "factfinding" trips abroad somewhere the money could be used to re-instate this bridge.
Please take a look at our Grand Union Canal in England Home Page - covering the entire length of the Grand Union Canal Main Line and also it's Canal Arms and Sections.
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