Pete's Walks- Marsworth Canal Walk (page 1 of 3)

If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

I did this circular walk of about 8 miles on Sunday, February 7th, 2016 ( I only had a few hours to fit in a walk, due to the weather forecast and to other commitments). It was a repeat of a walk I did in April, 2009 - this is how I described the walk then:

The walk was about eight miles long, starting and finishing at Marsworth (somewhere between Tring and Aylesbury, I was never quite sure whether I was in Herts or Bucks). Near Marsworth, two side-shoots branch off the Grand Union Canal, the Wendover Arm and the Aylesbury Arm (I'll leave you to guess where they go!), the two running almost parallel to each other. It was therefore quite easy for me to plan a roughly rectangular walk where three of the four sides were along canal towpaths. Starting at Marsworth in the north-eastern corner of the rectangle,  the eastern edge of the rectangle was part of the Grand Union Canal, the long southern edge was part of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, the western edge consisted of paths that were part of the Aylesbury Ring long-distance path, and the northern edge was part of the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal, which took me back to Marsworth..

I used to park in the car park at Marsworth (Grid Reference SP 919141), but today I saved a bit of money by parking in a street a couple of minutes walk away. From the car park I followed a surfaced path with the Grand Union Canal on my left and first Startop's End Reservoir and then Marsworth Reservoir on my right (the two reservoirs are separated by a very narrow barrier). Further on there was a small area of reeds bordering Marsworth Reservoir. I passed two or three locks on the canal, and just past one of them I went over a footbridge that crossed the start of the Wendover Arm of the canal. I then immediately turned very sharply left, doubling back on myself, and then went left again to go under the bridge, with the canal now on my right.

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The Grand Union Canal running past Marsworth reservoir

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Marsworth reservoir

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Marsworth reservoir

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One of the locks on the Grand Union Canal

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Another lock, immediately before the junction with the Wendover Arm of the canal (it starts under the footbridge the path is heading towards)

After following the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal for just over half a mile I reached a road bridge, where I had to go over the bridge and cross the road to continue along the towpath, now with the canal on my left. I was now at Tring Wharf, and there were tall warehouses on the other side of the canal. I was soon back out into open country though. After another half mile I came to a bridge where I foolishly went straight on and soon came to the end of the navigable part of the Wendover Arm - I had to retrace my steps to the bridge and leave the canal there (this is not the first time I've made this mistake!).

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Near the start of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal

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The Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal

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The Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, just before Tring Warf

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Tring Wharf

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The Wendover Arm of the Grand Union canal

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This is where I left the navigable section of the Wendover Arm, going up the steps and turning right (actually I first went straight on, forgetting I needed to turn off here!)

I turned right along the lane that crosses the bridge. Just past some cottages on the right a footpath started, running behind a hedge and parallel to the lane - this saved walking along the narrow lane for a hundred yards or so. I then crossed the lane and went down a track to rejoin the canal towpath, on part of the Wendover Arm that has not held water for many years but is currently being restored - in fact I soon passed about five workmen and a mechanical digger in the canal.

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The path beside the road

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The start of the empty section of the canal ...

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... although after recent rains there was some water in it

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They are obviously working to re-instate this section of the canal