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GRAND UNION CANAL - Part 6
Tring to Marsworth Junction

I did this walk on Sunday 19th June 2011. I drove up from Walthamstow and parked on the street, just below Tring Station. From there it was just a short walk down the road to rejoin the Grand Union Canal. On this walk I was going to walk up the main route of the Grand Union canal as far as the junction with the Aylesbury Arm of the canal at Marsworth before retracing my steps back to the Wendover Arm which I would then follow to its terminus in Wendover. For my next days walk I can then start at Aylesbury and walk the Aylesbury Arm to rejoin the main canal at Marsworth Junction before continuing north to Leighton Buzzard.

Start of stage 6
Rowing boat on the canal
Flush Bracket 829
(1) Start of stage 6
(2) Rowing boat on the canal
(3) Flush Bracket 829

Back at the canal, photo 1, I headed to my right and continued along the towpath following the canal as it makes its way over the Tring Summit. Just after I joined the canal I was passed by a man in a rowing boat, being followed by his partner who was walking along the towpath, photo 2, and I more or less kept up with them for the next mile or so. The man was using just one paddle to row the boat, leaning at an angle which I presume kept the boat straight in the water. I also spotted a dead deer floating on the canal, the largest dead animal I have seen so far in the canal. After about 0.8 mile the towpath reaches a brick built bridge which the route uses to cross over to the other bank of the canal. As I was crossing over the bridge I noticed there was another of the ordnance survey flush brackets attached to the bridge, this one BM829, photo 3.

56 miles to Braunston
Bulbourne Ironworks
Cherries
(4) 56 miles to Braunston
(5) Bulbourne Ironworks
(6) Cherries

Just below the bridge was another of the small metal distance markers besides the path which showed it was now just 56 miles to Braunston, photo 4. The route then reaches bridge 133 by the Grand Junction Arms in Bulbourne. Continuing under the road the route passes a small ironworks, home of Hammer & Tongs artist blacksmiths, on the opposite bank based in an old canal side building which had a number of interesting sculptures on display outside, photo 5. Once under the bridge the canal leaves the cutting it has been heading through for some time and the view open out once again on either side of the path. Besides the canal where a couple of cherry trees laden with fruit, photo 6, the weather conditions having seemingly been ideal for cherries this year as I have seen many such trees this year when out walking.

Marsworth Top Lock
Bulbourne Junction
The start of the Wendover Arm
(7) Marsworth Top Lock
(8) Bulbourne Junction
(9) The start of the Wendover Arm

A short distance further, 1.8 miles after setting off from the car, I reached the Marsworth Top Lock, photo 7 at Bulbourne Junction, photo 8. This marks the point where the Wendover Arm of the canal heads off to the left, photo 9, and also where the Grand Union Canal starts descending down the other side of the Chilterns. The waters of the canal now flowing in the direction I am walking along the canal rather than down towards the Thames in London.

Grand Union Canal approaching Lock 44
Marsworth Reservoir
Heading towards Startop's End reservoir
(10) Grand Union Canal approaching Lock 44
(11) Marsworth Reservoir
(12) Heading towards Startop's End reservoir

A few yards further down the canal is lock 44 Marsworth Lock and locks 43, 42 and 41 then also follow in very quick succession as the canal, photo 10, winds its way down quite steeply, in canal terms anyway, from the top of the Chilterns and the Tring summit. Below lock 42 the towpath runs alongside the Tring Reservoirs which help manage the water supply for the canal. First up was the Marsworth Reservoir, photo 11, and then Startop's End reservoir, photo 12. This was another attractive section of path with the towpath running on a narrow area of land between the canal and reservoir.

Lock 39, part of the Marsworth Flight
Marsworth Junction
(13) Lock 39, part of the Marsworth Flight
(14) Marsworth Junction

Lock 40 soon follows and then lock 39, photo 13, beside the Bluebells Tearoom and Ice cream shop which is situated close to bridge 132 which carries the Lower Ickneild Way across the canal. Crossing the road by lock 39 the route then continues alongside past the Marsworth long term moorings which line the canal banks all the way to the entrance to the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union canal at Marsworth Junction, photo 14, where I finished the first leg of my days walk having walked 2.85 miles from my parking spot at Tring.

As usual I have uploaded the route of the walk which can be accessed here: Grand Canal Stage 6 Route.

I briefly headed across the narrow lock gate that marks the start of the Aylesbury Arm which I will be walking on my next trip out before turning around and retracing my steps back up to the Wendover Arm at Bulbourne Junction.

 Back to:Watford to Tring  On to: The Wendover Arm 

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