Please note that these route pages are a work in progress. The figures below indicate route length; however, not all locks and bridges are included currently, so the time required may be underestimated.
Cruising Hours: This route consists of 28.785 miles, 54 locks, 0 movable bridges and 0 tunnels. Which will take 2 days, 4 hours and 2 minutes when travelling for 7 hours per day at our default speeds.
Once you are ready to leave the hire base, turn South on the Grand Union Canal and head towards your first lock, Grove Lock. There is a great number of locks to be tackled on this short stretch of waterway, so this is your first opportunity to get used to the procedure. The canal winds through open countryside, which appears quite empty and isolated at times, but gives a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Leighton Buzzard. The locks are well spaced out here and most of them have a nice, picturesque setting.
Once you have reached Marsworth, turn right and enter the Aylesbury arm. While you are here, you should definitely pay the Marsworth Reservoir a visit. It doesn’t only supply the Grand Union Canal with water, but is also a great nature reserve. Especially in the evenings a stroll around the nature reserve is perfect for spotting the abundant wildlife, including a variety of birds, here. It’s time to carry on along the Aylesbury arm now. You’ll find a number of narrow locks here. These are only a little bit wider than your boat, in contrast to the wide locks you have encountered on the Grand Union Canal so far. However, you’ll soon get used to the limited space and slowly but steadily approach the turning point of your short break on the Grand Union Canal. The Aylesbury Arm is very much remote for most of its length until it reaches the outskirts of Aylesbury itself. There are nice moorings at Aylesbury Basin, with the town center only a 3 minute walk away. The basin is a perfect place to stay for the night and give you plenty of opportunity to have a meal and perhaps a drink before you head back towards the hire base in Leighton Buzzard.
*Canal side places powered by foursquare
Related Nicholson Guide:
Grand Union, Oxford & the South East - Nicholson Guide No 1
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