The Grand Union Canal, Le­ices­ter­shire

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Discover | Canal Walks -

Best for: Gon­goo­zling ‘Gon­goo­zling’ – hang­ing around locks to see how ably or oth­er­wise boaters man­age their craft – is a tra­di­tional canal­side ac­tiv­ity. And Fox­ton, with its flight of ten locks, is per­fect for it. A wa­ter­side café and pub at the bot­tom of the locks give front-row views, while a mu­seum cel­e­brates canal life and the work­ings of the in­clined plane, a steam­driven me­chan­i­cal hoist which once lifted boats up and down the hill in 13 min­utes as op­posed to the hour and a quar­ter needed to go through the locks. From the tea­room at the top there’s a 20-mile ‘pound’ – a lock-free stretch so it’s flat the whole way – which con­tours across re­mote coun­try­side to reach Crick. Walk­ing takes you at nar­row­boat speed, with the same great views, though at Hus­bands Bos­worth tun­nel you’ll have to climb over the hill whilst boats chug into the darkness.

WALK HERE: Fol­low the canal from Fox­ton Locks to Crick. For a cir­cu­lar route, down­load Smee­ton Westerby at­routes

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