Bank on the calm waters of canal country
can live on it,” says Noel. It will be called Nice One. This is why they are selling the three-bedroom cottage with its views of Worcester cathedral for £190,000 through Andrew Grant (01905 734734; andrewgrant.co.uk). It has been newly floodproofed and has a concealed pump as backup. “The water levels rose last year and the system worked,” says Noel. Richard and Julie Green fell in love with canalside living after a holiday on a narrowboat. They bought Park Cottage on the Shropshire Union Canal near Oswestry with plans to knock down and build new. They have planning permission but have not started the work as they couldn’t sell their previous house. While they waited, they had fun 1Royal Quay is on Limehouse Cut, east London, one of London’s oldest canals. Regal Homes (020 7328 7171; regal-homes.co.uk) is creating 90 studios, one and two-bedroom flats behind the original industrial warehouse façade, with wood floors and exposed brickwork. The Grapes, a 1583 pub where Charles Dickens used to drink, now jointly owned by Evgeny Lebedev, Sean Mathias and Sir Ian McKellen, is nearby and Gordon Ramsay’s gastropub The Narrow is in the old Custom House. 2Wharf House, Burbage Wharf, Wiltshire, is on the Kennet & Avon Canal between Hungerford Town Bridge (20 locks away) and Pewsey Wharf (four locks away). It is Grade II-listed, newly refurbished with four bedrooms, £695,000, Carter Jonas (01672 514916; carterjonas. co.uk). A historic crane, rebuilt by volunteers, stands beside it, originally made in 1833 to unload coal, timber, lime and bricks. 3Grand Union Walk, Kentish Town, London, is a futuristic terrace designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, built in 1988. A onebedroom maisonette with a balcony is on at £650,000, The Modern House (020 7704 3504; themodernhouse.net). with the garden. They built an oakframed gazebo with a bar, sauna and hot tub from which they could watch the boats. They also built features for passing boats to admire, such as a wishing well and an old tramp Billy, made of spare parts, who sits on a bench. This is, says Julie, the busiest canal in the UK, so in the summer the boats stack up. “We bought a 57ft narrowboat ourselves last September called Far From the Madding Crowd. It is moored at the bottom of the garden and we spent last Christmas on it.” Next week they will take it along the Llangollen Canal. All this is coming to an end, however, as Richard has a new job in Scotland so they are selling through Richmond Harvey (01691 654222; richmondharvey.com) at £499,995.
Change the locks: relax by the canalside, above right, at Wharf House, Burbage, Wiltshire, top, or the futuristic Grand Union Walk, London, above left