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Named black discsGrand Union Canal Walk

Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Gtr London, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, W Midlands

222 km / 138 miles
This first national waterways walk was created as part of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the creation of the canal companies that later formed the Grand Union Canal. Being almost entirely towpath it provides much for those interested in canal history.

From Brentford, where it joins the Thames Path, the canal heads to Slough and then through Hertfordshire and the Chilterns to Tring. Apart from the stretch through Milton Keynes the route is then largely rural, passing the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne, to Leamington Spa and Warwick. The final stretch is through the suburbs of Birmingham.

The Grand Union Canal has several Arms:
Paddington Arm from Bull's Bridge, Southall to Little Venice connects with the Regent's Canal
Slough Arm from Cowley Peachey Junction can be used to access the London Loop and Colne Valley Way
Wendover Arm, at Bulbourne, links with the Aylesbury Ring and Outer Aylesbury Ring
Aylesbury Arm, at Startop's End near Marsworth, provides a link to central Aylesbury
Northampton Arm, at Blisworth Junction, joins up to the Nene Way.


Waymark: Named black discs
Path Type: Paths Marked on OS mapping
Waymark: Named black discs
Attributes: Easy
Start: TQ179773 - Thames Lock, Brentford, Gtr London View on StreetMap
Finish: SP061867 - Birmingham, Gas Street Basin, W Midlands View on StreetMap
Open Date: 1993
Web Sites: Canal & River Trust - Grand Union Canal Grand Union Canal Walk - from London to Birmingham Tim Bertuchi - Grand Union Canal British Walks - Grand Union Canal Walk [blog] Annierak - Grand Union Canal Walk [blog]

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

General Interest Book Grand Union, Oxford & the South East: Waterways Guide 1 (Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides)  (HarperCollins  - 2024 )
Guidebook Grand Union Canal (North) : Towpath Guide  (History Press  - 2006 )
Guidebook Grand Union Canal (South) : Towpath Guide  (History Press  - 2005 )
Guidebook Grand Union Canal Walk : London to Birmingham  (Cicerone Press  - 1996 )
External download Walking & Cycling the Grand Union Canal Towpath - Rickmansworth to Watford  (Three Rivers District Council  - 2007 ) Download

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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps (path is named on OS maps):
OS Landranger 139, 151, 152, 165, 166, 176
OS Landranger Active 139, 151, 152, 165, 166, 176
OS Explorer 160, 161, 172, 173, 181, 182, 192, 207, 220, 221, 222, 223
OS Explorer Active 160, 161, 172, 173, 181, 182, 192, 207, 220, 221, 222, 223

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Bunk House
< 1 km
215 km

Additional Images:

Connected Paths:

Anytime Challenges


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GPX Route File
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MemoryMap Route File
Grand Union Canal Walk Memory Map Route File
Last Updated 29/01/2021 21:33:53
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Tracklogs Route File
Grand Union Canal Walk Tracklogs Route File
Last Updated 29/01/2021 21:33:55
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Route Profile:

222.7 km (138.4 miles)
1,380 m (4,528 ft) ascent
154 m (505 ft)  maximum height

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