6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life today click here

Buckinghamshire walk at Slapton and the Grand Union Canal

PUBLISHED: 09:41 10 March 2017

Peaceful scenes along the towpath © Steve Davison

Peaceful scenes along the towpath © Steve Davison

© Steve Davison

Follow Steve Davison as he heads towards North Buckinghamshire for a walk to the south of Leighton Buzzard, passing through Slapton and following the Grand Union Canal

The walk follows the Grand Union Canal northwards for a while to reach bridge 118, passing Slapton Lock (30) on the way. The canal was formed from the amalgamation of several independent waterways between 1894 and 1929 and one of these waterways, along which the walk travels, was the Grand Junction Canal; the canal ran from Braunston in Northamptonshire to the River Thames at Brentford and was built between 1793 and 1805.

About half a mile to the west of the canal is Bridego Bridge where the railway crosses a minor road. It was here, in August 1963, that the Great Train Robbery, classed at the time as the ‘crime of the century’, took place, when the Glasgow to Euston Royal Mail train was stopped and robbed; the gang made off with £2.5 million.

We leave the canal behind and head through fields to arrive at Slapton, home to a church and a picturesque thatch-roofed pub, the Carpenters Arms, which dates from the 16th century. The church – the Holy Cross – dates from the 13th century, although it has been much altered over the years.

First mentioned in the Domesday Book, when the village was known as ‘Slapetone’ meaning ‘farm by a slippery place’, the manor was held by a convent at Barking in Essex until passing to the Crown after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1547. The manor later passed through various owners, including the Duke of Bridgewater in the 1700s.

After meandering through the village, we follow a short section of the Two Ridges Link; an 8 mile walking route connecting the Ridgeway National Trail at Ivinghoe Beacon and the Greensand Ridge Walk at Leighton Buzzard. Then we head along Slapton Lane and through several fields before rejoining the canal at Horton Wharf Farm, beside the Keeper’s Cottage and Horton Lock (31). From here, it’s an easy walk alongside the canal back to the start.


Information

• Start/finish: canal bridge south-west of Slapton, 0.5 miles north-east from the B488 at Horton; limited roadside parking (SP929201)

• Map: OS Explorer 181 and 192

• Distance: 4.25 miles (6.8km)

• Terrain: stiles and gates, fairly level, paths and tracks, minor roads

• Time: 2 hours (excluding stops)

• Refreshments: The Carpenters Arms at Slapton (01525 220563)


The walk

1. (SP929201) – From the roadside parking area, cross over the road and follow the surfaced access track parallel, then pass a gate to join the canal towpath. Turn left and follow the canal for two thirds of a mile, soon passing Slapton Lock (30) and later keeping alongside the canal as it swings to the right. Go under the bridge (118) and immediately turn sharp left up to a stile beside the bridge and turn left across the canal. Pass the large gate and follow the path ahead through the field, keeping left at the split mid-field, to reach the far side of the field. Cross the stile and head north-eastwards across the next field.

2. (SP927211) – Go through a gap in the hedge and bear right along the track following the hedge on the right (over to left is Bury Farm). Keep straight on towards the houses and at the field corner turn left and follow the enclosed path as it quickly swings right and goes between houses to an estate road. Turn left to the main road in Slapton with the thatch-roofed Carpenters Arms opposite. Go straight on along Church Road for 250m and just after the left-hand bend, fork left along Knyghton Close and go through the lych-gate towards the church. Stay left of the church and leave the churchyard over a stile. Cross the footbridge and keep ahead across the narrow field. Continue through the bushes to cross a stile and enter the field.

3. (SP937207) – Turn right following the right-hand margin along two sides of the field and at the next corner go left for a few metres and then turn right through the hedge and cross the footbridge. Head through the field to the opposite side and turn right along the left-hand margin to a large gate and lane.Turn right along the lane for 600m, passing Whistle Brook Farm and at the sharp 
right-hand bend fork left over a stile beside the large gate. Turn right along then gravel track and then keep ahead over a stile. Continue alongside the hedge on the right, with the solar panels on the left beyond the high fence.

4. (SP939198) – At the far right corner, cross the stile and then go through a kissing gate to enter a field. Keep ahead through the middle of the field, go through a kissing gate and across the next field to leave through another kissing gate. Turn left along the lane for 125m to the left-hand bend and turn right along the track towards Horton Wharf Farm. Follow the track as it swings right past the farmhouse. Immediately after crossing the bridge over the canal, turn left towards Keepers Cottage and the lock (31), and then left again to go under the bridge. Follow the towpath northwards for 650m. Go under the road bridge and immediately turn left past the gate and follow the surfaced track to the main road and the parking area.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

10:22

April arrives and we’re all encouraged to enjoy the great oudroos - and fine entertainment indoors, as well

Read more
Yesterday, 17:06

From first class musical entertainment to walks in the beautiful countryside, Easter and April have a lot to offer

Read more
Tue, 11:17

Blue is the colour across Buckinghamshire right now as everyone’s favourite spring flower blossoms

Read more
Mon, 12:49

Jan Raycroft takes a look at a time when Cublington nearly became London’s third airport, the Sex Pistols stunned Wycombe and Dorney dug in to stay with Bucks

Read more
Friday, March 17, 2017

The latest editions of Berkshire Life and Buckinghamshire Life feature all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more
Friday, March 17, 2017

A look back at some of the best Berkshire photography shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We’re heading back 40 and 50 years. Sue Bromley takes a look at a time which saw invasions by both aliens and hippies, the M4 opening, and a row over a chalk horse

Read more
Friday, March 10, 2017

We set ourselves a challenge to name 26 great things about Buckinghamshire on a trip to the countryside, along the rivers and straight from A to Z…

Read more
Friday, March 10, 2017

Follow Steve Davison as he heads towards North Buckinghamshire for a walk to the south of Leighton Buzzard, passing through Slapton and following the Grand Union Canal

Read more
Monday, March 6, 2017

There really is nothing more welcoming than a Berkshire bar or restaurant with fires to keep you cosy

Read more
Friday, March 3, 2017

Tributes to music legends from Matt Monro to Dylan in a month of nostalgia at Buckinghamshire venues

Read more
Friday, March 3, 2017

Have you always dreamt about owning a house in France? Come along to the French Property Exhibition at Newbury Racecourse on 17-18 March, the perfect place to start your search.

Read more
Monday, February 27, 2017

Whether you take the car, train or simply head into town on foot, the sights and sounds of the Royal town are always a pick-me-up

Read more
Monday, February 27, 2017

The sensational pop sounds of the Sixties and Seventies are everywhere this month so get ready to rock

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Berkshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search