The UK is covered with hundreds of delightful canals with canalside towpaths for walkers to use. Below are a selection of popular walks which include canalside walking for all or part of the route.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Canal Walk Map
|Aire Valley Towpath||16 miles (26 km)||Follow the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the River Aire from Leeds to Bingley on this waterside cycle or walk. The route follows NCN route 66 and passes Kirkstall Abbey, Bramley Fall, Rodley, Calverley Woods, Apperley Bridge, Thackley, Shipley, Hirst Wood and Dowley Gap with both countryside and urban sections to enjoy.|
Highlights on the route include the fascinating Saltaire Village World Heritage Site. Here you will find the grade II listed Victoria Hall and Salt's Mill with its shops, cafes and galleries.
Also of interest is Kirkstall Abbey. This medieval Cistercian abbey is set in beatutiful parkland and is well worth a visit if you have time.
|Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail||4 miles (6 km)||This lovely short cycle and walking trail runs from Measham near Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Moira along a disused railway path. The path passes old Donisthorpe Colliery site, which is now a Woodland Park and Conkers - a forest-based attraction with a number of activities to enjoy. There is also a pleasant waterside section along the Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal.|
Please click here for more information
|Aylesbury Ring||31 miles (50 km)||This circular walk takes you on a tour of the Aylesbury Vale. The path starts and ends in Wendover first heading towards Great Kimble and then onto Dinton where you will find the impressive Dinton Hall. The route continues to Eythrope, crossing the River Thame and passing Eythrope Park and Eythrope Manor House. You continue through the countryside past Waddesdon, Hardwick and Long Marston before joining the Wendover Arm Canal near Aston Clinton for the final waterside stretch back to Wendover.|
|Baker Way||11 miles (18 km)||Take a stroll along the Baker Way from Chester to Delamere Forest on this pleasant, varied walk.|
The walk starts at Chester railway station and heads east along the Shropshire Union Canal to Rowton. You then leave the canal and head through the countryside to Tarvin which is an excellent place to stop for a pub lunch. The final section of the walk takes you from Tarvin to the lovely Delamere Forest Park where the route finishes at Delamere Station.
This is a pleasant and fairly easy walk with waterside, countryside and woodland sections to enjoy.
|Basingstoke Canal Walk||33 miles (53 km)||Follow the Basingstoke canal from Up Nately to Woodham, on this delightful waterside walk. The walk passes Fleet and Woking and includes regular views of the lovely Hampshire and Surrey countryside.|
|Battlefields Trail||20 miles (32 km)||This interesting walking trail links three of England's most significant Battlefields:|
Edgcote (1469) in Northamptonshire
Cropredy Bridge (1644) in Oxfordshire
Edgehill (1642) in Warwickshire
It runs from Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire and ends in Kineton, Warwickshire, passing through some beautiful countryside along the way.
The first section of the walk takes you from Chipping Warden to Upper Wardington. On the way you will pass the site of the Battle of Edgecote Moor which was fought during the Wars of the Roses in July 1469. The battle pitted the forces of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, against those of King Edward IV.
From Upper Wardington you continue west to Warmington, passing Cropedy where the Battle of Cropredy Bridge was fought on 29th June 1644 between a Parliamentarian army under Sir William Waller and the Royalist army of King Charles. This section also includes views of the Oxford Canal and the River Cherwell.
The final section then runs from Warmington to Kineton, passing through the beautiful Edghill Country Park. The park is set in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and includes sixteen acres of mixed grass and primary Bluebell woodland. After passing through Ratley you soon come to the site of Battle of Edgehill. The battle was fought on Sunday, 23rd October 1642 and was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. Shortly after the walk then comes to at an end at the village of Kineton in Warwickshire.
The Battlefields Trust Website has a wealth of information on this route and the history of the Battlefields of Britain.
|Beeches Way||16 miles (25 km)||Follow the Beeches Way through the Chilterns AONB from the River Thames at Cookham to the Grand Union Canal at West Drayton.|
You start off at Cookham and head east to the wooded Burnham Beeches Nature Reserve. The walk then passes through Fulmer before a lovely stretch through Black Park Country Park and Langley Park Country Park. The final stretch takes you around the lakes in Colne Valley Regional Park before finishing on the Grand Union Canal at West Drayton.
|Bishop Bennet Way||32 miles (52 km)||The Bishop Bennet Way is a shared walking and cycling path running from Beeston in Cheshire to Wirswall on the Shropshire borders.
The route starts at the 13th century Beeston Castle and proceeds through Milton Green, Churton and Shocklach where you will pass the Grade I listed Norman church. You continue to Grindley Brook where you cross the Shropshire Union Canal shortly before finishing at Wirswall near Whitchurch.
For cyclists please note that a mountain bike is required for this route as there are some fairly rugged off road sections.
|Bollin Valley Way||25 miles (40 km)||Follow the River Bollin from Macclesfield to Partington on this delightful waterside walk through Greater Manchester and Cheshire.|
The walk starts at the Macclesfield Riverside Park and follows the river through Prestbury, Wilmslow, Hale and Bowdon to Partington on the Manchester Ship Canal.
On the route you will pass the 18th century Grade II listed Mottram Hall and National Trust owned Dunham Massey Hall. This Georgian House is set in a magnificent 121-hectare (300-acre) deer park and boasts Britain's largest winter garden.
As well as the River Bollin there are also views of the Bridgwater Canal and a short final section along the Manchester Ship Canal into Partington.
|Bolton Rotary Way Footpath||50 miles (80 km)||Enjoy industrial heritage, reservoirs, historic estates, memorials and country parks on this circular walk around Bolton. The walk visits Adlington, West Houghton, Blackrod and Farnworth. Walk highlights include Jumbles and Rivington Reservoirs, Blackleath Country Park and a waterside stretch along the Leeds & Liverpool canal.|
|Bridgewater Way||38 miles (61 km)||A walk along the Bridgewater canal, through Cheshire, Greater Manchester and on into Lancashire. The route passes Salford, Trafford, Manchester, Warrington and Halton. |
When complete the Bridgewater Way will also be open to cyclists.
|Bronte Way||44 miles (71 km)||Follow the Bronte Way through Lancashire and Yorkshire and visit many of the places associated with writings and lives of the Bronte Sisters.|
Highlights on the walk include:
Gawthorpe Hall - visited by Charlotte Bronte on several occasions, Gawthorpe Hall is the start point of the walk
Wycoller Country Park - Wycoller Hall is believed to have inspired Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre".
Top Withens - the inspiration for the location of Wuthering Heights
Ponden Hall - situated near the village of Stanbury it inspired Thrushcross grange in Wuthering Heights.
Haworth - this Yorkshire village is where the Bronte sisters wrote many of their works and includes the Haworth Parsonage Museum
Thronton - birthplace of the Brontes
Oakwell Hall - inspiration for 'Fieldhead' in Charlotte Bronte's novel Shirley and also the end point of the route
Bronte Waterfall-this beautiful waterfall is located in Bronte Country near Haworth. It was a popular with the Bronte sisters who loved visiting the waterfall. There is a pretty little bridge called Bronte Bridge next to the falls.
As well as the interesting places above the walk also passes some beautiful scenery including Ponden and Leeming Reservoirs, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and Penistone country park.
|Bude Marshes||3 miles (5 km)||This delightful local nature reserve in Bude is a great escape from the busy seaside town centre. You can enjoy a stroll along the Bude canal tow path with views of the River Neet. An off road National Cycle Network route runs along the opposite side.|
Habitats in the reserve include reed bed, wet grassland, woodland and willow carr. You can look out for a variety of birds from the bird hide, while otters can also been seen around the canal and river.
|Caldon Canal||6 miles (10 km)||Follow the Caldon Canal through the beautiful River Churnet Valley on this easy walk in Staffordshire.|
The walk starts at the lovely Froghall Wharf where you will find a good sized car park. You then pick up the canal towpath and head to Cheddleton before finishing at Deep Hayes Country Park. Along the way you will pass some attractive woodland which is worth exploring with a small detour. For example the Consall Nature Park is located just to the west of the canal near Consall Forge. It has miles of nice walking trails and is easy to access from the route.
Also of interest is the Churnet Valley Steam Railway which runs alongside the canal. One option would be to catch the train back from Cheddleton to Kingsley & Froghall Station.
The canal runs along some of the prettiest countryside in Staffordshire with views of the River Churnet, pretty locks and arched stone bridges to enjoy. You'll also pass villages and hamlets such as the delightful Consall Forge where you can stop for refreshments at the canalside Black Lion Inn. There's great outdoor seating with views of the canal and the passing steam trains.
The route follows the Staffordshire Way long distance trail so there is scope for continuing your walk towards Leek and Ladderedge Country Park. Deep Hayes Country Park at the end of the walk is also well worth exploring.
|Capital Ring||78 miles (126 km)||This 78 mile circular walk takes you on a tour through London passing many of its most famous landmarks and through some of its most attractive parks and green areas.|
The route officially starts at Woolwich foot tunnel by the Thames Barrier and first heads south passing through Eltham, Beckenham and Tooting Bec Common before reaching Wimbledon with its famous common and windmill. You continue through Richmond deer park to Richmond where a pleasant stretch along the Thames takes you past the popular gardens at Kew. Soon after you join the Grand Union Canal for more pleasant waterside walking, passing Brentford and Hanwell on your way to Harrow. The route then turns east passing Brent Reservoir, Wembley Stadium, Hampstead and Finsbury Park. The final section takes you through the delightful Lee Valley Park, through Stratford and back to the Woolwich foot tunnel.
|Celandine Route||12 miles (19 km)||Follow the River Pinn from Pinner to Cowley on this nice easy waterside walk through west London. The walk starts at Pinner tube station and follows the river through Ruislip and Hillingdon before finishing on the Grand Union Canal at Cowley.|
Look out for flora and fauna on the walk including Kingfishers and Treecreepers and the Lesser Celandine flowers after which the walk is named.
|Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation||16 miles (26 km)||Follow the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Canal from Chelmsford to Maldon on this easy, waterside walk in Essex. The canal takes you through some lovely Essex countryside, passing a series of pretty locks, a number of reservoirs and the villages of Little Baddow and Ulting. At Little Baddow you can find a number of nice woodland trails in Blake's Wood, Lingwood Common and Danbury Common. The village and commons are located just to the south of the canal and contain 214 acres of heath, gorse and coppice. The final section of the canal takes you along the Heybridge Basin in Maldon, with views of the National Trust owned Northey Island. There are great views over the estuary of the River Blackwater to the nature reserve.|
|Cheshire Ring Canal Walk||98 miles (158 km)||This nice easy walk follows six historic canals through Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire. |
The canal towpaths you will follow include:
The videos below show the sections along the Rochdale canal in Manchester and along the Peak Forest Canal at Marple.
|Chichester Canal||7 miles (12 km)||Enjoy a lovely waterside stroll along the Chichester Canal on this easy walk in Sussex. The walk begins in the centre of Chichester (near the train station and cathedral) following the canal towpath to Birdham Pool with its pretty boating marina.|
Although this is categorised as a walking route, cyclists can also enjoy the first section of the towpath from Chichester to Hunston.
|Claude Duval Bridleroute||63 miles (102 km)||This shared walking and cycle path runs from Quainton, near Aylesbury in Oxfordshire to Great Barrington in the Cotswolds.|
This route is named after the well-known local highwayman, Claude Duval. It starts at Quainton and passes Stratton Audley, Bicester and Bucknell before crossing the Oxford Canal near Woodstock. The route then heads towards Chipping Norton and then Spelsbury where you join the River Evenlode for a short waterside stretch to Ascott d'Oyley. You then head onto Great Barrington via Fifield.
For cyclists a hybrid or mountain bike is required for this route. This is a fairly challenging route but with some fabulous Cotswolds scenery to enjoy.
|Colne Valley Circular Walk||13 miles (21 km)||Take in the stunning scenery of the Colne Valley on this circular footpath through Kirklees in Yorkshire.|
The walk begins and ends at Golcar, passing Linthwaite,Slaithwaite and Marsden on the way. The path includes a waterside stroll along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at the start, a stretch through Slaithwaite Moor and views of the picturesque Butterley Reservoir near Netherley. There are some challenging climbs on this walk but you are rewarded with fabulous views of the Colne Valley.
|Colne Valley Trail||7 miles (11 km)||Follow the Colne Valley Trail from Uxbridge to Rickmansworth and enjoy riverside and canalside walking or cycling.|
The trails follows the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne while also passing a series of pretty Lakes including Lynsters, Stocker's and Batchworth Lake. The trail finishes at Batchworth Lake by the car park in Rickmansworth.
|Cotswold Canals||41 miles (66 km)||Follow a series of delightful waterways from Framilode to Lechlade on this waterside walk through Gloucestershire.|
The walk starts at Framilode, next to the River Severn and follows the Stroudwater Canal and the River Frome to the market town of Stroud. You continue to Sapperton, following the River Frome and the Thames and Severn Canal. A wooded section through Hayley Wood follows before coming to Kemble where you will pass the source of the River Thames.
From Kemble you head to the village of Siddington and then on to South Cerney where you will pass the fabulous Cotswold Water Park which boasts 150 lakes, Nature Reserves and plenty of options for refreshment.
The final section takes you through the countryside towards Kempsford, passing the River Colne and the Fairford/Lechlade section of the Cotswold Water Park before arriving at the finish point at Lechlade.
There's much to enjoy on this walk with several waterside sections along various canals, rivers and lakes. There are also a series of quaint Cotswold villages with ancient churches, historic watermills and pretty waterside pubs for refreshment.
|Coventry Canal||38 miles (61 km)||Enjoy waterside cycling and walking along the 38 mile long Coventry Canal towpath. Walkers can follow the whole of the route while cyclists can enjoy lovely sections through Coventry and from Marston Junction to Nuneaton.|
The canal runs from the centre of Coventry to Fradley Juction, passing through Bedworth, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Polesworth and Tamworth.
Highlights along the canal include the vibrant Coventry Canal Basin with its shops, businesses and art gallery. You'll also pass the splendid Hartshill Country Park which has miles of footpaths and wonderful views over the Anker Valley. There's also some wonderful countryside to enjoy and a series of artworks by local artists on the Arts Trail from the Basin to Hawkesbury Junction. At the end of the route at Fradley Junction there is a nature reserve with excellent bird watching opportunities.
The canal links with the Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal just north of Bedworth and with the Trent and Mersyet Canal at the end of the route at Fradley Juction near Lichfield.
|Coventry Way||40 miles (64 km)||This walk circles the countryside around Coventry taking you through some fine Warwickshire countryside and a series of interesting villages.|
The walk starts at Meriden and heads towards Kenilworth with its impressive castle - described by architectural historian Anthony Emery as the 'finest surviving example of a semi-royal palace of the later middle ages, significant for its scale, form and quality of workmanship'. You then head towards Stoneleigh and the fascinating Grade I listed Stoneleigh Abbey. With 690 acres of parkland and overlooking the River Avon the abbey is well worth a visit.
From Stoneleigh you continue to Wolston where you follow the River Avon to Bretford and then onto Brinklow. Here you join the Oxford Canal towards Bedworth. The final section leads back to Meriden passing Birchley Hays wood and Corley Moor on the way.
|Crewe and Nantwich Circular Walk||28 miles (45 km)||This circular walk takes you through the countryside and villages surrounding Crewe and Nantwich.|
You start off at Coppenshall just north of Crewe and first head to Weston. This section takes you past Sandbach Flashes wetlands (good for bird watching) and also the tudor house at Haslington.
From Weston you head towards Acton passing Hough Common, Wybunbury and Austerson. Highlights on this section include Shrewbridge Lake and Dorfold Hall Jacobean mansion. You will also cross the River Weaver and the Shropshire Union Canal.
The final section takes you back to Coppenshall from Acton, passing Henhull and Church Minsall on the way. This section also includes a pleasant section along the towpath of the Shropshire Union Canal.
|Cromford Canal||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a waterside stroll along the Cromford Canal on this easy walk in Derbyshire. This section of the canal runs from Cromford to Ambergate and is designated as a Biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Local Nature Reserve. The walk passes the Leawood Pump House by the aqueduct over the River Derwent and a series of pretty bridges. You'll also pass Shining Cliff Woods and enjoy lovely views of the Derwent Valley. The walk makes use of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way so you could continue along this long distance walking route to extend your walk. |
The canal is located just a few miles south of Matlock.
|Cross Bucks Way||24 miles (38 km)||Travel from Stratton Audley in Buckinghamshire to Linslade, near Leighton Buzzard along the Cross Bucks Way. The route meanders through the Buckinghamshire countryside passing Hillesden, Winslow and Hollingdon before a pleasant waterside stretch along the Grand Union Canal takes you to Linslade.|
|Delamere Way||21 miles (34 km)||Take a walk along the Delamere Way and visit Delamere Forest Park and the Trent & Mersey Canal.|
The path starts in Frodsham and heads south to Delamere Forest with its 2,400 acres of mixed deciduous and evergreen woodland and Blakemere Moss - a lake around 1 km in length.
You then turn north towards Acton Bridge before crossing the River Weaver at Dutton Lock and then the Trent & Mersey Canal shorty after. The final section takes you through Hatton and past Appleton Reservoir before finishing at Stockton Heath in Warrington.
|Downs Link||36 miles (58 km)||This is a terrific walking or cycling path running from St Martha's Hill to Shoreham-by-Sea and linking the North and South Downs National Trails.|
You start on St Martha's Hill will terrific views of the Surrey countryside before heading south to Cranleigh along the Wey and Arun Canal. The path continues to Rudgwick and then onto the delightful Southwater Country Park. The next stage takes you to Henfield and then onto Bramber with its ruined castle. The final stage runs along the River Adur taking you to Shoreham-by-Sea.
|Dudley Canal||4 miles (6 km)||Follow the Dudley Canal from Warren's Hill Park to Leasowes Park on this waterside walk through Blackheath and Halesowen in Birmingham. The route makes use of the Monarch's Way long distance footpath to link these two lovely open spaces.|
The walk starts at the car park at Warren's Hall Country Park in Sandwell. You then head through the park with it's ponds, canals, grassland and small wooded areas. It's a lovely start to the walk with the park's footpaths leading to the canal. On the way you'll pass Cobb's Engine House. The eye catching building is a scheduled ancient monument and a Grade II listed building built around 1831. It housed a stationary steam pump used to pump water from Windmill End Colliery and other mines in the area.
After passing through the park you pick up the canal path and head south through Old Hill and Coombeswood to Halesowen. Here the route finishes at the splendid Leasowes Park. The historically significant park consists of 141 acres of woodland, grassland, streams, waterfalls and large ponds. If you keep following the Monarch's Way south past the park you'll soon come to the atmospheric remains of Halesowen Abbey. The abbey is owned by English Heritage and was originally founded in 1215 under a grant from King John of England.
|Ebury Way||3 miles (5 km)||This is an easy short cycle and walking route ideal for families. It runs along NCN route 61 and a dismantled railway line from Ricksmanworth to Watford and passes through a variety of habitats, including open moor, woodland, and wetlands. The trail crosses a number of waterways including the rivers Colne, Chess and Gade and the Grand Union Canal.
Please click here for a pdf guide from watford council
|Eddisbury Way||17 miles (27 km)||Follow the Eddisbury way from Frodsham to Burwardsley on this walk through Cheshire.|
You start by the River Weaver at Frodsham and head south to Kelshall, passing through Manley Common and skirting the edge of Delamere Forest. You then head to Duddon before crossing the Shropshire Union Canal and finishing at Burwardsley next to the Peckforton Hills.
|Erewash Canal||12 miles (19 km)||Follow the Erewash canal through south Derbyshire on this waterside cycling and walking route. The canal runs from Trent Lock near Long Eaton to the Langley Mill (Great Northern) basin. You can follow the towpath all the way on your bike or on foot. It's a nice easy route that runs for about 12 miles so it's a good family cycle ride or long walk. On the way you'll pass old mills, pretty locks and a number of stone bridges. The areas around Nutbrook Junction and Trowell Marsh are nature reserves where you can look out for a wide variety of wildlife. There's also nice views of the River Erewash and the surrounding countryside. The canal forms part of the larger Erewash Valley Trail so it's easy to extend your exercise on this circular route. |
You start off at Trent Lock on the border of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. It's a major canal junction where several significant waterways meet including the River Soar, the Trent and Mersey Canal, the River Trent and the Erewash Canal. The canal then weaves its way through the town of Long Eaton to Sandiacre. You continue north to Ilkeston, passing Gallows Inn, before finishing at Langley Mill at the basin of the Erewash Canal.
You can virtually follow part of the route along the canal from Trent Lock by clicking on the google street view link below.
To continue your walking in the area you can visit the lovely Attenborough Nature Reserve which is located near the start of the canal at Long Eaton. You can follow the Trent Valley Way along the River Trent to reach the reserve.
The canal also forms part of the Nutbrook Trail Cycle Route which runs up to Shipley Country Park on a dismantled railway line.
|Exe Valley Ride||7 miles (11 km)||This lovely easy ride or walk follows the River Exe, the Exeter Canal and NCN route 2 from Exeter to Exminster.|
Highlights include Exeter's attractive quay, views of the Exe esutaury and the Riverside Valley Park.
Please click here for more information on this route.
|Exe Valley Way||45 miles (72 km)||The walk starts in Starcross on the banks of the River Exe Estuary and heads through through Powderham Deer Park and then along the Exter canal to Exeter. |
The next section continues along the River Exe to Tiverton via Thorverton and Bickleigh.
The final section takes you from Tiverton into the Exmoor National Park where you will pass through Dulverton before the finish at Hawkridge in Somerset.
For an excellent guide to this walk please click here
|Five Churches Walk||10 miles (16 km)||Visit five historic churches on this circular walk in South Rotherham. Much of the walk follows ancient footpaths and bridleways, visiting the picturesque villages of Wales, Harthill, Thorpe Salvin, South Anston and Todwick where you can see some of Rotherham’s finest church architecture. There also views of the Chesterfield canal and the ruins of Thorpe Hall to enjoy on this interesting walk.|
|Forth and Clyde Canal||35 miles (56 km)||Follow the towpath of the Forth and Clyde Canal from Bowling to Falkirk on this super cycling and walking route. The route follows National Cycle Network Routes 7 and 754 so is well signed throughout. At Falkirk you can link up with the Union Canal which will take you into Edinburgh. As such you can cross central Scotland from Glasgow to Edinburgh on traffic free canalside paths.|
You start off at the Bowling Basin near to Bowling train station on the Glasgow suburban line. The path then heads through Clydebank and the outskirts of Glasgow, crossing the four-arched 120 metre long Kelvin Aqueduct and the Kelvin Walkway as you go. From the Aqueduct you continue to the town of Kirkintilloch passing Cadder, Bishopbriggs, a Roman Fort and the pretty Possil Loch on the way.
From Kirkintilloch you continue to the nearby town of Kilsyth, passing along the River Kelvin and Dumbreck Nature Reserve.
The final leg runs from Kilsyth to Falkirk, passing Bonnybridge and the Antonine Wall - a Roman turf and stone fortification bisecting Scotland. On the outskirts of Falkirk you'll come to the Falkirk Wheel - this rotating boat lift connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal lifting boats from the basin to the aqueduct 24 metres above. See the video below for a full description of this fascinating tourist attraction.
After the Falkirk Wheel you complete the trip by passing along the canal into Falkirk and finishing at Falkirk train station.
|Glazebrook Trail||10 miles (16 km)||This easy trail follows Glaze Brook from Pennington to Cadishead.|
The trail starts in the lovely Pennington Flash Country Park in Leigh. This nature reserve has a 173 acre lake and is home to a variety of birdlife. You then follow Glaze Brook and Pennington Brook south to Glazebury and then onto Cadishead on the Manchester Ship Canal.
|Glevum Way||24 miles (39 km)||This circular walk takes you through the suburbs, countryside and villages around the city of Gloucester.|
The walk starts at Gloucester's Victorian docks next to the Gloucester Waterways Museum which tells the story of England's canals and rivers. The walk then includes two consecutive waterside sections along the River Severn and the Gloucester and Sharpness canal, taking you to the village of Hardwicke. From Hardwicke the path takes you through some delightful Gloucestershire countryside and the villages of Upton St Leonards, Hucclecote and Churchdown. The walk finishes by passing Gloucestershire Airport and the village of Walham, before returning to the Gloucestershire docks.
|Gloucester and Sharpness Canal||16 miles (26 km)||Enjoy cycling and walking along the towpath of this lovely canal in Gloucestershire. The whole of the route is suitable for walkers while cyclists can enjoy several sections as well. National Route 41 of the National Cycle Network runs along the canal from Gloucester Docks to the outskirts of the city. There's also another section from Frampton Upon Severn to Shepherd's Patch. |
The canal runs from Gloucester Docks to Sharpness with wonderful views of the Severn Estuary, the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds. Route highlights include Gloucester Docks with its variety of shops, leisure facilities, marina and fascinating Gloucester Waterways Museum. You will also pass the wonderful Slimbridge Wetland Centre where you can see thousands of migrant birds. The route finishes at the dock of Sharpness Port which was opened in 1874.
The canal links nicely with the River Severn in several places so you have the option of picking up the Severn Way and continuing your walk.
|Goyt Way||10 miles (16 km)||Follow the Goyt Way along the Peak Forest Canal and the River Goyt on this lovely waterside walk through Greater Manchester and Derbyshire.|
The walk starts by Etherow Country Park Lake in Compstall and heads south through Marple and New Mills to Whaley Bridge. The first section through Marple follows the towpath of the Peak Forest Canal, passing pretty locks on the way. You then join the River Goyt to New Mills before picking up the Canal again near Whaley Bridge where the route finishes. The final section through New Mills passes the wonderful Torrs Riverside Park and Millennium Way, a beautiful river gorge with a fabulous 160 metre long walkway elevated over the water.
|Grafton Way||13 miles (21 km)||Follow the Grafton Way from Wolverton , Milton Keynes to Greens Norton in Northamptonshire. The walk starts following the Grand Union Canal to Cosgrove before heading into the countryside and passing the villages of Yardley Gobion, Paulerspury and Towcester.|
|Grand Union Canal Walk||145 miles (234 km)||Follow the towpath of Britain's longest canal from London to Birmingham on this fabulous waterside walk. You start in West London in a lively and attractive area with canalside bars and restaurants, before heading towards the Chiltern Hills, on through rural Northamptonshire and Warwickshire and into the Birmingham suburbs. Highlights include
|Grand Western Canal||24 miles (38 km)||This splendid waterside walk takes you from Tiverton in Devon to Taunton in Somerset.|
The first section of the walk takes you from Tiverton to Greenham along the towpath of the Grand Western Canal. At Greenham you join the West Deane Way and the walk changes as you start following the dry bed of the canal. However, the waterside aspect continues as you also join the River Tone which takes you through Bradford on Tone and then onto the finish point in Taunton.
For more information on this lovely walk please click here
|Grantham Canal||32 miles (52 km)||A lovely peaceful walk alongside the Grantham Canal from Grantham to Nottingham.|
The walk takes you through through the glorious Vale of Belvoir and passes Woodsthorpe, Redmile, Harby, Hickling and the delightful country park at Cotgrave on the way.
|Great Glen Way||73 miles (117 km)||Follow the Great Glen, running from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east. The route is suitable for walkers and cyclists with a mountain bike or robust hybrid.|
The stunning trail follows the Caledonian Canal and the shores of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness with the mountains of the Ben Nevis range making a splendid backdrop. The route also passes Fort Augustus and includes several woodland sections, most notably through Creag nan Eun Forest.
The route is waymarked with a black hexagon thistle.
|Greenwich to Cheshunt||21 miles (34 km)||Follow NCN route 1 on this pleasant ride or walk through north London into Hertfordshire. You start by the Thames at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and crosses to the Isle of Dogs via the Greenwich tunnel. This section gives splendid views of the River Thames and Canary Wharf. |
Shortly after leaving the Thames behind you will come onto the Lee Valley path which will take you along the Regent's canal and through Tower Hamlets and Victoria Park. You then join the River Lee near Lea Bridge for some more waterside riding. The off road path then takes you past various Reservoirs until you reach the lovely Lee Valley Park - London's largest open space. After going through the park you will soon pass close to Waltham Abbey in Essex before you arrive at the finish point at Cheshunt station next to Cheshunt lake.
|Gritstone Trail||35 miles (56 km)||This beautiful, challenging walk runs through the Peak District from Disley to Kidsgrove.|
The walk begins at the train station at Disley and soon comes to the wonderful Lyme Park (video below) with its mansion house and Medieval deer park. You continue south passing the town of Bollington before climbing to the unusual structure of White Nancy and crossing the Saddle of Kerridge. From the elevated position above Bollington you can enjoy splendid views across the Cheshire Plain, the mountains of North Wales to the west, the hills of Shropshire to the south and the Pennines to the north and east. The route continues to the lovely Tegg's Nose Country Park via Tower Hill. The views are truly dramatic from this former quarry site.
The next section takes you on towards Rushton Bank before climbing the Bosley Cloud - at 1,125 ft it's a challenging section but the views of Congleton, Macclesfield and Greater Manchester are magnificent.
The path continues to Mow Cop with its ruined castle, before you join the Macclesfield canal and then the Trent and Mersey Canal taking you to Kidsgrove.
|Hertford Union Canal||1 miles (1.7 km)||Enjoy an easy, waterside walk or cycle along this canal in Tower Hamlets. It runs for about a mile, linking the Regent's Canal and the Lea Valley Walk. You'll pass a series of locks and bridges along the way. It runs alongside Victoria Park so there is scope for continuing your walk through the park or along the Regent's Canal.|
|Hillingdon Trail||19 miles (30 km)||Travel through North London along the Hillingdon trail and enjoy parkland, countryside and waterside walking along the Grand Union Canal.|
The walk starts in Cranford Park and heads through the borough of Hillingdon passing West Ruislip and Harefield before finishing at Springwell Lock on the Grand Union Canal. There's much to enjoy on this walk including sections along the Grand Union Canal and the delightful Ruislip Lido. Here you will find a reservoir with boating and sailing and the Ruislip Lido Railway which runs about one third of the distance around the reservoir.
Please click here for more information about this walk.
|Hyndburn Clog||31 miles (50 km)||A circular walk around Blackburn and Accrington in Lancashire, visiting a series of reservoirs and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.|
|Irwell Sculpture Trail||30 miles (48 km)||Follow the River Irwell on this splendid waterside walk through Greater Manchester and enjoy over 70 artworks by renowned artists. |
The walk starts at Salford Quays and follows the trail north through Bury and Ramsbottom towards Bacup. The walk visits riverside parks including Clifton Country Park and Burrs Country Park, and also includes a stretch along the Bury Canal.
The trail also visits a series of art galleries and museums including the Lowry and the East Lancashire Railway.
|Ivanhoe Way||35 miles (56 km)||Travel through the setting of Sir Walter Scott's 19th century novel on this circular walk around Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire.|
The path starts Ashby-de-la-Zouch and first heads to Moira where you will follow the Ashby Canal for a short stretch. The route continues passing Shackerstone, Coalville and Staunton Harold. Highlights on the path include the Ashby Canal, Cliff Hill Quarry and Staunton Harold Reservoir. Also look out for the National Trust owned Calke Abbey near the Staunton Harold Reservoir. This Grade I listed country house is slightly off the route but well worth a visit.
|Jurassic Way||88 miles (141 km)||This walk follows the Jurassic limestone ridge from Banbury to Stamford passing through Northamptonshire,Oxfordshire and Lincolnshire.|
The walk includes a stretch along the Oxford Canal from Banbury and another waterside stretch along the Grand Union Canal near Braunston. You will also enjoy fine views of the River Welland as you approach Stamford.
The route passes through a series of picturesque towns and villages including Wardington, Catesby, Braunston, Ashby St Ledgers (with its impressive Manor House),West Haddon and Middleton.
Please use the links below for handy pdf guides to the walk.
Jurassic Way section 1
Jurassic Way section 2
Jurassic Way section 3
|Kennet and Avon Canal Walk||76 miles (122 km)||A splendid waterside walk from the Thames at Reading, through Thatcham, Hungerford, Pewsey, Devizes, Bradford-on-Avon to Bath. Most of the walk follows the towpath making for an easy, relaxing walk.|
The route of the Kennet & Avon Canal takes you through some of the nation's best loved landscapes, including West Berkshire - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - and the southern tip of the rolling Cotswolds. Highlights include the delightful Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre, Caen Hill Locks (video below), Cane Avoncliff Aqueduct, Claverton Pumping Station, numerous pretty canalside villages and the historic city of Bath.
|King Alfreds Trail||9 miles (14 km)||Take a pad and pencil with you on this delightful circular walk around Pewsey and take brass rubbings of the engraved plaques along the route. The plaques have been developed by Wiltshire Walking for All and feature images of animals, insects and plants that you might see on the walk. The route also includes a pleasant waterside section along the Kennet and Avon Canal.|
Good places to stop for refreshment include Pewsey Wharf and the pub by the village green at Wilcot.
|Ladybrook Valley Interest Trail||10 miles (16 km)||This walk follows various brooks from Cheadle to Disley via Hazel Grove.|
You start off at Abney Hall Park in Cheadle. The park has lovely grounds and the interesting Abney Hall built in 1847 and makes for a fine start point. From here you follow the Micker Brook to the grand Brammall Hall. Bramall Hall is one of Cheshire's grandest black and white timber-framed Tudor manor houses and also has 70 acres of beautiful parkland. The trail then joins the Lady Brook, following it to Poynton Park in Hazel Grove where you will walk alongside the attractive Poynton Lake. The final section takes you along Norbury Brook to Middlewood, before crossing the Macclesfield Canal and finishing at Disley.
|Lambourn Valley Way||22 miles (35 km)||Travel from Oxfordshire into Berkshire along the Lambourn Valley Way and enjoy woodland, parkland and a series of quaint towns and villages.|
The walk starts at the Bronze age fort at Uffington Castle and heads south, following the River Lambourn through Lambourn, Boxford and Speen before a lovely stretch along the Kennet and Avon Canal takes you into Newbury.
|Lancaster Canal||57 miles (91 km)||Follow the Lancaster Canal from Preston, in Lancashire, to Kendal, in Cumbria, on this splendid waterside walk or cycle. From the canal there are fine views of the Silverdale Coast, the Forest of Bowland AONB and the lovely Wyre countryside. The route passes Garstang, Lancaster and Carnforth before finishing at Kendal.|
|Leeds and Liverpool Canal||126 miles (203 km)||Enjoy waterside cycling and walking along Britain's longest single canal. It runs for 126 miles across the Pennines, passing many villages, towns and cities with a fascinating heritage and industrial history. There are also umpteen pretty locks, viaducts and some wonderful countryside to enjoy. |
Walkers can enjoy the whole route from Leeds to Liverpool, while there are several sections for cyclists too. If you are on a bike then you can follow Sustrans National Cycle Route 66 from the start at Leeds to just outside Silsden. There's another Sustrans section around Barnoldswick and from Nelson to Burnley in Lancashire. The section from Chorley to Adlington is also open to cyclists.
Highlights on the route include the impressive 5 rise locks at Bingley, Wigan Pier and the lovely Foulridge Reservoir in Colne. Near Burscough you'll pass the wonderful Martin Mere Nature Reserve where you can look out for otters, flamingos, beavers and thousands of water loving birds. You can also link up with the Rufford Branch of the canal and head to Rufford Hall.
|Leeds to Shipley||12 miles (20 km)||This route follows the tow path of the Leeds Liverpool Canal from lock 1, where the canal joins the River Aire, to Shipley rail station|
|Limestone Link||36 miles (58 km)||Starting at Cold Ashton in St Catherine's Valley, Gloucestershire follow the Limestone Link from the Cotswolds to the Mendip Hills in Somerset.|
The walk first heads south towards Batheaston where you join the River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal for a lovely waterside stretch to Monkton Coombe. You will also pass near to Little Solsbury Hill, made famous by the Peter Gabriel song 'Solsbury Hill'.
The second section of the path then takes you through the Mendip Hills AONB with fabulous views of the Chew Valley, the waterfall at Hallatrow and the final stretch through Burrington common the main highlights.
|Llangollen Canal||49 miles (79 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk or cycle along the Llangollen Canal. The canal runs from Llangollen in Wales to Hurleston near Nantwich in Cheshire. You can walk along the canal towpath from start to finish, while cyclists can enjoy the section from Llangollen to Chirk using National Cycle Network routes 85 and 84. This first section starts at the wonderful Horseshoe Falls just to the west of Llangollen. You then head through Llangollen to the wonderful Pontcysyllte Aqueduct where the canal is carried over the valley of the River Dee. The magnificent structure is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain and a World Heritage Site. There are wonderful views of the Dee valley from this major highlight on the route. You can explore the Aqueduct by clicking on the google street view link below.|
You continue to Chirk where you will pass the National Trust owned Chirk Castle. The castle has award-winning gardens and a 460 acre estate to explore so is well worth the small detour from the canal.
The next section runs to Ellesmere passing Hindford and the pretty Frankton Locks on the way. At Frankton Junction you can pick up the Montgomery Canal which runs to Newton. When you reach Ellesmere you will pass close to the lovely Ellesmere Country Park where you can enjoy lakeside and woodland walks.
You continue east to Whitchurch passing the delightful Colmere Country Park, the Ellesmere Canal and Bettisfield on the way. The final section runs from Whitchurch to Hurleston passing Marbury (with its series of meres) and Wrenbury.
|Lunesdale Walk||34 miles (54 km)||This figure of eight walk takes you on a tour of the beautiful scenery around Carnforth.|
The trail takes in a series of waterways including the Lancaster Canal and the Rivers Lune, Hindburn, Wenning and Roeburn while also passing through several pretty towns and villages. Starting in Carnforth you will pass Swarthdale, Melling, Roeburndale, Hornby, Arkholme and Capernwray. You can also enjoy views of Morecambe Bay with the Cumbrian Mountains making a spectacular backdrop. Part of the walk also passes through the stunning Forest of Bowland AONB with its fabulous landscapes, woodland, hills and variety of wildlife.
|Macclesfield to Marple - Middlewood Way||11 miles (18 km)||Follow the Middlewood Way - a lovely off road cycle and walking path running from Macclesfield to Marple and passing by the Macclesfield Canal.|
|Maelor Way||24 miles (38 km)||This splendid walk takes you from the Shropshire/Cheshire border into Wales.|
The path starts at Grindley Brook near Whitchurch and heads west to Penley in Wales, passing around the pretty Hanmer Mere on the way. You continue to Overton and then Erbistock where you join the River Dee and then the River Ceiriog to Chirk before the final waterside section leads to the finish point at Bronygarth.
This is a beautiful walk through some fabulous English and Welsh countryside. It also has several waterside streches along the two rivers with a stroll along the Llangollen Canal near Chirk to enjoy also.
|Mersey Valley Timberland Trail||22 miles (35 km)||This walk runs from Lymm to Runcorn, following the Bridgewater canal for much of the route.|
The trail starts off on the canal at Spud Wood just outside Lymm. You then head through the pretty town and around Lymm Dam before rejoining the canal to Appleton Park where the trail takes you alongside Appleton Reservoir. A couple of pleasant woodland sections take you to Daresbury with the final leg passing through Runcorn and finishing on Runcorn Hill
|Mid-Wilts Way||68 miles (109 km)||A 68-mile walking route that takes in some of Wiltshire’s finest countryside and downland areas. The walk runs from the village of Ham (near Inkpen) to Mere (near Warminster).
You will visit a series of pretty villages including Wilton, Wootton Rivers, Oare, Seend Cleeve, Keevil, Steeple Ashton, Bratton, Upton Scudamore, Horningham and Kingston Deverill. The walk includes several hill climbs with fabulous views of the Wiltshire countryside. This includes a climb to Cley Hill in the Cranborne Chase AONB. The hill is owned by the National Trust and commands great views over Wiltshire and Somerset.
There are also long waterside sections along the Kennet and Avon Canal and a section through Longleat Center Parcs towards the end of the walk.
The route is now officially open and has been waymarked with discrete MWW discs. The Visit Wiltshire website has some excellent downloadable guides . Please note the route has recently been extended so this link does not include the full current route.
|Midland Link||20 miles (32 km)||Enjoy lakes, canals, woodlands and historic villages on this waymarked walk through the Worcestershire and Warwickshire countryside.|
The walk begins at the Forehill picnic site, just outside Birmingham, and heads to Tanworth-in-Arden on country lanes and footpaths. This section of the walk passes the three man-made reservoirs at Earlswood lakes and the interesting Transport Museum at Wythall with its extensive collection of buses, battery electric vehicles and a miniature steam railway.
From Tanworth-in-Arden you continue east towards the village of Lapworth, passing the 17th century Umberslade Hall and Park on the way. The mansion is a a Grade II* listed building and is surrounded by parkland and lakes.
At Lapworth you join the Stratford Upon Avon Canal for a short waterside stretch which takes you to Kingswood Junction where the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal meets the Grand Union Canal. A short stroll from Kingswood takes you onto another major highlight on the walk, as you reach the moated manor house of Baddesley Clinton This medieval manor house dates from the 15th century and includes a pretty garden with lakeside walks.
The final section of the walk then takes you to Kenilworth, passing through the peaceful Hay Wood and the village of Wroxhall on the way. You finish at the impressive Kenilworth Castle described by architectural historian Anthony Emery as 'the finest surviving example of a semi-royal palace of the later middle ages, significant for its scale, form and quality of workmanship'. The castle dates from the 16th century and includes a beautiful Elizabethan Garden with a bejewelled aviary and marble fountain.
|Millennium Way||41 miles (66 km)||Travel across the width of Staffordshire and visit Stafford, Colwich, Rugeley, Yoxall and Barton Under Needwood on this splendid walk. Much of the walk follows the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the Trent & Mersey Canal making for a pleasant and fairly easy waterside walk.|
|Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal||37 miles (60 km)||Follow the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal from Brecon to Newport on this super waterside walking and cycling route. Walkers can enjoy the whole route along canal towpaths while cyclists can follow National Cycle Network routes 4, 47 and 49 from Newport to Pontypool. The cycle path is wide and well surfaced so it's a lovely, safe ride. The cycle section runs for about 12 miles. |
The whole route runs from Brecon to Newport passing through the beautiful and dramatic scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The first section runs from Brecon to Talybont-on-Usk via Pencelli. It's a 6.5 mile walk with views of the River Usk and the pretty Brynich Lock.
The canal continues to the delightful Llangynidr locks and then on to Cricklehowell and Abergavenny. There's an opportunity here to visit Abergavenny Castle Meadows and Linda Vista Gardens with a small detour from the canal.
The next section runs from Abergavenny to Pontypool, passing the noteworthy Goytre Wharf, with its historic limekilns.
The final section runs from Pontypool to Newport via Cwmbran. This section is open to cyclists. The route finishes in Newport near the castle.
|Montgomery Canal||35 miles (56 km)||Enjoy easy waterside cycling and walking along the Montgomery Canal through Powys and Shropshire. The whole of the route can be walked while cyclists can enjoy the section from Newtown to Welshpool along National Cycle Network route 81. It's a great ride and suitable for families and people of all abilities. |
Starting in Newtown you follow the River Severn towards Llanllwchaiarn and the start of the canal. You then follow the towpath north passing the Pwll Penarth Nature Reserve and a series of pretty villages including Abermule and Berriew where the canal is carried over the River Rhiw aqueduct. The route continues to Welshpool passing Powis Castle and the Llyn Coed y Dinas Nature Reserve. It's a super section of the canal with wildlife such as otters and water voles to look out for.
From Welshpool you continue north to Arddleen and Four Crosses where you cross the Vyrnwy Aqueduct. It's a highlight of the route with splendid views of the River Vyrnwy to enjoy.
The route continues through Pant and Maesbury Marsh before finishing at Frankton Locks in Shropshire. Here you can pick up the Llangollen Canal and enjoy more waterside walking.
|Neath Canal||3 miles (5 km)||This section of the Neath Canal makes for a lovely waterside cycle or walk. It runs along the National Cycle Network route from the parking area at Craig Nedd, Resolven to Glynneath. You'll pass pretty locks and bridges with views of the River Neath along the way.|
|New Lipchis Way||37 miles (60 km)||This is an exceptionally lovely walking trail that runs from Liphook, in Hampshire, to East Head at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. The path takes you through some of the loveliest parts of West Sussex including greensand ridges,
Wealden river valleys, heathlands, high chalk downland and then finally the coastal plain at Chichester.|
The first section of the walk runs from Liphook to Midhurst, passing through Woolbeding Common before a waterside section along the River Rother takes you to Midhurst.
From Midhurst you continue south through countryside and woodland to Singleton where you will find the fascinating Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. The museum covers 50 acres, with around 50 historic buildings dating from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, along with gardens, farm animals, walks and a lake.
The next section then takes you to Chichester, and includes a climb to the top of St Roche's hill where you can enjoy splendid views of the South Downs. Soon after you join a short easy section along a dismantled railway line through Lavant and onto the beautiful cathedral city of Chichester.
The final section then takes you along the Chichester Ship Canal and the Chichester Channel to West Wittering with splendid views of Chichester Harbour as you go.
|Newry Canal||20 miles (32 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle along the Newry Canal on this waterside route in Northern Ireland. The route follows National Cycle Network Route 9 along the canal towpath from Newry to Portadown. It's about 20 miles and makes for a nice, easy cycle or walk. The route passes a series of old stone bridges and pretty locks. The views of the surrounding countryside are great and you should also see lots of water loving wildlife along the way.|
The route begins in Newry town centre and heads north to Jerretspass, Poyntzpass and Scarva before finishing in Portadown. Highlights on the route include Lough Shark and Brackagh Nature Reserve near Portadown. A good place for refreshments is the lovely village of Scarva. The canalside village is well known for its park with a bandstand and prize winning floral displays. You can enjoy a snack at the tea rooms and visitor centre.
At Portadown this route links with the Lough Neagh circuit which runs around the largest freshwater lake in Britain and Ireland.
|North Cheshire Way||70 miles (113 km)||Starting at Hooton Station, near Ellesmere Port, follow the North Cheshire Way through Frodsham, Northwich, Knutsford and Wilmslow to the finish point at Disley.
Highlights on the walk include:
|Nottingham Canal||8 miles (13 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle along this pretty canal in Nottingham. The route runs along the Erewash Valley Trail from Langley Mill to the outskirts of Nottingham. It's a nice flat ride which is ideal for families.|
The route starts at Langley Mill and heads south to Cossal and Trowell. This area has now been declared as a nature reserve which attracts lots of dragonflies, damselflies and birdlife. On the Trowell section are the remains of Swansea bridge, one of the original stone bridges, which was built around 1793–95. From here you can see the original stone built lock keepers cottages.
The route finishes very close to Wollaton Park where you can extend your outing. The large country park consists of an exquisite Elizabethan mansion surrounded by acres of parkland, woodland, lakes, formal gardens and the deer park.
The video below shows the Erewash Valley Trail which includes this section along the Nottingham Canal.
|Nutbrook Trail||10 miles (16 km)||This easy cycling and walking trail runs from Long Eaton to Heanor along the Erewash Canal and a dismantled railway line. It runs for about 10 miles and is part of National Cycle Route 67. It's a great one for families or anyone looking for a safe, flat ride or walk. |
The route starts in Long Eaton next to West Park and follows the Erewash Canal north through Sandiacre and Stapleford. It's a pleasant section along the canal towpath with pretty locks and old stone bridges.
Just after Stapleford you leave the canal and bear west toward Ilkeston along a dismantled railway line. You'll pass through the pretty Manor Floods Nature Reserve where there is a nice lake and lots of wildlife to look out for. The final section takes you through the lovely Shipley Country Park to the finish point at Heanor. It's a great park with 700 acres of woodland, lakes and parkland.
To extend your outing you could pick up the circular Erewash Valley Trail and further explore the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire countryside on your bike or on foot.
|Oxford Canal Walk||77 miles (124 km)||Follow the Oxford Canal from Oxford to Coventry on this splendid waterside walk. You follow the towpath of the canal for the duration of the route meaning this is a fairly easy walk (providing you don't do at all at once!)|
You will pass through Thrupp, Lower Heyford, Banbury, Cropredy, Braunston Turn and Rugby before finishing at Hawkesbury Junction in Coventry.
The peaceful south Midlands countryside, a series of pretty locks and several excellent canal side pubs make this walk a fantastic experience. Highlights include the delightful Port Meadow at the start of the route in Oxford, great views of the River Cherwell through Oxfordshire and the stunning gardens at Rousham Park.
|Oxford Green Belt Way||52 miles (84 km)||The Oxford Green Belt Way was created by CPRE Oxfordshire to celebrate its 75th anniversary and 50 years of Oxford's Green Belt. The circular walk takes you through some lovely Oxfordshire countryside and historic villages, with peaceful waterside sections along the River Thames and the Oxford Canal. |
The walk begins on the outskirts of Oxford and visits Horspath, Garsington, Abingdon, Kidlington and Beckley. There are excellent views of Oxford’s Dreaming Spires, Otmoor, Foxcombe Hill and Wytham Woods.
Attractions on the route include Harcourt Arboretum at Nuneham Courtenay. Here you will find a 10-acre woodland and a 37-acre meadow full of wild flowers.
The route passes the RSPB nature reserve at Otmoor where you can enjoy a nature trail and look out for thousands of wildfowl.
There are also lovely waterside stretches along the River Thames, the Oxford Canal and around Farmoor Reservoir.
For those interested in history the 12th century ruined abbey at Godstow is also of note.
|Peatlands Way||50 miles (80 km)||This waymarked circular walk takes you through the moorland and lowland raised bogs around the town of Thorne near Doncaster. The walk visits Crowle, Belton, Epworth, Haxey, Kirk Bramwith and Sykehouse. You will also cross the famous Thorne and Hatfield Moors, wildlife sites of national and European importance. The walk includes some easy waterside sections along the River Don and the New Junction Canal.|
|Regent's Canal||9 miles (14 km)||Follow the Regent's canal through Regent's Park and Central London on this pleasant waterside cycling and walking route.|
Starting at the Little Venice basin in Maida Vale, you follow the canal into Regent’s Park where you will find the famous Zoo. You then pass through Camden, with its popular market, before continuing towards the East End. The route then passes the revived Mile End Park with its arts pavilion, terraced gardens and green bridge with views of Canary Wharf. You finish at the River Thames at Limehouse Basin.
|River Wey Navigation||20 miles (32 km)||Follow the River Wey Navigation towpath from Godalming to the River Thames at Weybridge on this super waterside walk. The whole of the route is suitable for walkers while cyclists can enjoy a super waterside section in Guildford. |
You start off in Godalming and pass Guildford, Sutton Park, Pyrford and Byfleet before finishing in Weybridge where you can pick up the Thames Path. There's lots of pretty Surrey countryside to see and a series of pretty locks and bridges on the way.
Route highlights include the delightful riverside nature reserve in Guildford and the wonderful Wisley Gardens near Woking. The route also links with the Wey South Path around Guildford.
|Rochdale Canal||33 miles (53 km)||Follow the Rochdale canal from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge on this waterside route through Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. It starts in the city centre of Manchester and runs for about 33 miles through the Pennine Hills. The canal is an excellent way to see the Pennines without too much effort as the towpath is largely flat.|
You start off in Manchester just to the north of Piccadilly train station at the Castlefield Basin. The canal then heads to Rochdale passing through Failsworth and Chadderton on the way. Near Rochdale you will pass the lovely Hollingworth Lake which is worth a small detour.
The route continues through Littleborough to Todmorden where there is the opportunity to visit Stoodley Pike. The challenging climb to the monument gives gives great views over the surrounding area.
The next section runs from Todmorden to Hebden Bridge giving wonderful views of Calderdale and the Pennine Hills. If you have time you could visit the wonderful Hardcastle Crags just north of Hebden Bridge. Here you will find streams, beautiful waterfalls and the fantastic Gibson Mill.
The final stretch runs from Hebden Bridge to Sowerby Bridge passing the pretty village of Mytholmroyd. The canal then joins the Calder and Hebble Navigation which is also great for a walk or cycle.
The canal is excellent for cycling with National Cycle Network Route 66 running along the towpath for most of the way.
|Royal Military Canal Path||27 miles (43 km)||This walking route runs from Pett Level to Seabrook along the Royal Military Canal. Constructed in the early 19th century as a defence against a possible invasion by Napoleon, the canal-side path now makes for a nice easy walk.|
The route starts off on the coast at Pett Level and heads inland towards Winchelsea and then onto Rye. The path then heads to Hythe via Appledore before finishing at Seabrook just outside Hythe.
|Sandstone Trail||32 miles (51 km)||This is a popular walk that runs through Cheshire and Shropshire from Frodsham to Whitchurch.|
The path starts in Frodsham and heads south to Delamere Forest with its 2,400 acres of mixed deciduous and evergreen woodland and Blakemere Moss - a lake around 1 km in length.
From Delamere you continue south towards Beeston Castle in Tarporley. With an exhibition detailing 4000 years of the castle's history and 40 acres of woodland trails, Beeston is a major attraction on the walk. Soon after you will come to Peckforton Castle, which is actually a country house built in the style of a medieval castle. It is now used as a luxury hotel.
The path then heads through the lovely Peckforton Hills, passing Bickerton and Hampton Green before joining the towpath of the Shropshire Union Canal to Grindley Brook and then onto the finish point at Whitchurch.
|Sheerness Way||6 miles (9 km)||Opened in 2011 this super, circular cycle and walking route, follows a series of safe, traffic free paths around Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey.|
You will run along the attractive Isle of Sheppy coast and Sheerness beach, while there is also a pleasant waterside section along the Queenborough Lines or the canal bank as it is known locally.
This is a nice family cycle ride as it takes place on flat, off road paths. Walkers looking for an easy circular walk will also find it suitable.
The route is easily accessible, starting and finishing at Sheerness-on-Sea railway station.
|Sheffield Canal||4 miles (6 km)||Follow the towpath of the Sheffield Canal on this waterside walk in Yorkshire. The canal runs from the Sheffield Canal Basin in the city centre to Tinsley, next to the Meadowhall centre. Along the way there are a number of locks and stone bridges. It's quite a narrow towpath so it's probably best suited for walkers. The canal featured in the opening scene of the 1997 film The Full Monty. |
The route starts at the attractive Victoria Quays in Sheffield. You then head north east through Attercliffe, passing the Don Valley Stadium on the way. You then pass Tinsley Locks before finishing at Meadowhall. The huge indoor shopping centre has plenty of restaurants for refreshments at the end of your walk.
The River Don also runs to Meadowhall from the city centre so you could return along the Five Weirs Walk. This follows a waterside path along the river and is suitable for cyclists and walkers.
|Solihull Way||19 miles (30 km)||Starting at Earlswood Lakes head through Solihull to Castle Bromwich Hall. The path first takes you over the Stratford Upon Avon Canal and then along the Grand Union Canal. You then pass through Elmdon Park and Sheldon Country Park and past Birmingham International Airport before finishing at the Jacobean Mansion at Castle Bromwich Hall.|
|South Bucks Way||23 miles (37 km)||The South Bucks Way runs from Coombe Hill near Wendover to Denham near Uxbridge.|
You begin at the top of Coombe Hill with splendid views of the surrounding countryside and descend towards Great Missenden where you will pass the Abbey and join the River Misbourne. The route then follows the river through Amersham and Chalfont St Peter before joining the River Colne for the final stretch into Denham, where you finish by the Grand Union Canal.
|South Cheshire Way||34 miles (55 km)||This is a splendid walk along canals and through wonderful Shropshire and Cheshire countryside from Grindley Brook, near Whitchurch, to Mow Cop near Congleton.|
The walk starts on the Shropshire Union Canal at Grindley Brook and heads to Marbury passing alongside the tranquil Marbury Meres as you go. The next stage takes you towards Wrenbury and then onto Coole Pilate where you cross the Shropshire Union Canal.
The path continues passing Weston and Haslington before joining the Trent & Mersey Canal at Malkin's Bank for some waterside walking. At Thurlwood you leave the canal and head towards Little Moreton Hall. Owned by the National Trust the hall is a moated 15th-century half-timbered manor house. The final section then takes you onto the finish point at Mow Cop finishing near the castle.
|Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal||46 miles (74 km)||Follow the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal from Stourport-on-Severn to Great Haywood on this easy waterside walking and cycling route. The walk starts at Stourport-on-Severn by the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Basin near to the River Severn. You then head north to Kidderminster with views of the River Stour as you go. You continue to Kinver where you could deviate from the path to visit the splendid Kingsford Country Park and Kinver Edge. The large area of woodland and heathland has miles of walking trails with wonderful views across the region.|
The next section takes you through Wolverhampton, passing the National Trust owned Wightwick Manor Gardens and Valley Park Nature Reserve.
You continue to Stafford before the final stretch to Great Haywood Junction, passing the beautiful Shugborough Park on the way. The 900 acre estate is well worth visiting with its expansive parkland and stunning gardens. At Great Haywood the canal links with the Trent and Mersey Canal. You could extend your walk into the Trent Valley and the Cannock Chase AONB.
The whole of the route is open for walkers while cyclists can enjoy a super section from Stourport to Kidderminster along National Cycle Network Route 54. It's an excellent choice for a safe, waterside cycle.
|Standedge Trail||12 miles (19 km)||A lovely circular walk through Kirklees. The path starts off at Marsden, near the railway station, and heads towards Diggle before turning round and returning to Marsden. The route passes near Black Moss and Redbrook Reservoir and includes a canal side stretch towards the end of the route.|
|Stourbridge Canal||3 miles (5.5 km)||Enjoy an easy waterside walk along this pretty canal in the West Midlands. The walk starts in the town of Stourbridge in the West Midlands and heads to Stourton Bridge in Staffordshire. Here the canal links with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. There's lots of pretty locks and some lovely countryside as you make your way into Staffordshire.|
|Stratford Upon Avon Canal||26 miles (42 km)||Enjoy waterside cycling and walking on this 26 mile canal which runs from Stratford Upon Avon to Birmingham. The whole route can be walked while cyclists can enjoy the sections from Stratford Upon Avon to Wilmcote at one end and through the outskirts of Birmingham at the other. |
The route starts in the centre of Stratford Upon Avon and passes through a series of pretty villages before entering the outskirts of Birmingham and finishing in King's Norton. There's lots of pretty locks and some lovely Warwickshire countryside to enjoy. Around Solihull you'll pass close to Earlswood Lakes which is well worth a small detour. You'll also pass close to the lovely Baddesley Clinton. Here you will find a moated manor house surrounded by gardens and woodland. Also, around Kingswood the canal links up with the Grand Union Canal Walk so you can easily pick up another super canal trail.
|Swansea Canal||4 miles (5.7 km)||Enjoy an easy waterside cycle or walk along the Swansea Canal and River Tawe. The route runs from Clydach to Pontardawe along route number 43 of the National Cycle Network. The route uses the canal towpath and a riverside trail, passing locks and bridges on the way. Look out for a variety of wildlife including otters, kingfishers, dippers, ducks, moths, butterflies and beetles.|
|Tame Valley Way||23 miles (37 km)||Follow the River Tame through Greater Manchester from Stockport to Denshaw on this waterside walk. The trail passes through Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge and Mossley and includes woodland sections as well as the extended sections along the River Tame and Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Also of interest isReddish Vale Country Park, which sits right on the River Tame.|
|Tavistock Canal||3 miles (4.5 km)||Enjoy a peaceful stroll along the towpath of the Tavistock Canal on this easy walk in West Devon. The route starts at Tavistock Wharf and heads through the outskirts of the town towards Crowndale Farm, passing West Bridge on the way. You continue to the pretty Shillamill Aqueduct before finishing at Lumburn where the canal meets the River Lumburn. Along the way you will pass pretty locks, canalside cottages and old stone bridges. There are also sections through woodland and great views of the surrounding Devon countryside. |
If you'd like to continue your waterside walking in this area then you could head to the nearby Grenofen Bridge and visit Double Waters where the River Tavy meet the River Walkham. You could also pick up the West Devon Way which passes through Tavistock.
|Templer Way||18 miles (29 km)||Follow the Templer Way from Haytor on Dartmoor to the seaport of Teignmouth via Newton Abbot. The walk includes a wooded section through Yarner Woods near the route start and also visits the delightful Stover Country Park. With 14 acres of woodland, heathland, grassland, lake and marsh and a substantial variety of wildlife it is a real highlight on the walk.|
Shortly after passing Newton Abbot you will join the River Teign for a beautiful waterside section that leads to the finish point at Teignmouth.
The walk is named after the Templer family who constructed the Stover Canal and Tramway to transport granite from Haytor Quarry to the coast at Teignmouth.
|Todmorden Centenary Way||22 miles (35 km)||This is a splendid circular walk through the beautiful Calder Valley in Yorkshire. The walk takes you across a series of atmospheric moors and past several lovely reservoirs, including Ramsden Clough and Warland reservoirs. There are also waterside sections to enjoy along the Rochdale Canal and a visit to Stoodley Pike. This 1,300ft hill includes the Stoodley Pike Monument at the summit. It was built in 1856 when peace was declared at the end of the Crimean War and is a major highlight on the walk.|
|Trent and Mersey Canal||95 miles (153 km)||Follow the Trent and Mersey Canal through Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire on this long distance waterside walk. |
The route start at Shardlow near Long Eaton in Derbyshire and heads through Weston-on-Trent and Willington to Burton-Upon-Trent where you will pass the lovely Branston Water Park with its woodland, wetland and meadow. You continue to Alrewas where you will pass the National Memorial Arboretum. The Arboretum contains over 50,000 trees with nearly 300 memorials for the armed forces, civilian organisations and voluntary bodies who have played a part in serving the country.
The next stage takes you through Handsacre to Rugeley where you will pass the wonderful Cannock Chase Country Park. It's worth taking a short detour to explore the Cannock Chase AONB with miles of woodland walking and cycling trails, lakes, ponds and wildlife including deer and various birds to look out for.
You continue through the beautiful Trent Valley passing the National Trust Owned Shugborough Hall at Great Haywood. It is worth a visit with a grand hall, museum, kitchen garden, model farm and extensive parkland with follies, woodland and a Chinese House with two Chinese-style bridges.
The route continues through Weston to Stone before coming to the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent where you will pass the splendid Trentham Gardens. Also in Stoke you will pass Westport Lake which is worth a small detour.
You continue north to Kidsgrove where you will find the Grade II* listed Rode Hall, surrounded by parkland and formal gardens. The hall and gardens are open to the public from April to September and are well worth a small detour from the canal.
The canal continues through Cheshire to Sandbach where you will pass close to the Watch Lane Flash Nature Reserve. Onward to Middlewhich and Northwhich where you will pass Marbury Country Park. It's a delightful area with magnificent Lime avenues, an Arboretum and the delightful Budworth Mere.
The final section takes you to Runcorn passing Barnton and Weaverham with views of the River Weaver. You finish near Runcorn where the Trent and Mersey Canal links with the Bridgewater Canal.
You can walk along the towpath for the whole route while cyclists can enjoy a long section through Stoke-on-Trent and a shorter section between Weston-on-Trent and Swarkstone.
|Two Counties Way||56 miles (90 km)||Travel through Somerset and Devon on this beautiful walk from Taunton to Starcross. There is much to enjoy on this varied walk with peaceful waterside sections along the River Tone, the Grand Western Canal and the River Exe real highlights. Also stop for a visit at the lovely National Trust owned Killerton Estate. This 18th century house boasts a historic fashion exhibition and stunning gardens.
The route passes Wellington, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton, Bickleigh, Exeter and Powderham before finishing on the Exe Estuary at Starcross.
|Two Ridges Link||8 miles (13 km)||This lovely, easy walk links The Ridgeway National Trail and the Greensand Ridge Walk.|
You start on Ivinghoe Beacon, with terrific views of the surrounding area, and head towards Slapton where you join the Grand Union Canal taking you to Leighton Buzzard.
|Two Tunnels Greenway||11 miles (18.5 km)||This is a super, shared cycling and walking path making use of a disused railway path through Bath and the surrounding countryside. The path takes you through Bath and then on into some splendid Somerset countryside before following the Kennet and Avon Canal Towpath and the River Avon back into Bath.|
|Union Canal||31 miles (50 km)||Follow the Union Canal towpath from Falkirk to Edinburgh on this super, waterside cycling and walking route. The route follows National Cycle Network Routes 75 and 754 so is well signed throughout. At Falkirk you can link up with the Forth and Clyde Canal which will take you into Glasgow. |
The route starts at Falkirk near the train station and follows the canal to Linlithgow, passing Polmont and Muiravonside Country Park. Here you will find 170 acres of woodland and parkland with views of the River Avon. Also in Linlithgow you'll pass the splendid Beecraigs Country Park which has miles of woodland cycling and walking trails. You can also enjoy a stroll around Linlithgow Loch.
The next section runs from Linlithgow to Ratho, passing farmland, woodland and the settlements of Broxburn, Winchburgh and Philpstoun. You also pass the Almond Aqueduct which carries the canal 23 metres above the wooded River Almond gorge. Not far from here you will find the pretty Almondell and Calderwood Country Park with peaceful woodland and a lovely waterside trail running along the River Almond.
The final section takes you from Ratho in Edinburgh. The first few miles take you through farmland before entering the suburbs of Edinburgh. You soon come to Slateford Aqueduct which carries the canal over the Water of Leith. It is the second largest aqueduct in Scotland at 180 metres long and 18 metres tall. The route ends at Lochrin Basin in the city centre of Edinburgh.
|Weighver's Way||9 miles (14 km)||This is a terrific, challenging walk from Littleborough to Catley Lane Head, Rochdale.|
The path begins at the lovely Hollingworth Lake and heads through Littleborough along the Rochdale Canal. The next section climbs to the beautiful Watergrove Reservoir which is a lovely place to stop for a picnic. You then pass Whitworth on your way to the splendid Healey Dell Nature Reserve. This attractive reserve sits in the Spodden Valley and right on the route. It is a real trail highlight with water mills, wildlife, picnic areas and the 1867 Healey Dell Viaduct. Shortly after the route finishes at Catley Lane Head.
|Wey South Path||36 miles (58 km)||Follow the Wey River and the Wey and Arun Canal on this wonderful waterside walk through Surrey and Sussex. The route starts off in Guildford and heads south to Rowly and then onto Billinghurst with a section through Sidney Wood on the way. The walk continues towards Pulborough before passing through the delightful Amberley Wild Brooks wetland with its variety of interesting wildlife. The route then comes to an end near Amberley in Sussex. |
Much of the walk follows canal side towpaths with footpaths and minor roads making up the remaining sections.
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|Woking to West Byfleet||9 miles (14 km)||This easy cycle or walk follows the Basingstoke canal and NCN route 221 from Brookwood, near Woking, to West Byfleet.|
You start at Pirbright Bridge, Brookwood and head east along the towpath through Woking and then onto the finish point at West Byfleet. With pretty locks and woodland views, this tree lined path makes for a nice relaxing ride or stroll. Also there are train stations at either end of the route making it easily accessible.
|Worcester and Birmingham Canal||31 miles (50 km)||Follow the Worcester and Birmingham Canal from the vibrant centre of Birmingham, through the green hills of Worcestershire, to the cathedral city of Worcester. After leaving Birmingham you enter the countryside and will encounter a series of locks including Tarddebigge lock flight. With 30 locks in about 2 miles, Tarddebigge is the longest in the country, and also one of the steepest. |
This is a nice easy waterside walk, suitable for all walkers.
|Wychavon Way||42 miles (67 km)||Follow the Wychavon Way through the Worcestershire countryside on this 40 mile walk.|
The walk begins at Holt Fleet, on the River Severn, with the opening section of the trail running to Droitwch Spa. You will enjoy a waterside stroll along the River Severn and pass through the village of Ombersley before arriving at Droitwich Spa where you cross the River Salwarpe.
From Droitwich, the walk continues through the countryside towards the village of Fladbury. This section includes a short stroll along the Worcester Birmingham Canal and woodland walks through Grafton and Old Yew Hill Woods.
The final section of the walk runs from Fladbury to Winchcombe and includes a waterside walk along the River Avon and visits to the villages of Ashton under Hill and Cropthorne whose church dates back to the 12th century. You'll also pass Bredon Hill near Ashton under Hill where you can visit the Iron Age Hill Fort of Kemerton Camp and a small stone tower known as Parsons Folly at the summit. There's splendid views of the Malvern Hills as you pass through the Cotswolds and finish at the historic town of Winchcombe.