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Posts Tagged ‘canal’

A pleasant stroll along an historic transport link in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Tring, Hertfordshire to Cheddington, Buckinghamshire

Lock, Bulbourne, Grand Union Canal

Lock No. 44 (and former lock keeper's cottage) between Bulbourne and Marsworth

Like the South Downs, the setting for my last walk, and part of the same geological system, the hills of the Chilterns are celebrated for their dramatic combes, chalk grassland, attractive beech hangers and impressive views from lofty summits. And also like the South Downs, many of the transport links within the Chilterns negotiate their way through breaks in the line of hills, such as at Goring Gap, where the Thames threads its way between steep wooded slopes on either side. At Tring the Grand Union Canal, the London to Scotland railway and a major Roman Road, Akeman Street, all squeeze through the hills into the Vale of Aylesbury beyond. As much as I love the high ground of the Chilterns (I had a wonderful day on Aldbury Common during the snows of January 2010), there’s something very relaxing about the sedate pace of life along the canalside, so for this walk I chose to follow the Grand Union for a few miles northwards from Tring.

Start: Tring Station SP951122

Finish: Cheddington Station SP922186

Length: 6.5 miles/3 hours

How to get there: Both stations are on the the West Coast Main Line. London Midland services from London Euston to Milton Keynes and Northampton stop regularly at Tring, but less frequently at Cheddington. Journey time from Euston is about 45 minutes each way.

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Did I mention the rain? Actually, I exaggerate. It didn’t rain all day. Not quite.

Pulborough to Amberley, West Sussex.

A walk along the Arun Valley, taking in centuries of history and spectacular countryside and wildlife. And rain.

Start: Pulborough Station TQ043186

Finish: Amberley Station TQ026118

How to get there: Both stations are on the Arun Valley line, served by Southern services from London Victoria to Bognor Regis/Littlehampton/Portsmouth Harbour/Southampton Central via Horsham, taking about an hour and 20 minutes from Victoria to Pulborough. Many trains divide at Horsham – make sure you’re travelling in the correct part of the train. At the time of writing, Southern are offering a number of internet-only, advance-booking fares for £3 single, so £6 return if you book the outward journey to Pulborough and the return from Amberley. Bargain!

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