Grand Union Canal Walk – Uxbridge to Rickmansworth

Having moved the walk from Saturday 1st April to Sunday 2nd to avoid clashing with the RNLI quiz night (our teams came 2nd and 3rd, so well done smarties!) I met up with Laurel and Jinan at Liverpool Street before getting the Metropolitan Line train to Uxbridge (end of the line) where we met Eileen, via my favourite tube station (Preston Road).

Leaving Uxbridge Station we passed a golden post-box, commemorating the gold medal won by a local resident in the 2012 Paralympics games, passing a historic pub involved in civil war negotiations before turning right to join the canal tow-path and heading out into the countryside, passing a small marina and the first of several locks.

gunioncanal 1453artLaurel, Jinan and Eileen by the Grand Union CanalAfter a mile or so we passed an access to Denham Country Park, a large and pleasant looking park with substantial lakes, continuing along the canal towpath between the canals and the park's lakes, with some substantial flooding of the park in places (if you like water this was a cracking walk). The canal itself did not have much wildlife on it although the adjacent county park had a good selection of wildlife.

Eventually, we reached the lock-side cafe at the “just over halfway mark” for lunch and some yummy cake. Whilst taking this break we saw a Red Kite in the distance, keeping up my record of seeing one whenever I’ve done this walk.

Resuming the walk, Jinan and Laurel went ahead whilst Eileen and I helped a lone boater through the lock (good deed done for the year!). Rejoining them, we continued northward past the marine equivalent of a breakers yard and the “kayaker in the sky” to reach Rickmansworth where we saw a Mandarin duck, and then a short walk from the canal through the town to catch the Metropolitan line train back home.

It had been a very nice level walk of 7 to 8 miles, with even a bit of sunshine making an appearance at the end to add a final flourish.

Trev (pathfinder) Eley.   10th April 2023