Canal heritage

Montage of Canalside images

Home to the National Waterways Museum, the pretty village of Stoke Bruerne is a good base from which to explore the Grand Union Canal. Various historic, theatrical and musical events are held throughout the year and from here you can either walk, or take a boat to the mouth of the Blisworth Tunnel, which at one and three quarter miles long, is the longest navigable continuous bore tunnel still in use in Britain and the ninth longest canal in the world. Boats are also available to hire for longer trips through the tunnel to Blisworth village, Gayton Junction and Bugbrooke.

The National Waterways Museum tells the story of over 200 years of Britain's inland waterways and provides an insight into the colourful world of canal life. Kids can dress up in traditional canal costume, there's a shop and the Waterside Cafe, overlooking the canal.

Also along the Grand Union is the Iron Trunk Aqueduct at Cosgrove, which, constructed in 1811 from cast iron, carries the Grand Union across the River Ouse.


In 1993, the 145 mile unbroken Grand Union Canal walk opened between Little Venice in London and Gas Street Basin in Birmingham. There are train stations close to the canal at various points and plenty of inviting places to eat and drink within walking distance, including the Boat Inn and The Navigation at Stoke Bruerne; the Navigation Inn at Thrupp Wharf near Cosgrove and the Wharf Inn at Bugbrooke. The Oxford Canal to the west of the District has a trail too.

There are walking leaflets available which include canal side paths including Blisworth, Bugbrooke, Cosgrove, Rothersthorpe and Stoke Bruerne.

Boat Hire on the Grand Union Canal

Boats can be hired at:

Marinas on the Grand Union Canal

Marinas exist at:

Marinas on the Oxford Canal

Marinas exist at Aynho Wharf.