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Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canal

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Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canal
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 23 Aug 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canalstar1 Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canalstar1 Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canalstar1 Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canalstar0 Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canal
Hertfordshire, Rickmansworth
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canal
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canal
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8 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 15 mph E
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A 3.5 mile circular walk from Rickmansworth’s Aquadrome running alongside the local waterways. Covering 100 acres, the Aquadrome Local Nature Reserve consists of lakes, grassland and woodland and is an ideal place for walks. The walk heads out along a stretch of the Grand Union Canal before turning to run alongside the railway to reach Rickmansworth town centre and on through the Aquadrome Local Nature Reserve to reach the start point. Throughout the walk you’ll enjoy a real mix of waterside environments, from bustling towpaths with locks and colourful narrow boats, to peaceful rivers with plenty of wildlife and also the busy water activity centre with sailing and water skiing on show.

The walk is almost entirely flat throughout and there are no gates or stiles. The surfaces are a mixture of well made tarmac and stone paths and woodland dirt tracks, the latter of which can be muddy after wet weather (and can also be a little overgrown). There are toilets and a cafe near the car park. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

The walk starts from the Aquadrome car park in Rickmansworth which is marked with brown signs. The car park is accessed from Frogmoor Lane off Harefield Road. Approximate post code WD3 1NB. If you are travelling by train, Rickmansworth rail and tube station is just a five minute walk from the junction of High Street and Church Street (within section four of the walk) and so the walk can be adjusted to start and finish here.

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Walk Sections

Start to Batchworth Lock
Start to Batchworth Lock

Start point: 51.6327 lat, -0.4748 long
End point: 51.6349 lat, -0.4667 long

Leave the Aquadrome car park in between the two information boards and turn right along the minor road. Continue ahead alongside the vehicle gate to join the tarmac footpath which runs alongside the main access road. As you reach the humped bridge in the road, fork left onto the stone narrow footpath heading for the canal towpath.

Turn left onto the canal towpath. Continue until you pass under a wide road bridge and you will reach Batchworth Lock a few paces later.

Batchworth Lock to Lot Mead Lock
Batchworth Lock to Lot Mead Lock

Start point: 51.6349 lat, -0.4667 long
End point: 51.638 lat, -0.451 long

Go up the wide slope and cross the narrow bridge (signed Albert’s Garden) to reach the towpath running in between the two branches of the canal. Continue ahead with the canal on your right.

The Grand Union Canal runs from Brentford on the River Thames to Birmingham. Its main line is 137 miles long with 166 locks. At this section where it runs south of Rickmansworth it merges with the Rivers Chess, Colne and Gade.

Eventually you will reach the next lock, Lot Mead Lock Number 80, with white cottages on the left.

Lot Mead Lock to High Steet
Lot Mead Lock to High Steet

Start point: 51.638 lat, -0.451 long
End point: 51.6411 lat, -0.4659 long

Turn left between the two white cottages heading away from the canal on Public Footpath 30, signed to the High Street. Follow the fenced stone track with the hedgeline to the left and open fields and the rail line over to the right.

Follow the track ahead and then as it bends left running parallel with tall trees and the rail line on the right. After just a few yards you will reach a cross roads with the entrance to Croxley Hall Farm on the left and a bridge over the railway to the right. Go straight ahead, but make sure you take the right hand of the two paths ahead – the left hand one is a private drive but the right hand one through the arch of trees is the fenced footpath running directly alongside the rail line.

Follow this path for some distance, ignoring any smaller turns to the left and right. The path emerges out to continue on Caravan Lane running alongside a new housing development on the left. Continue until you reach the T-junction with the High Street ahead.

High Steet to The Bury
High Steet to The Bury

Start point: 51.6411 lat, -0.4659 long
End point: 51.6375 lat, -0.47 long

Turn left onto the High Street and continue until you reach the cross roads with traffic lights.

There has been a settlement here since the Stone Age. The convergence of the three rivers (Chess, Colne and Gade) at this point has been the basis for a range of industries over the years including corn milling, silk weaving, paper making and brewing. Today, the waterways are used mainly for recreation and the town is largely a commuter town.

Turn left into Church Street and then use the pedestrian crossing to cross to the right hand side of the road. A little further on, turn right into Bury Lane. As Bury Lane bends hard right, look out for a sign on the left to ‘The Bury’ through a brick gateway.

The Bury to River Colne
The Bury to River Colne

Start point: 51.6375 lat, -0.47 long
End point: 51.6347 lat, -0.4694 long

Turn left between the brick columns and then immediately fork right onto a grass/dirt path heading through a row of sycamore trees. Keep close to the right hand hedge boundary and follow this as it swings left to reach a footbridge over a pretty stream.

Cross over the footbridge and then immediately turn diagonally left onto the narrow mud footpath. Follow this as it winds through the small area of woodland. You will emerge to a pedestrian crossing over the road ahead. Cross over and then turn right along the pavement. After just a few yards, as the fence on the left ends, turn left down the footpath. Ahead you will reach a wooden footbridge across the River Colne.

River Colne to End
River Colne to End

Start point: 51.6347 lat, -0.4694 long
End point: 51.6334 lat, -0.4766 long

Cross over the bridge and turn right onto the towpath. Continue over the wrought iron bridge and then turn immediately right and keep right at the fork signed Batchworth Lake Circular Walk. Follow this well made tarmac track with Batchworth Lake to the left and the River Colne to the right.

You are now once again in the Aquadrome Local Nature Reserve which comprises 100 acres of lakes, woodland and grassland. The lakes are formed from old gravel pits and some gravel from the site was used in the construction of the original Wembley Stadium in 1923.

Continue following the lakeside path, passing the waterski centre on the right. A little distance later, you will reach a three way junction. Turn left here signed to the cafe, car park and toilets. At the next junction keep straight ahead on the wide tarmac track with Bury Lake on the right hand side. Continue ahead to reach the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Batchworth Lake and the Grand Union Canal"

Test comment

By Richard on 2012-12-14 16:48:19

The canal parts of the walk are beautiful, with many sweet gardens kept by the boaters. Much of the walk is near the railway line is nice but not particularly pretty. I would recommend.

By AdamJC5849 on 2016-01-17 18:08:29

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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