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Wendover Arm Circular Walk

There are currently 2 comments and 1 photos online for this walk.

Wendover Arm Circular Walk
Author: NickC, Published: 24 Mar 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Buckinghamshire, Wendover
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Wendover Arm Circular Walk
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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This circular walk offers a chance to explore a wildlife corridor made possible by the efforts of a local canal restoration society determined to preserve the track of a waterway that hasn't seen boat traffic for over a hundred years. At the same time, it offers a contrast with modern society, cutting across land belonging to an RAF training base, marked with a fighter plane at its entrance - a very different type of transport to horse drawn narrowboats! Although there is one long cut across an open field, most of the walk follows the path of the old canal, and is therefore, by definition, flat, offering easy walking. Dogs will enjoy the walk too, although keep them away from the many species of duck that share the water with you, and bring some binoculars (although don't point them at MOD property!). Allow an hour and a half to complete the walk.

The walk starts in Halton Village, which sits to the north of Wendover and is reached via the B4009 linking Wendover with Tring. Coming from Wendover, turn left into Chestnut Avenue after a mile and a half, opposite the main buildings of RAF Halton. A permanently parked red and white training aircraft to the left of the road and a hundred yards down it, offers an unmissable landmark. Park either in the street (near the canal bridge) or, if busy, in the village hall car park down Old School Close, on the right after the canal bridge (HP22 5NG).

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Walk Sections

Start to Perch Bridge
Start to Perch Bridge

Start point: 51.7833 lat, -0.7351 long
End point: 51.7788 lat, -0.7447 long

Leaving Old School Close, you will see Talisman Cottage in front of you, with reliefs depicting scenes of workers returning from a day's toil in the fields. Turn left and within 50 yards you will come to the canal bridge by a white timbered house. Turn right, heading westwards along a well made up towpath. Look out for dragonflies and maybe the blue flash of a kingfisher, and listen for the distinctive cries of moorhens. Pass Lower Farm on your right and the housing on the opposite bank soon gives way to woods. Continue to Perch Bridge, an attractive construct of intricate white painted metalwork.

Perch Bridge to Canal Wharf
Perch Bridge to Canal Wharf

Start point: 51.7788 lat, -0.7447 long
End point: 51.766 lat, -0.741 long

The canal soon bends to the rights and enters a stretch known as 'The Wides', and it's easy to see why as the water flexes its muscles. This is a particularly good location for spotting wildlife, especially the wide range of different species of duck. This was originally the site of a spring that fed the River Thame, although alas, its flow was insufficient to keep the canal arm in water, a factor that contributed to its eventual disuse. When the canal was working though, this was a convenient point for turning boats, something that's not always too easy on a canal! The vista on the opposite bank opens up towards Wendover Woods above you, which includes a section of The Ridgeway National Trail.

A straight stretch of around half a mile follows, towards the end of which is a narrow bridge that marks the site of a disused railway. Shortly after this, housing begins to reappear, signalling the edge of Wendover. The towpath and canal end with a weir and a chain-link fence marking the site of what was once Wendover Wharf.

Canal Wharf to Halton Village
Canal Wharf to Halton Village

Start point: 51.766 lat, -0.741 long
End point: 51.78 lat, -0.7372 long

Turn left into the appropriately named Wharf Road, past the school and Wendover Memorial Hall, and then left again into Manor Crescent. Take the footpath on the left just after the Scout Hut. After 30 yards of concrete, the path bears left over a stile and along the left hand side of a field marked by a high hedge of apple trees and elder. The hedge gives way to a fence and at the corner of this, the footpath strikes out half-right across the field.

You are now walking across the open vista seen earlier in the walk, with an even better view of the Woods, now to your right. The path cuts through a small wood and emerges into another field, which you also cross, maintaining the same direction. Beyond this lies some grazing, with some woods to the left and a danger sign warning of a deep bog - this is the other side of The Wides, also seen earlier. Aim for the trees to your right and follow the path as it heads left. The path borders MOD property, so be sensitive to that fact. Head for the white half-timbered houses where the path emerges onto a road.

Halton Village to Canal
Halton Village to Canal

Start point: 51.78 lat, -0.7372 long
End point: 51.7831 lat, -0.7347 long

Go right at a T-junction and left into Halton Village. The road goes slightly downhill and around a bend until you return to the starting point. You could end the walk here, but it would be a shame, as perhaps the walk's highlight has yet to be seen.

Cross the road and rejoin the water on its southern side and you will soon come to the impressive blue-painted metalwork of Rothschild Bridge, which carries the family insignia of that illustrious family. Baron Alfred de Rothschild, who owned Halton House (now the RAF's Officers Mess), would reputedly drive across this bridge in a carriage pulled by zebras as he toured his estate.

Continue along the towpath to the slightly less imposing Harelane Bridge and cross over, where there is a good view down this section of the canal. Head back the way you came but on the opposite bank, with the footpath taking a short diversion into a field just before Rothschild Bridge. The towpath continues and brings you back to the starting point.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author NickC and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Wendover Arm Circular Walk"

Thoroughly enjoyed this walk - even wading through a muddy field! However, I think there may be a small error as we had to turn LEFT out of Old School Close & in front of Talisman Cottage to get to the bridge and the start of the walk (not right as stated in walk directions). Hope this helps others.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Many thanks for letting us know about the error - apologies and we've corrected the directions so that future walkers have the right information.

By AnnHRConsult on 2016-01-04 17:31:12

Just to let walkers know that the footpath back to the start of this walk after passing the Rothschild Bridge is impassable at present. We had to turn back and cross the Rothschild Bridge which is forbidden as MOD property and follow a short path back to the out going side also on MOD land. Fortunately we were not arrested or prosecuted as the notices warned.

By Pateman on 2016-09-19 16:18:57

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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1 images to "Wendover Arm Circular Walk"

1932_0Polimba1394289114 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Polimba
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970

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