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Iver and the Slough Arm

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Iver and the Slough Arm
Author: NickC, Published: 22 Apr 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 UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Buckinghamshire, Iver
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Iver and the Slough Arm
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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Iver is a small village dating back to the Domesday Book and is built on a slight incline sloping down to the River Colne. These days it is overshadowed by the M25, but it is worth a detour to do this walk and to experience its theme of water. This comes in various guises, from brook to river, from lakes to canals - and sometimes more than one of them at once!

The walk is circular and relatively easy, and you should allow more than 90 minutes, but probably less than two hours, to complete it; longer if you want to pause to contemplate some of the birdlife along the way. In total it's a little over four miles, but much of it is on well made up path and towpath.

Iver is on the B470 between Langley and Cowley, about two miles south west of Uxbridge. It is served by the rail line out of Paddington. Iver should not be confused with its larger namesake Iver Heath to the north. Park either outside the shops on the High Street or in the bays by The Swan pub at the start point (SL0 9NG).

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Walk Sections

Start to Bridleway
Start to Bridleway

Start point: 51.5201 lat, -0.5036 long
End point: 51.5281 lat, -0.5039 long

Starting at The Swan on the High Street, opposite St. Peter's Church, head down Swan Lane, past another church on the left and through some white pillars and past a sign for a stud farm. Continue down the concrete road as it passes various houses and emerges into trees.

At a house called Lower Delaford, where the track curves to the left, take the path to the right signposted as Beeches Way. The view now opens up and the path passes some disused farm buildings to the left, before curving gently to the right where it meets a bridleway.

Bridleway to River Colne
Bridleway to River Colne

Start point: 51.5281 lat, -0.5039 long
End point: 51.5264 lat, -0.4911 long

At the bridleway head right and head along an enclosed path with a rather impressive sward of lawn to the right: the grounds of the cream coloured Delafield Manor, which soon comes into view. You are now on the Colne Valley Trail designated path. A gate brings you onto the gravel drive of the manor and some attached cottages. The drive bends to the left and then to the right, over a footbridge over the Colne Brook.

Take the road on the other side, and on reaching another road turn left and cross over the M25, the least decorous part of this walk, but a necessary evil. Stay with the road, passing Palmers Moor House and Farm on your left. The track here is metalled and flat. This brings you to the B470 Iver Road. Cross over this and through a kissing gate to pass through a short avenue of trees. At the end of this, pass through another kissing gate. You have now reached the River Colne.

River Colne to Packet Boat Lane
River Colne to Packet Boat Lane

Start point: 51.5264 lat, -0.4911 long
End point: 51.5186 lat, -0.4912 long

Follow the path as it tracks the river. Cross over a wooden footbridge and you soon come to a pretty weir. Stick with the river, passing over a number of small bridges, ignoring a junction to the right. Beyond the river, you may catch sight of the Little Britain Lake, although it is tantalisingly out of reach at this point in the walk.

Eventually, you will reach a diversion in the path. You need to take the left hand option, marked as the London Loop, and follow this over some more footbridges over brooks leading into the river, until you get to a concrete bridge on your left. Take this and head right on the other side and you will now make acquaintance with the lake. There is some limited car parking here, fed by Packet Boat Lane, where there are some public conveniences a little way down, although this is a diversion off the path of the walk. Pause here if you want to read the information signs and enjoy the various birdlife on the water.

Packet Boat Lane to Bridge 4
Packet Boat Lane to Bridge 4

Start point: 51.5186 lat, -0.4912 long
End point: 51.5114 lat, -0.516 long

The route follows the line you were following after the concrete bridge, with a ford to your right and Packet Boat Lane to your left. The path stays with the river to your right along a well made up path, meandering as it goes and rising up above the now rapidly disappearing river. This brings you up to the fairly no-nonsense metal bridge that carries you over the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

Cross over this and turn right and follow the towpath, again marked as Beeches Way. At this point you leave both the London Loop and the Colne Valley Trail. This stretch of canal is dead straight and was built to carry bricks made in Slough into London, and to bring the capital's waste back to fill the excavated clay pits. It was one of the last stretches of canal to be cut and these days, although navigable, is rarely used, so if you see traffic on it you will be relatively privileged.

Further bridges carry you over the Colne and the Colne Brook and you also pass an old wartime 'pillbox' concrete fortification. Pass under the M25 and stay with the towpath on its straight trajectory all the way to Bridge 4.

Bridge 4 to End
Bridge 4 to End

Start point: 51.5114 lat, -0.516 long
End point: 51.5202 lat, -0.5037 long

Pass under the bridge and head up the bank on the other side on the left, using the steps made of old railway sleepers, and then left and left again, to pass over the canal. On the other side pass immediately to the right, heading for an industrial estate, with a field to your left and the canal to the right. Bear left in the corner of the field, passing up its right hand side, with the buildings of the industrial estate now to your right. Stay with the path as it zig-zags along, until you reach a three way footpath marker.

Head left here, leaving the estate behind you, following a well worn footpath leading towards some houses. Keep the wire fence to your left, ignoring a path to your right, until you reach some garages, the other side of a gate. Take the path and road straight ahead of you, past some houses, as it swings round to the right. At a T-junction with a primary school in front of you turn left and then right at the next junction, past the entrance to the Iver Village Club, along the side of a more major road.

Maintain your direction at a mini roundabout and continue through the village, with St. Peter's Church ahead acting as your beacon and the starting point to the walk.

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


4 responses to "Iver and the Slough Arm"

Really great walk but only one problem at the moment. The towpath on the canal is closed making it necessary to retrace ones steps. Will try again later this year.

By Coppindm on 2013-06-01 23:12:37

Thanks for getting in touch - we've contacted British Waterways and they've confirmed that the towpath will re-open on 21st June. We'll update the walk to warn others.

By admin on 2013-06-04 18:02:09

the walk alone the Colne is lovely ... but the slough arm is so spoilt with rubbish thrown all over the banks ....

By garymthompso on 2015-02-09 11:35:48

I only gave this two stars because of the completely unnecessary canal towpath section. It added nothing to the walk except distance and the return route to the Swan was pretty dull. I'd suggest a route around Little Britain as a substitute and to keep it a rubbish free walk.

By rippydog on 2016-04-01 15:43:35

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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