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Cosgrove and River Tove

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Cosgrove and River Tove
Author: Claire, Published: 28 Feb 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Cosgrove and River Tove Walking Guidestar1 Cosgrove and River Tove Walking Guidestar1 Cosgrove and River Tove Walking Guidestar1 Cosgrove and River Tove Walking Guidestar1 Cosgrove and River Tove Walking Guide
Northamptonshire, Cosgrove
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Cosgrove and River Tove
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Cosgrove and River Tove Walking Guide boot Cosgrove and River Tove Walking Guide
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A 2.4 mile circular walk taking in the tiny Northamptonshire village of Cosgrove and a section of the River Tove. The walk follows a peaceful stretch of the Grand Union Canal towpath south to the village and then returns via pastures alongside the meandering River Tove.

The walk is almost entirely flat, but the narrow towpath and the paths through pastures are likely to be muddy after wet weather. There is also a section (about one third of a mile) of road walking along a road without pavements. There are several gates including some kissing gates and two stiles, one of which is quite high with enclosed wire fencing around so dogs may need a lift over. You may be sharing some of the pastures with cows and sheep so take care with dogs. Approximate time 1 hour.

The walk starts from the Navigation Inn at Thrupp Wharf, Cosgrove, Northamptonshire, MK19 7BE. There is a large car park alongside the pub and marina here. If you'd prefer, you can adjust the walk to start from the Ornamental Bridge (Section Two) and then parking can be found along one of the quiet village roads in the centre of Cosgrove.

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Walk Sections

Start to Ornamental Bridge
Start to Ornamental Bridge

Start point: 52.0851 lat, -0.8517 long
End point: 52.0775 lat, -0.8446 long

From the Navigation Inn car park, cross over the road and go down the gravel slope opposite to reach the Grand Union Canal towpath. Turn right and follow the narrow mud towpath with the canal on your left. On the opposite bank you will see Taverners Boat Club.

The Grand Union Canal was first authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1793 and was the first direct continuous link between Birmingham and London. The canal is still in use today and there are lots of boat yards, marinas and hire companies supporting those who choose to live on or hire the many canal boats along its length.

Continue until you reach a sandstone ornamental gothic style bridge over the canal, marked with a plaque with number 65. The bridge was built in the 1790s under the instruction of the local Biggins family.

Ornamental Bridge to Old School House
Ornamental Bridge to Old School House

Start point: 52.0775 lat, -0.8446 long
End point: 52.0768 lat, -0.8404 long

Follow the path as it bends right away from the canal and then at the road turn left to cross over the Ornamental Bridge. Follow the main road as it bends to the right, keeping to the pavement (not the towpath) and ignoring the lane to the left.

On the left you’ll see the entrance to Cosgrove Priory, which dates from the 17th Century and is now the UK headquarters of the Pericom Group.

At the end of the row of terraced cottages on your left, follow the main road round to the left onto Main Street. At the end of the road you will come to the Old School House on the right.

Old School House to River Tove
Old School House to River Tove

Start point: 52.0768 lat, -0.8404 long
End point: 52.0828 lat, -0.839 long

Turn right immediately after the Old School House and then turn left through a wooden kissing gate into a field marked with a footpath sign. Go diagonally across the field, keeping the properties close to your left, heading for a wooden bridge ahead. Cross the bridge and continue ahead marked by the direction of the yellow arrow at the end of the bridge.

At the far end of this second field, pass through the wooden kissing gate on your left and keep right onto the narrow mud footpath. Shortly you can use a wooden footbridge to avoid a boggy area. Pass the old stone barn on the left and follow the path as it bends to the right and through another kissing gate back into the pasture.

Continue ahead with a stream on the left heading for another wooden footbridge at the far end of the pasture. This bridge, with weighted gates at either end, carries you over the River Tove. NOTE: take care here as this bridge can be very slippery.

The River Tove flows for just 15 miles and is a tributary of the Great River Ouse. The nearby town on Towcester means ‘camp on the Tove’.

River Tove to End
River Tove to End

Start point: 52.0828 lat, -0.839 long
End point: 52.0861 lat, -0.8509 long

From this bridge over the Tove, there are three footpaths marked with yellow waymark arrows. Take the left hand path, keeping quite close to the river on your left hand side. Please note that this area is used to graze sheep so take care with dogs.

Soon you’ll pass by a weir and an ornamental black metal memorial bench on your left. This spot, where the river runs shallow with a gravel bottom, makes a great place for both humans and dogs to cool off with a paddle in the summer.

Cross over the stile into the next field (this stile is quite high but does have some space in the fence for dogs to pass through). Continue ahead along the obvious wide grass track, passing under the telegraph cables. Pass over another stile (again quite high and with mesh fencing so dogs may need a lift here!).

Continue ahead for another few paces to pass through the metal kissing gate out onto the road. Cross over and turn left to follow the road edge (take care as there is no pavement and whilst the road isn’t particularly busy, the traffic can be fast moving). Follow the road for about one third of a mile to reach the Navigation Inn on your right.

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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 comments for "Cosgrove and River Tove"

Delightful Sunday afternoon following this walk from Cosgrove. Easy to follow instructions and very useful information along the way. A couple of updates/warnings: it was quite a wet day and the bridge over the Tove was quite wet and extremely slippery. Need to cross very carefully. Also the Navigation Arms pub is currently closed and boarded up. Not sure if it is due to open again, but there were no signs of this at the pub. Highlight of the walk was seeing a kingfisher flying along the Tove. Looking forward to repeating this walk in warmer drier weather.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thanks for these updates David, we've incorporated them into the walk instructions. Fingers crossed the Navigation Inn opens again at some point...

By Davidhead on 12 Nov 2014

The Navigation Inn is open again after refurb, not sure how they would take to muddy walkers, but the food is good. An alternative is to start at the Barley mow inn in Cosgrove, again good food and excellent beer.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thanks for the update.

By keithjones on 04 Jan 2016

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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