Grand Union Canal Walk
The Grand Union Canal was built in the 18th/19th centuries to join the heart of industrial Britain to London. It passes through 200 years of industrial heritage and, ironically, some of the most rural parts of the country. For many people there is a strange fascination about walking alongside water, and this route provides 147 miles of such walking along the full length of the Grand Union canal, with its unending changes of scenery full of fascination and interest in addition to the ever changing plant, bird and wildlife. The canal has become a natural habitat for rabbits, foxes, voles, numerous dragonflies and butterflies, ducks, swans, mallards, moorhen, heron and coot. Once away from London's suburbs the canal delves into lesser known parts of England rarely visited, because in the past these places were only frequented by those living and working on the canal.
The Grand Union Canal Walk was officially opened on 9th July 1993 to mark the 200th anniversary of the canal system which, from 1929 onwards, formed the Grand Union Canal. As the commercial life of the canal declined it became more and more of a backwater; a part of the country that has lain hidden, disregarded and almost unwanted until fairly recent times. Now it is part of England's industrial history and unspoilt countryside, and is being preserved for the enjoyment of boat people and walkers alike. As both ends of this route pass through urban areas many walkers may prefer to select a convenient middle section of the route to explore.
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