Buckinghamshire walk around Marsworth

PUBLISHED: 15:55 18 December 2015 | UPDATED: 16:16 05 October 2017

Looking out over Marsworth Reservoir from the canal path

Looking out over Marsworth Reservoir from the canal path


Steve Davison suggests a short walk to get you out in the fresh air over the festive break; a Buckinghamshire visit to Marsworth

From Startop’s End the walk follows a short section of the Grand Union Canal, or Grand Junction Canal as it was originally known, to arrive at Marsworth. Here we leave the canal and soon pass All Saints Church, which mostly dates from the 14th and 15th centuries; inside there are several interesting memorials. After meandering through the village, the walk heads for Bulbourne from where a short detour leads to BBOWTs College Lake nature reserve. This former chalk quarry is a great place to see wildlife close-up and there are marked trails, bird hides and a café. However, the walk rejoins the canal and heads northwards, following the highest section of the canal, before passing six locks as it starts its gradual descent to Birmingham, after having passed through the Chilterns.

On the way back to Startop’s End the walk meanders past two reservoirs. Originally built to supply water to the canal, these now form important habitats for wildfowl – so remember to bring your binoculars. 


• Start/finish: car park at Startop’s End (SP919140) on the B489 beside canal, 2 miles north of Tring

• Map: OS Explorer 181

• Distance: 3 miles (4.6km)

• Terrain: fairly level, along canal towpaths and paths which can be muddy, and sections of road

• Time: 1.5 hours (excluding stops)

• Refreshments: Startop’s End – Bluebells Tea Room (01442 891708), Anglers Retreat (01442 822250); Marsworth – Red Lion (01296 668366); Bulbourne – Grand Junction Arms (01442 891400)

The walk

1 (SP919140) – Exit the car park to the main road (to the left is The Anglers Retreat), cross over and turn right across the canal (footbridge) and immediately turn left to follow the path along the right-hand side of the Grand Union Canal for 350m. At the next bridge leave the canal and turn right along Church Lane to a T-junction beside All Saints Church in Marsworth (150m to the left is The Red Lion). Turn right along Vicarage Road to a T-junction and turn left along the B489 for 200m to a track on the right. Turn right across the road and follow the enclosed track, later going right and left to join the main road (B488) at Bulbourne; a short way to the left is BBOWTs College Lake nature reserve.

2 (SP933137) – Turn right and after crossing the canal, turn right again just before the Grand Junction Arms and follow the path with the canal on right. Cross a bridge over the Wendover Arm of the canal (a sign mentions that by canal, it’s 55 miles to Braunston, 38.5 miles to Brentford, and 6.75 miles to

Wendover) and continue past six locks. Marsworth Reservoir appears on the left, ignore a path to the left and continue alongside the canal, now with Startop’s End Reservoir over on the left. At the Y-junction, with trees ahead, fork left back to the car park (the right-hand fork continues alongside the canal).

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