8 of the best canal walks in the UK

Here's our roundup of some fabulous UK canal walks for the perfect walking day out...

Canal walks

by Stephanie Anthony |

With plenty of us choosing to staycation this year rather than go abroad, it can be hard to see the novelty in the place we call home. But there are some wonderful places to explore in Britain, and one of the best places to experience is our impressive network of canals.

On a walk along the canal, not only do you get to experience barges going past and locks being opened, but you can also see some rare and beautiful British wildlife, such as kingfishers, herons, water voles and even otters.

They're great routes for novice walkers too, as the paths are normally well-tended and are largely flat.

We've scoured the UK for 8 of the best canal routes...

A country walk at Blue Lias, Warwickshire (5.5 miles)

This scenic route takes you along the canal towpath and through nearby fields. Try to walk this route on a clear day when you'll be able to see seven counties from Napton Hill, the 12th-century St Michael's Church and the beautiful Stockton Reservoir.

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Barges passing on canal

Kings Langley and Hemel Hempstead (11 miles)

Nature and history lovers will particularly enjoy this walk in Hertfordshire which takes in three commons and a wood, two pretty villages, an old coal wharf, a 16th-century manor house, an old paper mill and a famous malted drink factory.

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dog on barge

River and canal around Saul Junction (10 miles)

The idyllic views of the river and canals around Saul Junction will make you eager to see what's around the next corner – 10 miles will fly by! The Passage Inn is conveniently situated half way round.

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Welford canal

A rural walk around the Welford Arms (3 miles)

You can really get away from it all along this quiet, rural arm of the Grand Union Canal.

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At a canal lock

Hatton Locks to the Wilderness (5 miles)

This circular route passes by the attractive flight of locks at Hatton and conveniently passes by three refreshment stops.

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cycling beside canal

Newtown to Welshpool on the Severn Way (9 miles)

Follow the towpath of the Montgomery Canal for this relatively gentle section of the Severn Way. If you don't fancy the full 9 miles, public transport makes it possible to end your walk at several locations.

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Devizes locks

Walk around Devizes (5 miles)

This beautiful Wiltshire town needs no introduction. Be sure to take the time to visit the amazing Caen Hill lock flight while you're in the area.

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bingley canal

Bingley Circular Walk (4 miles)

Beautiful countryside and a historic flight of locks; this circular walk must offer one of the nicest ways to spend an afternoon in West Yorkshire.

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If these routes have inspired you to get walking, how about setting yourself the challenge of Walk1000Miles. Run by our friends at Country Walking magazine, it's a great way to get out and about in the countryside, make friends, lose weight and most of all have fun!

walk 1000 miles

Find out more about Walk1000Miles here.

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