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Aylesbury Canal Arm - Narrow Canal
Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal
From Marsworth Junction to Aylesbury Basin is around six and a quarter miles and sixteen locks, the Marsworth seven and Aylesbury nine. The canal arm took just three years to build after over fifteen years of 'planning'. The canal takes most of its water from the Grand Union through Marsworth Junction - Aylesbury Canal Locks 1 and 2, the only staircase locks on the southern GUC system.
We cruised the Aylesbury Canal Arm as part of our 2008 summer cruise from Staffordshire to London and the south-east. The canal is a narrow canal arm off the Grand Union Canal Main Line. A good days cruise, usually divided in two sections by live-aboards and the more mature amongst us. A few of the locks had severe leaks in the walls and BW request that the lock was left empty with a bottom paddle open. The navigation was almost free of rubbish and loaded with water fowl - a pleasure to see. The landscape is mostly open farmland.
We were warned by local boaters of the 'very narrow bridges' but after we had completed the cruise we put this warning down the fact that they normally cruise the wide Grand Union canal. Where we come from all our local canals are narrow and the bridges are just as tight!
Aylesbury Basin was sold by BW to Aylesbury Vale District Council in 2007 but The Aylesbury Canal Society hold the lease until 2018 and welcomes visiting boaters who are requested to report to the 'Welcome Boat' to be allocated visitor moorings. We would say that it was a little tight in the basin. MAP One of the founder members navigated the length of the Aylesbury Arm 'Going Backwards' on Sunday 28th September 2004 successfully navigating NB Kalamaki backwards from the Aylesbury Basin to Marsworth Junction and then up the Marsworth flight to the Grand Junction Arms in 8¼ hours without the use of either ropes or poles.
Aylesbury town centre is literally two or three minutes just down the road from Aylesbury Canal Basin. The town centre has all the usual suspects: Boots, M&S, Wilkinsons, etc. the main banks and building societies as well as a market square.
Just above lock 16 is a Tesco Supermarket with canalside access.
We also visited The Buckinghamshire County Museum on Church Street, Aylesbury. Spending an hour or so wandering through this free entry museum charting the history of the area, its geology, natural history etc. Another institution sharing the same address is the Roald Dahl Gallery but they a charge is made to visit this attraction. MAP
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