Grand Union

T minus 110

The Grand Union Canal flows through the heart of Milton Keynes. It’s a lovely waterway especially in the Spring and a real haven for wildlife.


The Three Locks – Soulbury

For a long time it was a place of which I was completely unaware. In recent years and in a desire to get fitter I have taken up running and it is this which has opened up this place to me. Along with Caldecotte Lake, the Grand Union Canal forms a regular part of my route. It’s within a mile of where we currently live and is really accessible. Running doesn’t really afford the opportunity to take pictures, but occasionally I walk along it too. There is an abundance of wildlife including the usual ducks and swans; coots and moorhens; but also many herons. I love these birds – they look magnificent on the bank or in flight. They tend to watch warily as you approach along the towpath before taking flight and looping to a new spot about 400 m further on. Of course this event is repeated 2 or 3 times before the bird either crosses to the other bank or loops behind you!

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One of my favourite photos was of a heron springing from the bank, taken last year on a walk from the canal near Caldecotte heading North through Milton Keynes all the way to Cosgrove.
Yesterday I ran in the opposite direction heading South from Bletchley (where I’d dropped my car for a service) to The Three Locks at Soulbury. It was a lovely day for running, but I decided to walk back and take in the scenery on route. About half way back I saw a small bird flying back and forth along the canal – except it wasn’t a bird it was a bat. I have never seen a bat in the day before. My iPhone camera doesn’t do justice to the tiny flying mammal but it is all I have so have a go at “Spot the Bat” in these pictures.





Some other shots from the day





























9 responses to “Grand Union

  1. I read this post with great interest because I’m absolutely fascinated by your canals. I especially love the barge/ longboats I’ve seen so often photographed. There’s nothing quite like them in The States–our houseboats are much boxier, and literally look like they were trucked to the water from some neighborhood on land!
    I’m taking my first ever trip outside North America in mid September–two weeks exploring your lovely England, and the canals are top of my sightseeing list! Your post just added the Grand Untion to my “think about visiting” list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Grand Union Canal runs from London North through some amazing countryside. Beyond Milton Keynes it goes through the Blisworth Tunnel which a long one. The canal travels up to Birmingham and joins with other canals leading to Manchester, Liverpool and North Wales. I have been on very little of the canal system but others who have been on it have really enjoyed the experience.


  2. Who would have known that there was a canal in Milton Keynes. Look pretty OK too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heather & Geoff Sandiford

    More lovely pics Graham which will no doubt form treasured memories of MK when MK is a faraway dream from the past.


    • That’s one of the reasons for the blog – documenting the whole process in the present, but remembering the past and glimpsing the future. You are absolutely right these will be a treasured reminder of the fabulous 26 years in MK.


  4. Love the photos 🙂


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