Friday, 9 November 2012

The Grand Union Canal in Autumn.

I am very fortunate that the Grand Union Canal runs along the rear of my garden . Open the rear gate and i am on the footpath . However , i very rarely venture on there .Which i have realised recently is a shame , as there are some wonderful images to be captured, as well as a good dog walk to go with it . It's only taken me twenty two years of living here to decide to make more regular use of it !!!

Today i was driving the dogs to their normal walk along the River Ouse , when i decided that i would take them somewhere different .

We are very lucky in Milton Keynes that there are a great variety of walks , just a short drive or walk from the centre of town or if , like me , you live in the older parts of MK . We ended up going to a small car park near Stony Stratford . There is a private road that takes you towards the River Ouse . So we headed down the road and took a footpath which takes you along the river Ouse itself .
The dogs love this walk as there are a few big open fields that they can charge around in . Maya , the youngest , has recently realised that it's fun to chase the birds in the fields and then chase them all around the field !! She was running around for nearly half an hour trying to catch the gulls !!

Follow the footpath and you will soon see the famous Iron Bridge Aquaduct . This has been carrying boats along the Grand Union canal and over the river ouse for over two hundred years . It has recently been re-painted and looks wonderful . There are two tunnels that allow livestock and people to pass under the canal , to get to the other side . Nowadays you don't see livestock using the tunnel , but it is still used by walkers , cyclists and dogs . My two love to run back and forth through the tunnel .Once on the other side , there are steps that take you to the towpath and then onto the Aquaduct . It's quite eerie walking through the tunnel . However , my legs go more wobbly walking across the Aquaduct !! It's a long way down to the river and i always make sure i get across as quick as i can . I wouldn't want to be up there if it were to collapse ;-)

We then followed the towpath along the canal heading towards Cosgrove locks . I stopped along the way and took a few photos of the Narrow Boats that are moored up for winter . Some boats are moored up all year round . This makes for a wonderful view as you walk along the path . On a cold day you can smell the smoke from the stoves on the boats . Coal , coke and wood burning away keeping the boats nice and snug.

When i got closer to the locks i couldn't see my dogs . Then saw them running around on the other side of the canal ! They had crossed at the lock without me enticing them to walk along the narrow wooden locks . One of them came back to see me , while the other was still on the other side . As i got closer they both tried to cross at the same time , meeting head on !! Maya was pushing past Mabel and it was very close to one of them going in the canal !!! This would have been the third time in a week for Mabel !! But i was worried about one of them going into the lock itself !! That would have made for a difficult rescue . Unlike the two previous dips in the last week , where she simply fell in the first time and was pushed in by Maya . Both times it's just a case of grabbing her collar and she is out , shaking dirty canal water all over me !! Luckily none of them went in today though. So i crossed myself, taking a public footpath along the nearby farmers field . This takes you back towards the Mill next to the river . You go through two big fields , which were full of more gulls !!! Yes , Maya was in her element again and was running like a race horse , chasing birds in the sky .

As i was crossing the fields , the heavens opened and a downpour started . I didn't have a case to put my camera in . So i put an empty doggy poo bag to good use , covering up the camera body . I used another bag to cover the lens . Plus a cleaning cloth to keep the rain out .

Ten minutes later i was putting my camera back in the Land Rover . Then it was onto trying to get the dogs to get in the back of my vehicle . They were still having fun running through the dry crispy leaves on the floor , so i waited for five minutes until they realised i was waiting for them . Then it was a case of popping them in and then drying myself off before heading home for a warm coffee and a few biscuits ....

Here are a few photos of the walk.

 Ropes laying on the roof of a rather large wide beam barge .
 A smokey chimney would make a nice snug warm interior .
 Chimney with great Autumn colours and a life ring .
 Looking into the canal . With Autumn colours .
 More Autumn colours along the Grand Union canal.
 Holy Trinity Church from the river Ouse .
 The Old Mill between Wolverton and Stony Stratford.
 Part of the Iron Trunk Aquaduct . With a plump Duck taking a rest on the top .
 One of the tunnels that allow you to get to the other side of the canal .
 Autumn leaves floating in a bunch on Grand Union Canal .

 View back from the locks at Cosgrove .
 Cottages at Cosgrove locks .
 Simple name for a Home !!
Watching the world go by from inside his Narrow Boat .
Hope you have enjoyed my blog and the images that i have uploaded. Once again comments are always welcome.

For more of my work visit my website -
Many thanks Mark.


holdingmoments said...

Lovely autumn colours Mark.
It's a great walk along that part of the canal. I used to walk there while the car was being serviced. :-)

Mark Catanach said...

Thanks Keith . It's also a great walk when we have had snow or a really cols snap . The Canal freezes over and looks fantastic !

The Herald said...

Mark, a stunning set of images and you've captured the glorious Autumn colours beautifully. Looks like a great walk...[;o)

Mark Catanach said...

Thanks for the kind words :-)