Helene Lloyd

The canal

Since 1805 the Grand Union Canal was used to transport coal and other commercial products on canal barges between the ‘Black Country’ (Birmingham) and London.

I found numerous books, magazines, photographs and organisations dealing with many aspects of the Grand Union Canal and its long and interesting history. A considerable amount of effort and money have gone into maintaining the locks, tunnels and bridges.

Picture of Canal boat

In Milton Keynes the easily accessible canal with its well maintained towpath and broadwalk has become a destination for leisure pursuits such as walking and cycling and one can enjoy the canal and the rural feel of the nearby Ouzel Valley Park. The colourful narrow boats, painted with traditional images of castles and stylized roses provide added interest to anyone passing through.


During the construction of the new town of Milton Keynes an avenue of Lombardy poplars was planted in the early 1980’s along the Grand Union Canal following its contours. These now very tall trees make the canal and its course easy to follow and identify and are a useful landmark.

I have enjoyed frequent cycle rides along the canal and consider Milton Keynes fortunate to have this interesting waterway flowing through it.

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