West Hyde – Wide Water Lock Walk – 23.10.2011

Having thought that we had caught the last of the sun and perhaps that we had managed our last sunny walk, we were blessed with yet another Sunday full of cheer!

This time we were happy to pick up our trail along the Grand Union Canal. Having been blessed with walking from Cassiobury Park to Common Moor Lock and exploring up toApsley Mills, amongst others, it nice to explore a different stretch of the canal. Although, our official start of the walk was not actually at the Canal, but in “West Hyde”.

West Hyde seemed to be a small thriving village at some point in the past. Particularly as I noticed a group of houses one of which suspiciously looking like an old tavern, which had been converted into residential accommodation. I suspect that the area is just as thriving, just differently. We found the rather neglected footpath sign to the Canal, which was to take us past these group of houses. The path was rather covered by trees making it rather dark. As we carried on and we able to eventually peek through the branches we were rewarded with a view of “Pynesfield” Lake! It was rather delightful in the Sun.

From 2011- 23.10.2011 – West Hyde – Wide Water Lock

The only history that I can locate on these delightful lakes, is that they are part of the Colne Valley Regional Park which comprises of over 60 lakes which was created during the 1960’s. The Park was specifically created for the public to enjoy! It was obvious to me that these lakes were being thoroughly enjoyed by all the fisherman we met along the way!

We we left the path behind we encountered a pub! No, we didn’t decide to go in for a swift one (it was a bit early on a Sunday morning for a start lol) Ideally located on the Canal and River Colne, I wouldn’t be surprised that this would be crowded by Walkers, boaters and locals! So we carried on with our walk along the Grand Union Canal having reached Copper Mill Lock. Copper Mill Lock is Lock No. 84., we had reached as far as Lock 68 walking the other way on the Canal as far as Apsley Mills so it was nice to see that we had been covering quite a reasonable stretch of the Grand Union Canal!

As we started to walk along the tow path, I noticed that it crosses with the London Loop and the Hillingdon Trail. In fact this was section 12 of the London Loop. We were following this section to Wide Water Lock. I must admit after our other encounters with the London Loop, this is one path that would have been very difficult to get lost on, particularly as it was one straight tow path!

The path crossed the river Colne, which obviously fed the canal from the lakes. I did spot some markers along the river for Kayak racing! Who knows if an Olympic Champion may have been along this very river?? As we carried on we passed another overflow from the canal. This time it was not a river, but a weir of some kind so that the Canal did not flood at any time. These canal engineers were obviously very good at keep the canal level!

From 2011- 23.10.2011 – West Hyde – Wide Water Lock

It was not long before we had reached our next Lock – “Black Jacks Lock”. Located at the lock, is Black Jack’s Mill which was built in 1840. In fact, there has been a mill recorded on this particular site since the Domesday Book. It was nice to find out that at least one episode of Doctor Who has been filmed there! The Mill is now a beautiful B & B.

As we carried along the tow path, we came across a sign to Braunston, stating it was 78 miles away. It just went to show us how far we were from our previous walk when it said that Braunston was 67 Miles!. It seems we have covered about 11 miles of this canal 🙂 – I would like to think so anyway! We felt like we covered even more as we underestimated the distance between Black Jacks Lock and Wide Water Lock as it was a little further than we both had previously thought.

“Wide Water Lock” is presumably known because this stretch of the canal is wider both up and down stream just by this lock? It would make common sense anyway! The lock was in actually being used by someone! Rather good to see a working canal if you ask me, leisure or otherwise. It was here we turned back on our route to go back, as it was turning quite late (not in the day just for lunch!).

We took a slightly different path back, so we were able to gaze a slightly different lake, which was not in use by fisherman but by Yachts! It was a lovely sight to behold. Leaving the lake behind, the path narrowed and we came across a curious sight. It seemed to be an old industrial Wharf which Canal Boats were able to deliver there goods. An old rusty canal barge with the words “Grand Union Canal Company” was still in dock! Anyone shed any light?

It was here we left our walk behind and before we did we saw a wonderful bird of prey, sadly I did not manage to capture it on camera (too quick for me!). All in all a lovely Sunday morning walk 🙂

2011- 23.10.2011 – West Hyde – Wide Water Lock

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One response to “West Hyde – Wide Water Lock Walk – 23.10.2011

  1. Pingback: Grand Union Canal – Alperton – Hayes – 06.10.2013 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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