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Home > Walks > Region > East of England > Tring Reservoirs Return to Walks

Water in reserve

tooltipDiscovering Britain walk

Discover why the Grand Junction Canal was built through the Chilterns

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The Chilterns are a chain of chalk hills arching through four counties of southern England.

They aren’t very high compared to other British hills and mountains but the Chilterns have often been an obstacle when constructing transport routes in and out of London.

Just over 200 years ago new canals were being built all over the country to carry the materials and goods driving the Industrial Revolution. London couldn’t afford to be left out. So engineers built the Grand Junction Canal through a gap in the Chilterns near Tring. This canal changed the area for ever.

Discover how the canal was constructed and the challenges to supply it with water. Watch boats navigate specially-designed locks and anglers hoping for a bite in one of four reservoirs.

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Look out for 250 kinds of birds, see where the canal was abandoned when it sprang a leak and discover the valiant efforts to restore it for leisure use.

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Walk Info

Distance:

5 ¾ miles

Level:
A mostly flat rural route though some steps and stiles

tooltipA mostly flat rural route though some steps and stiles

Suitable for:
Plenty of sights for all ages. Take care of children by the canal and reservoir edges

tooltipPlenty of sights for all ages. Take care of children by the canal and reservoir edges

Must be kept on a lead

tooltipMust be kept on a lead

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Region:
East of England
Setting:
Countryside
Landscape:
Shaping the landscape Built landscapes Working landscapes
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Start:
Startop's End car park
Finish:
Bluebells Tearoom
Getting there:

tooltipNearest stations are Tring and Wendover

tooltipLocal routes from Tring, Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard

tooltip3 miles from Tring town centre, access via A41 and M25 (J20)

tooltipNear to National Cycle Route Number 57

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Tring Reservoirs

Sluice gate at Startop's End Reservoir
© Mike Jackson

Tring Reservoirs

Marsworth Top Lock
© Mike Jackson

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Route map

Select pins on the map to find out more about each point of interest on the walk

Walk kit

Choose between an audio or written guide: download and enjoy!

Downloads

Written guide
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double-click the icon to download this PDF file. You can save it to your computer or open it now. The file is designed as a booklet. To print it choose ‘Booklet Printing’ from your printer options.

Audio guide
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double-click the icon to download this ZIP file of the audio commentary (mp3 files) and accompanying booklet (PDF) which contains maps and directions. You can save the audio files to your computer then add them to your mp3 device. This will vary for each device but you can use any supplied software (such as iTunes, Windows Media Player) or drag and drop the files. The PDF is designed as a booklet. To print it choose ‘Booklet Printing’ from your printer options.

Extras
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double click to download this GPX file and load it on to your GPS device.

Photo Gallery

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Links

Find out more about the walk story and places of interest along the route

External links open in a new window


Wendover Arm Trust

Find out more about the group working to re-open the Wendover Arm

http://www.wendoverarmtrust.co.uk/

Aylesbury Canal Society

Group who look after the Aylesbury Arm of the canal

http://www.aylesburycanal.org.uk

Canal Junction - The Grand Union Canal

Follow the full route of the canal from London to Birmingham

http://www.canaljunction.com/canal/grand_union.htm

Canal and River Trust

Guide to Milton Keynes, Banbury and Tring canals

http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/1516.pdf

Friends of Tring Reservoirs

Find out how the Tring Reservoirs SSSI is looked after

http://www.tringreservoirs.org.uk

Herts Bird Club – Tring Reservoirs

Guide to bird-spotting on the reservoirs

http://hnhs.org/birds/view_site.php?id=12

A Highway Laid With Water: An account of the Grand Junction Canal, 1792 - 1928

Ian Petticrew and Wendy Austin's fantastic web pages on the canal's history

http://gerald-massey.org.uk/Canal/

Natural History Museum at Tring

Explore a unique historic collection of stuffed animals

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/tring/index.html

Tring's Own Apple Fair

Annual festival that celebrates Tring's food, heritage and environment

http://www.tringapplefayre.com/Tring_Apple_Fayre/Tring_Apple_Fayre_Home.html

Visit Chilterns

Enjoy the Chilterns AONB around the Tring Reservoirs

http://www.visitchilterns.co.uk/

Wendover Parish Council

Discover more about the town of Wendover

http://www.wendover-pc.gov.uk

Recommended place to stay – Camping and Caravanning Club

College Farm

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/hertfordshire/nrtring/collegefarm

Ashridge Estate

Explore a National Trust estate in the nearby Chiltern Hills

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge-estate

Birding Tring Reservoirs

Comprehensive blog on the birds spotted at the reservoirs

http://birdingtringreservoirs.blogspot.co.uk/

Canal and River Trust

Find out more about the Grand Union Canal

http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/canals-and-rivers/grand-union-canal

The Chilterns AONB

Explore the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the canal

www.chilternsaonb.org

Go Ape! Wendover Woods

Family-friendly outdoor adventure park near the Wendover Arm

http://goape.co.uk/days-out/wendover

Heygates Flour Mill, Tring

Find out more about the three Heygates mills and their history

http://www.heygates.co.uk/general/the-mills/

Inland Waterways Association

Information on the Chiltern Branch’s support for the Wendover Arm

https://www.waterways.org.uk/chiltern/chiltern

Tring Anglers

Friendly angling club who often visit the reservoirs

http://www.tringanglers.org.uk

Tring Town Council

Official website and town information

http://www.tring.gov.uk

Walks at the Tring Reservoirs

More options to explore the reservoirs

http://www.waterscape.com/media/documents/2063.pdf

Wilstone Village

Discover more about this attractive village from history to current news

http://www.wilstone.me.uk/

Recommended place to stay – YHA

Jordans, Beaconsfield

http://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/jordans

Credits

The RGS-IBG would like to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance in producing this Discovering Britain walk

 Mike Jackson for creating the walk, providing photographs and the audio commentary

 

Gary Gray for assistance creating the walk

 

Henry the dog for testing the walk's suitability for fellow canines

 

Barry Perrott for reviewing the script

 

Jenny Lunn for editing the walk resources

 

Rory Walsh for compiling the walk materials, providing additional photographs and acting as narrator

 

Caroline Millar for editing the audio files

 

Roger Leishman, Chris Sargeant, Jon Brooman and fellow members of The Wendover Arm Trust for their invaluable assistance

 

Ian Petticrew and Wendy Austin for kind permission to reproduce archive images of the Grand Junction Canal

 

George MahoneyColin ParkChris Reynolds and L B Tettenborn for additional images

 

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