This is the eighth stage of the Grand Union Canal Expedition.

O n the map below the little blue hiking icon shows where I’m up to (green line), more than half way I’d say!  The red line to the right is the route of my hike along the River Great Ouse.

The two paths cross each other at the blue hiking icon.

I couldn’t face the walk from Milton Keynes (MK) station to the canal so I caught a cab to the towpath and set off towards Birmingham.

After an hour’s hike through MK I reached the far-flung suburbs and the day began to brighten up a bit.

towpath outside MK
Onwards to Brum!

An aqueduct, built in 1991, took me over Grafton Street

Grafton Street aqueduct
Grafton Street aqueduct

At Wolverton I enjoyed a marvellous mural, painted in 1986 by local artist Bill Billings.

Wolverton Train Mural
Wolverton Train Mural

Only 72 miles to go before a slap-up curry in Birmingham!

detail from the mural saying 72 miles
72 miles!!

By midday I had reached my destination, the magnificent Iron Trunk aqueduct, beneath which flows the mighty River Great Ouse.

Iron Trunk aqueduct with the Great Ouse passing underneath
Iron Trunk aqueduct with the Great Ouse passing underneath

Opened in 1811 as the fourth attempt to cross the Great Ouse, this marvellous example of Victorian engineering is the oldest ‘iron trough’ aqueduct in the UK.

This is how it looks from the banks of the Great Ouse.

Iron Trunk aqueduct from the Great Ouse
Iron Trunk aqueduct from the Great Ouse

I was so impressed with the aqueduct, it was without any doubt the highlight of the hike

Happy hike on the Iron Trunk Iron Trunk aqueduct
Happy hike on the Iron Trunk Iron Trunk aqueduct

I enjoyed a hearty lunch on the banks of the Great Ouse.


I strolled along the river path for half a mile or so (I’ll be returning here as part of the Great Ouse Odyssey expedition) before heading back to MK.


All-in-all a fine day’s hiking along the Grand Union Canal.

8 thoughts on “Grand Union Canal hike : Milton Keynes to Iron Trunk aqueduct

  1. Awesome! We walked most of the GUC in London, as well as the Wendover and Aylesbury arms, a few years ago. We were planning to check out the Slough arm and up to Berkhamsted sometime in the next couple of months.

  2. Gosh, it’s been a while. I thought you’d stopped walking!! But glad you are back.

    It’s so amazing seeing the canal travel over the top of the road or the river – an engineering wonder – and I hate to say it, but I do think canals in England are much prettier than France 🙂

    1. Hi Melinda, yes I’m back! I was ill during the summer and it’s taken some time to get back into my stride.

      Glad you enjoyed the post : )

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