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    Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    6.6 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    151 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk

    The Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk takes you on a lovely stroll alongside canals lacing through the countryside and quaint, storied areas. After you finish the loop, stop for a drink at The Old Mill in Berkhamsted.

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    Route Description for Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk

    Most walkers leave The Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk without encountering any hindrances. However, despite the surrounding beauty, adorned by the canal, you will spend a lot of time walking with the main road within earshot. Yet, the beauty unfolding in front of you should help distract you from the rumblings of nearby traffic. You will also have to cross the A4251 a couple of times, requiring you to be mindful of cars and to think twice about bringing younger children along. Lastly, you’ll have to navigate a kissing gate and steps leading to the canal.

    The gentle undulations paired with winding next to a canal make this walk a charming choice for anyone looking to move around outside without forcing their body to work too hard. Plus, you can look forward to a rewarding pint at The Old Mill afterwards!

    To start The Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk, leave the vehicle entrance and take a left to walk along the pavement. You’ll pass The Old Mill on your left. When you reach a side road to your left called Bank Mill Lane, take it. Continue along the lane, paying attention to the stunning River Bulbourne! Soon, you’ll reach a road, Bank Mill, turn left here and follow it up to the bridge that stretches across the Grand Union Canal. Right before the bridge, take a left to go down some steps and then go right to meet up with a towpath guiding you below the bridge. Follow the towpath, admiring the canal glistening to your left. 400m later, you will pass Top Side Lock. Stay on the towpath, past cottages and another lock, Bottom Side Lock. The path will soon carry you between the canal and River Bulbourne!

    When you reach Bridge 146, take a right before the bridge to ascend a slope towards a junction. Here, you’ll turn right onto Sharpes Lane, heading away from the canal. Descend towards a T-junction with the A4251. Take a right and follow the pavement for 150m before crossing the road. Be extra careful here! After crossing the road, turn left onto Sugar Lane. Continue along this access lane, keeping straight to meet up with a stone path. You’ll now embark on a steady climb. When you reach the A41, you’ll come across a kissing gate. Take a sharp left through it to follow the path taking you to the underpass below the A41. Go through the underpass tunnel.

    Continue straight ahead, following a grass path downhill. When you get to the metal fingerpost, take a right to follow the bridleway marked as Bottom Farm. The path will take you by Bottom Farm towards a junction. Take a right. This path is signed as Swing Gate Lane. Stay on this track as it winds through hedgerows and woodland. Ignore the signs pointing left and stay on this access track, which will now be tarmac. The path takes you along Swing Gate Lane Bridge, across the A41.

    Stay on Swing Gate Lane. When you get to the edge of the hedgerow, go on the path ahead. You’ll pass a school on your left as you begin to go downhill. Take Upper Hall Park, a side road to your right, followed by veering left onto Cedar Road. The residential road will take you downhill towards a T-junction with the A4251. Go left before crossing the road to get to The Old Mill, where food and drinks await.

    Other amazing walks in Chiltern Hills

    Check out our guides to Wendover Loop, Wendover Woods, Dunstable Downs, Hurley Loop or The Rose and Crown Ivinghoe Beacon Walk. Or see all of our Chiltern Hills walks on 10Adventures.

    Insider Hints for Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk

    • Enjoy food and drinks at The Old Mill after you walk
    • Train to Berkhamsted rail station if you’re taking public transit
    • For a shorter route, take a right when you reach the metal kissing gate along the A41

    Getting to the Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk Trailhead

    To get to the start of The Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk, head to Berkhamsted. From here, follow the A4251, and go through two roundabouts before turning left for The Old Mill, where you can park your car.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      Year round

    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk Elevation Graph

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    Old Mill and Grand Union Canal Walk Reviews

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