Last Saturday was a bit of a wash out. It rained for most of the day and we stayed put in Berkhamsted. Sunday, however, was glorious and we set out bright and early to head for the end of the navigable section of the Wendover Arm – another item from the ‘things to do on the way back up the GU’ list.
We had just seven locks to negotiate and were lucky to meet Yorkshire couple Cathy and Dave from nb Cariad at the first of these.
The Wendover Arm is only navigable for about a mile and a half to Little Tring but it’s incredibly slow going as there isn’t a lot of depth. The bends are particularly awkward as the shallowness of the canal makes steering difficult. The bend beside Heygates Mill at Tring proved particularly tricky.
You can vaguely see the line of the original canal here and it looks like not a great deal has been done towards its further restoration, despite the banner.
After mooring up in a lovely spot we took a walk further along the canal towpath and found out that nothing could be further from the truth. The towpath goes along beside around a mile of cleared canal bed.
Past the remains of one of the original pumping stations.
Eventually we encountered this work party who were laying the lining for a new section of canal.
It turns out that they’re working backwards from Drayton Beauchamp using the cleared canal bed as access for heavy machinery. It’s only by exploring further along its length that you can see their impressive progress. Not far past the working party, for most of the way back to to Drayton Beauchamp, the canal has been lined and is in water.
They’re planning on finishing this section by 2020. We’d certainly be up for coming back then to cruise the new section.