16miles/
26kms

Grand Western Canal Walk

About this route

The Grand Western Canal Country Park is a popular place to enjoy a flat, easy walk in the countryside, with the opportunity to stroll near villages or to get away from it all and explore the quieter sections beside the northern half of the canal.

The canal towpath is a public right of way that runs beside the canal for the full eleven and a half miles.  The towpath has been extensively resurfaced although there are still some sections that can be muddy in the winter. Access points are located throughout the length of the Country Park.

The trail passes through a gentle agricultural landscape with some lovely views and several small villages.  The path is flat and the walking is easy.

Getting Around

The canal basin is located in Tiverton.  Local bus services link the towns and villages along the route of the canal, this allows you to walk a section and catch the bus back to your starting place.  See www.journeydevon.info for latest times.

Facilities
Tiverton and Sampford Peverell have all facilities. Car parking is available at both ends of the canal.
Terrain
Flat and easy walking along the canal towpath.
Accessibility
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Interesting information

Originally part of an ambitious scheme to link the Bristol Channel with the English Channel, the Canal was proposed as a way for shipping to avoid the long and perilous journey around the Cornish peninsula, and as a route for transporting goods, including coal from South Wales, into the heart of Somerset and Devon. The first section was opened in 1814, but the costs escalated and delayed construction of the next section to Taunton for many years. Eventually it was completed in 1838. For a short time, the Canal was profitable, but the advent of the railway took much of the trade from the Canal and by the 1920’s it became disused.

A wealth of structures dating back to the Canal’s heyday can still be found including the Tiverton Basin and Waytown limekiln complexes, 15 road bridges over the Canal (designed by John Rennie) and the 40m-long Waytown Tunnel. Other notable structures include milestones, culverts, wharves, accommodation bridges, an aqueduct and a lock.

The Canal supports a rich and vibrant variety of wildlife and provides a great opportunity to get close to nature.

Photo by Lewis Clarke

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