The canal through Whilton was authorised on 30th April 1793 as part of the plan for the Grand Junction canal from the river Thames at Brentford to join the Oxford canal at Braunston. James Barnes took charge of the construction and this section was opened on 21st June 1796. The full length was opened in 1806.

Purpose of the canal

The main purpose of the canal was to allow coal from Warwickshire to reach London by a shorter route than via Oxford and the navigable Thames. The hamlet of Buckby Wharf flourished for much of the 19th Century with shops, pubs and other businesses serving the canal users. Several industries requiring bulk carriers also began here. However the arrival of the railway in the 1830's began the long, slow decline only to be reversed by tourism.


There is an abundance of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and moths, dragonflies and damselflies, fish within the WBLA Walks areas subject to habitat, season, etc... On each walk are listed those noted with the most common in bold print.

A special place

A boat comes into view and eventually pushed gently passed us. I smile at the chap and he smiles back We don't feel the need to say but we both know... we are somewhere special.


Our grateful thanks to Phil Davis - for all historical notes, and Nick Roberts - for all wildlife information.


  1. Walk 1 Long Buckby Top Lock to Whilton Marina and return - 2.5 miles
  2. Walk 2 Circular Walk from Bridge 13 - 2.75 miles
  3. Walk 3 Circular Walk from Bridge 13 - 2.25 miles
  4. Walk 4 Circular Walk from Top Lock - 2 miles