Route Info | Boats | Map overview of route | Cruising Notes | Maps & Guides | Links | Pub Guide


You can do this route from :
Gayton Marina

Heading south along the Grand Union Canal, this route has a taste of everything even in just a weekend break.

The 3rd longest tunnel at Blisworth , and the lovely village of Stoke bruerne, perhaps the best example of a canal village in the country and then cruise to the lovely medieval village of Great Linford on the outskirts of Milton Keynes.

Take a 15 minute bus ride into Milton Keynes city centre and enjoy the Shopping centre, the SnoZone and Xscape- indoor Sky Diving!!

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 3 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 4.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 13.50 hours

Total Distance : 31.00 miles

Number of Locks : 16

Number of Tunnels : 2

Number of Aqueducts : 0

Read the Cruising Notes

Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holiday

Read our cruising notes.


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Download our cruising notes.





Cruising Notes

Day 1

From Gayton Marina turn right back onto the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal, then left towards Aylesbury at Gayton Junction.
Very soon you will come to Blisworth Tunnel, at 3057 yards it is the 3rd longest tunnel open to navigation in the UK. 2 boats can pass so keep to the right. Originally the boats were legged through when it opened in 1805, and you can see the leggers hut at the south end of the tunnel.

Just before this is the village of Blisworth , where there is a shop and a pub, - The Royal Oak situated in the village.

Once through the Tunnel you come to the lovely Canal village of Stoke bruerne, where there is a Canal museum which is worth a visit, and canal shops. There are also 2 lovely pubs and 2 restaurants in the village, so it is worth spending the 1st night here, as it is less than 2 hours from Gayton. You can moor up just past the 1st lock. Stoke bruerne is perhaps the best example of a canal village in the country, and the Blisworth stone built houses flank the canal. The warehouses and cottages along the wharf have become a canal centre. The canal museum is housed in a fine 200 year old stone warehouse and there are many exhibits detailing the 200 year old history of the canals, including a traditional narrowboat.

Day 2

Once leaving Stoke bruerne you immediately encounter the rest of the Stoke bruerne Locks- 6 more to do. The Locks are open 10-3 last entry by 2pm. Stoke Park is ½ mile west of the canal at lock 20. Stoke Park house itself was destroyed by fire, but the pavilions & colonnade survived and are open to the public together with the gardens throughout August 3pm-6pm.

The canal then meanders through open landscape in its journey down to Milton Keynes, the village of Grafton Regis is about a mile walk from bridge 57 and has a pub called the White Hart. The small thatch & stone village of Yardley Gobion is south west from bridge 60 , and has a stores, off licence, and pub called The Coffee pot.

The Navigation pub is canalside by Thrupp Wharf at bridge 64. At bridge 65 is the village of Cosgrove, there is a curious pedestrian tunnel under the canal, also a pub canalside called the Barley Mow with mooring(the pub is open all day). There is also a splendid stone canal bridge here, decorated in the Gothic style and built in about 1800.

There is one lock to negotiate near the Old Stratford Cut, you will then cross the River Ouse on an iron trunk aqueduct which is carried on stone pillars and was built in 1811.
You now start to reach civilisation with the outskirts of Milton Keynes in sight, moor up by bridge 77 for your 2nd nights stay near the medieval village of Great Linford.

It is 5.75 cruising hours from Stoke bruene to here.

Great Linford is a lovely village built in the traditional golden stone, it is a magnificent canal village with church, manor, farm and almshouses close to the canal.
From Great Linford you can get into Milton Keynes on a 15 minute bus journey.
Milton Keynes has a lot to offer , it is one of the major shopping areas around this area, and is great for the more adventurous where you can toboggan on real snow, and where you can go indoor sky-diving.

Behind the Giffard park pub by bridge 78 there is a late opening store and an off-licence.

Day 3
Day 4
On the last day turn the boat around and head back for Gayton, which is about 7 cruising hours away from Great Linford,
You need to be back at the marina by 9.30am the following morning.


NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.


The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)

1966 n all That (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Black Swan2 (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Rosemary (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Sawley Tempted (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

This England (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

American Thrush (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Audouins Gull (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Bonellis Eagle (Sleeps a maximum of 7 People).

Capped Heron (Sleeps a maximum of 5 People).

Garden Warbler (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Grasshopper Warbler (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Long Eared Owl (Sleeps a maximum of 10 People).

Pied Billed Grebe (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Rock Thrush (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Slavonian Grebe (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Snow Bunting (Sleeps a maximum of 5 People).

Tundra Swan (Sleeps a maximum of 12 People).

Everetts Blue 2 (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Imperial Amazon (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Mad as a Hatter (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Malvolio (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Portia (Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Titania II (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Troutbeck Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Savoy Hill (Sleeps a maximum of 7 People).

Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Pubs available on this canal route:-

  Pub Name Pub Address Distance from Gayton More Info
The Queen Victoria 10 High Street, Gayton NN7 3HD 1.32 Miles Full Details
The Boat Inn Stoke Bruerne NN12 7SB 3.65 Miles Full Details
The Navigation Bridge Road, Stoke Bruerne, Towcester NN12 7SY 3.78 Miles Full Details
The Barley Mow The Stocks, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes MK19 7JD 9.13 Miles Full Details
The Black Horse Wolverton Road, Great Linford MK14 5AJ 11.22 Miles Full Details
The New Inn The New Inn New Bradwell, Milton Keynes MK13 0EN 11.14 Miles Full Details
The Barge Newport Road, Little Woolstone, Milton Keynes MK15 0AE 13.79 Miles Full Details
The Moon Under Water 10 Abebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes MK9 3NN 13.28 Miles Full Details
The Peartree Bridge Inn Waterside, Peartree Bridge, Milton Keynes MK6 3PE 14.58 Miles Full Details
The Chequers 48 Watling Street, Bletchley MK2 2BY 16.50 Miles Full Details

NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.


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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.