16. Inlanding to London – 1989

Grand Union

This is the sixteenth in an occasional series of postings which should, over time, record all the major ‘inlanding’ trips I’ve taken in the years since 1989. The archive of trips can be accessed via the Inlanding – Trip Reports tab at the top of the page.

Day 16. Kings Langley to Copper Mill Lock

9 miles – 14 locks – 9 hours

Although the mechanical problems of the last few days have eased, the clutch continues to slip in forward gear if I cruise at anything above snails-pace. Still, with no real urgency to get anywhere fast, a canal seems to me to be the ideal place for snails-pacing along.

It was therefore a day best described as ‘steady’ , a gentle descent through large double locks space at regular intervals.

The landscape, though unpreposessing, is still remarkably rural much of the time, despite being close to Watford and then the outer suburbs of London, it’s generally a winding, wooded meander to the Capital following contours and rivers [the R. Gade, R. Chess and later the R. Colne] for much of it’s course.

(above) A touch of the Hanzel & Gretel’s at Hunton Bridge lock cottage

(above) looking back to Hunton Bridge Lock

(above) Cassiobury Park

The cut through the wooded parkland of Cassiobury Park is a delightful stretch, a leisurely green space of dog-walkers and gongozzlers. 

(above) Historic postcard of Cassiobury Locks

(above) Cassiobury Park Locks

(above) Historic view of Iron Bridge Lock, Watford

(above) looking back to Iron Bridge Lock

At Batchworth there’s a lovely array of canalside architecture with lockside cottages, stores and outbuildings and Salter’s Cut Lock leading to a short stub of canal along the River Chess. [It was built in 1805 by the brewer Samuel Salter to enable access by canal to his brewery, and was later used to allow boats to reach the Rickmansworth gasworks.]

(above) Salter’s Cut moorings on the canal-ised R. Chess

(above) Rickmansworth, Batchworth Lock

(above) colour image of same view…

(above) Steamer leaving Batchworth Lock

(above) 1970’s Batchworth Lock

From Batchworth the cnal continues it’s meandering course though Stocker’s Lock (below)

(above) looking down from Stocker’s Lock

(above) looking back to Stocker’s Lock

and Springwell Lock (below)

(above) leaving Springwell Lock

To finally moor in a plethora of boats (many on their way to the National) adjacent to the bustling Fisheries Inn below Copper Mill Lock (above).

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