The Grand Union Canal Cycle Route

The Grand Union Canal Cycle Route

The 6 miles of the canal towpath between Leighton Buzzard and Bletchley have been improved for everyone to use and enjoy – walkers, joggers, wheelchair users, cyclists, anglers and boaters. The route forms part of the National Cycle Network between Milton Keynes, Luton and London.

The towpath is narrow in places, so please take care and look out for other people using the route.

How To Get There By Car

Leighton Buzzard lies to the north of the A505, about 8 miles to the west of Dunstable. There is parking off of Leighton Road in Leighton Buzzard or at the train station.
Car parking is also available in Bletchley at the Blue Lagoon Park.

How To Get There By Passenger Transport

BY BUS: Telephone Bedfordshire Bus Information Line : 01234 228337, 8.30am – 5pm open 5 days a week or Travel Line 0870 6082608.
BY TRAIN – For timetable information, please telephone National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950.
Click here for the National Rail Enquiries website

Start/Finish Point

In Leighton Buzzard, the route starts from Black Bridge and ends in the Water Eaton area to the south of Bletchley.

Access and General Information

Length: 6 miles (9.6 km)
Access Information:
Surface Types: Surface types are hard and firm with no stones greater than 5mm in size.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is greater than 1:6 at Stoke Hammond and at Three Locks, and at the canal junction in Leighton Buzzard. Elsewhere there are linear gradients of between 1:6-1:9 and of between 1:10-1:13.
Cross Falls: There is a crossfall of steeper than 1:9 at Three Locks. Elsewhere there are cross falls of between 1:10-1:15, between 1:16-1:20 and of between 1:21-1:25.
Width Restriction: There are no width restrictions of less than 1000mm.
Steps: There are 7 steps on Bridge 106 (south side) at Stoke Hammond with a maximum step height of 170mm.
Barriers: None recorded.
Refreshments: There are pubs in Old Linslade and at Three Locks. Stoke Hammond and Leighton Buzzard have a selection of shops.
Public Toilets: Located in Tescos in Leighton Buzzard.
Picnic Tables: There are picnic tables at Willowbridge and Three Locks.
Seats: There are six seats along the route - at Willowbridge and Stoke Hammond lock, at Leighton Lock, Three Locks and at Bridge 114.


This route is a partnership between Bedford County Council, Big Lottery Fund, British Waterways, Buckinghamshire County Council, Department for Transport, GrantScape, Milton Keynes Council, South Bedfordshire District Council and Sport England.

The National Cycle Network is a comprehensive network of safe and attractive routes to cycle throughout the UK. The first 10,000 miles of route were completed in 2005, one third traffic-free, the rest following quiet lanes or traffic-calmed roads. It is co-ordinated by Sustrans and other partners such as local authorities.

For more information on routes in your area or more about the charity Sustrans and how to become a supporter, please call 0845 113 0065
or visit the website