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Just for fun: our top six virtual walks

Explore somewhere new and enjoy relaxing waterside scenery from the comfort of your own home with our top six virtual walks.

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Can’t get to the towpath? We’re using digital technology to bring you six top canal destinations to wander around at your leisure – without even opening your front door.

1. Little Venice

Little Venice is an oasis of calm, where the Grand Union Canal meets the Regent’s Canal. Take a virtual stroll past the elegant Little Venice Mansions and admire the triangular pool and willow tree. Then head over to Rembrandt Gardens. Can you spot the Puppet Theatre Barge and the Waterside Café?

From Little Venice you can follow the towpath all the way to London Zoo or even Camden. With plenty to see along the way, this is currently our number one spot for a virtual stroll.

2. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Our famous aqueduct is a great place to virtually explore for a five-minute escape, but equally satisfying for anyone in search of a longer virtual walk.

To begin with, enjoy the images of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct itself, one of the most incredible feats of engineering anywhere on the canal network. Then wander over to the Trevor Basin Visitor Centre before choosing between a walk south along the towpath to Chirk Aqueduct, or north east to Horseshoe Falls.

3. Birmingham City Centre

Feel the bustle and excitement of Britain’s canal capital as you take a virtual tour around the arteries of the industrial revolution. Start in the heart of things at Brindley Place and look out for The National Sea Life Centre and the ICC before heading through Gas Street Basin and out into the myriad of possibilities that is the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

See how many pubs, cafes and other eateries you can spot as you wander virtually along the towpath.

4. Saltaire

Whether virtually or on foot, Saltaire is remarkable - a complete Victorian village built all in one go by wool baron Sir Titus Salt to house his textile workers. A short virtual stroll along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from the village will bring you to Hirst Wood Lock and the seven-arch aqueduct over the River Aire.

Saltaire World Heritage village has lots to explore and keep you busy while you’re staying in at home. Not least Roberts Park, the vehicle tramway and Salt's Mill (which now houses Europe's largest collection of works by Bradford-born artist, David Hockney).

Head west along the towpath for a longer virtual walk which takes you slighty north all the way to Bingley Five Rise Locks.

5. Stoke Bruerne

The beautiful village of Stoke Bruerne is the perfect size for a quick virtual stroll when you need an instant change of scenery. Admire the iconic locks and the thatched waterways cottages before delving into the digitised interior of the Canal Museum.

Once you’ve had your fill of canal history, stroll along the towpath to Blisworth Tunnel, where boaters used to ‘leg’ their boats through the narrow underground passage.

6. Foxton Locks

The longest and steepest staircase lock flight in the UK is a super spot for a virtual stroll. As you ascend the flight, notice the side ponds and the remains of the Inclined Plane boat lift. You can enjoy some virtual refreshment at the café or the Foxton Locks Inn, before taking a look at the canal museum housed in the attractive redbrick Boiler House.

Sit back and be inspired

If you're looking for more ways to experience the virtual calm of the towpath, our relaxing virtual walks from Cheshire are just what you need.

Last Edited: 17 December 2021

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