Aylesbury Arm
This arm is just over 6 miles long and descends 95ft from Marsworth Junction to Aylesbury Basin. Plans were mooted for the canal to continue to Abingdon on the Thames but this never happened.

Immediately you pass Locks 1 and 2 and after bridge 1 a rural scene emerges with stables and pasture. But it's disappointingly flat country, a fact emphasized by the sight of the Chiltern Hills emerging in the distance. More locks follow at a brisk pace including Jefferies Lock 8 and then Wilstone Lock 9, the last of the Marsworth flight.

Wilstone is a village made infamous by Thomas Colley who was hanged for his leading role in drowning a suspected local witch, Ruth Osborne, by the outlawed ducking method in 1751.

The canal continues arrow straight under bridge 6 and high hedges obscure the landscape to Puttenham Top Lock 10. The towpath is very muddy due to cyclists but quiet until you reach Puttenham Bottom Lock 11. Here you pass Bates Boatyard and their pugnacious Alsatian. It's an interesting place packed with the wooden narrowboats that they specialise in repairing and building.

The canal subsequently opens out and you catch sight of a huge building on the left. This is the £150m, 70 acre milk processing plant at Aston Clinton, the world's first billion litre mega-dairy. It stands in a slightly elevated position like a cathedral to dairy products overlooking Aylesbury Vale, but is mostly hidden from the canal by a giant mud and clay embankment that stretches all the way to Red House Lock 13.

Following that lock and bridge 9, there's a few moored boats next to a winding hole, but the canal becomes rather featureless. And that's the problem, it is pleasant rural country, give or take the odd mega-dairy, but a few ducks and the Tring Angling Club representative chasing half a dozen pike fishermen for money, don't add a lot of interest to the long straight sections.

At least the high hedges disappear and you can see open country approaching Aylesbury, where the towpath improves in parts and the banks are reinforced. Aylesbury really kicks in at the concrete bridge 16A carrying the ring road, with attendant parkland, graffiti and rather nice mural.

After crossing Bear Brook at Lock 15, a few factories crop up and of course a Tesco (with moorings). Then following the final Lock 16, modern apartments take over until the last road bridge (18). Now there are rows of attractive cottages and Aylesbury Basin comes into view.

Here you'll find a clean, relatively quiet basin, overlooked by the Waterside Theatre and other modern developments. The Aylesbury Canal Society have thoughtfully provided a welcome boat for visitors and it is they who do an effective job in keeping the towpath very litter free and pleasant to walk.

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Hover over photographs for extra information
Willows weeping over the last of 16 locks
Aylesbury Basin overlooked by the Waterside Theatre
Approaching Aylesbury Basin on an autumn morning
A cathedral to dairy products near Aston Clinton
Bates Boatyard, lots of boats and one alsation
Another straight section, you better get used to them