Now waymarked over Blisworth Tunnel

Published: Thursday, 14 October 2021

THE struggle to find your way over Blisworth Tunnel is now a thing of the past thanks to new waymarking.

BlisworthPathTwo miles walk

The various paths made it a bit of an adventure walking over the Grand Union Canal tunnel, but waymarking of the footpaths by Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership, has made the two mile walk much easier, walking from one end to the other over the top. Photograph by Geoff Wood.

This is thanks to funding from West Northamptonshire Council’s Community Fund and volunteers from the Inland Waterways Association’s Northampton Branch.

The nearly two miles long Blisworth Tunnel was built without a towpath, so walkers using the popular Grand Union Canal Towpath Walk either have to use a busy main route that is not suitable for those on foot or various connecting paths to traverse the tunnel, with many reported as going astray attempting to follow the different footpaths and bridleways which cross the tunnel top.

SueDayWill benefit

One who will certainly benefit is Sue Day, Chairman of the Horseboating Society, who enthused:

“I’m very glad the footpath route has been marked as I get muddled every time I do it!”

In addition to marking the route, the canal partnership has installed a series of QR codes linking to web based heritage information and photographs of historical features of interest along the way, so ramblers can learn more about the area.

Paul Simpson and Nigel Lowdell, two of the IWA volunteers assisting with the project explained:

“There is definitely a need for waymarker signs as we got lost doing the installation. We took a wrong turn and ended up in a field of horses who, fortunately, seemed more interested in the contents of our rucksacks than us.

"Hopefully now, future walkers will fare much better and will enjoy the views and absorb some of the history surrounding this interesting walk.”

Helen Westlake, Chairman of Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership reported:

“We have been listening to stories for some time from hikers and walkers passing through Stoke Bruerne, some of whom told us they had got totally confused and ended up in Towcester, so we are very grateful to West Northamptonshire Council for awarding funding to enable us to mark the correct route and to the IWA volunteers for carrying out the installation."