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  • Alick Burt

Exploring The Grantham Canal

The Grantham Canal is a canal that runs for 33 miles from Grantham, falling through 18 locks to West Bridgford where it joins the River Trent. It was built primarily to allow for the transportation of coal to Grantham. It is currently partly navigable, partly in water but not navigable and some sections are filled in, notably where the A1 has been built across it so I knew this was going to be an interesting though not long paddle.

Before setting of I generally check two websites. One is which is great for getting information on where to put in and get out of the waterway you are about to paddle. The other is the BBC weather and on the day it was due to be very windy. The good thing about canals is they are generally flat water and are often quite sheltered which is perfect for a windy day.

I checked on to find an access point and after parking and unpacking I had a short trolley walk to the put in.

On the water the wind and current was against me to begin with as I made my way up the stretch from (?) bridge up to the end of the canal where the A1 has been built across it. Part of the way along I found myself in an unusual carpet of floating red weed.

As with all these paddling trips there is abundance of wildlife and on the water you often find the animals and birds like these Swans do not see you as a threat as long as you pass them with care.

At Harlaxton Wharf I stopped for coffee and found this very useful plaque.

The next section was a particularly pretty stretch with the trees overhanging.

As I made my way further the their were a few locks still in operation and then I reached the section where they are in need of repair. I love these old disused waterways with their glimpses of history in old bricks.

Canals and rivers also have lots of bridges and I like taking pictures of them too and here is one I took on the return journey.

All in all a great location for paddling on a windy day.

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