Wendover Arm Grand Union Canal walk

A 9.4 Mile walk around the old canal, Aston hill, and Halton .

Stacks Image 764

Wilstone Reservoir

Stacks Image 770
Wilstone Reservoir (Sp905131) was built in 1802 to provide water to the wendover arm of the Grand union canal. It states on the net that it hold 240 Million gallons of water, however on this trip the water level was well down. There are a few car parks about with free parking, on this day it was raining, yet again but it would make a nice place to take the kids for a short walk around it. The place is full of bird life with Swallows, common terns, sand martins also heron's were nesting on a small island in the water. The place is also good for fishng, with Pike and catfish.

Wendover Canal

Stacks Image 780
We walked a large part of Disused Wendover Arm canal on this trek, it is part of the Grand Union canal. It originally linked the Grand union canal at Bulbourne (sp935135) to the town of wendover (sp869083), its only 6.7miles and has been out of use since 1897. However it was great to see all the restoration the Wendover Arm trust are doing. They are really going to town with it, and large parts have been totally restored , it will look good when it is completed. They are damming parts as they go and had diggers in today sloping the banks and laying brickwork. The main decline of the canal was due to leakage and it needed repairs within ten years of it opening. There is a great entry on Wikipedia about it, so have a look.

Halton House and RAF Base

Stacks Image 786
The trip then took us through Buckland Hoo and up to Aston Hill summit (sp890099), its in a small field and a trig point stands there at 260 metres. We worked our way towards Halton where there is a large RAF Base and the impressive Halton House.
The house was Built for
Alfred de Rothschild and is now used as the RAF officers mess (lucky sods). It was finished in 1883 and Rothschild used it for his weekend retreat. Its a shame that you can't get near to the place due to MOD restrictions but from photos and what we saw it looked very impressive, it fits in nicely with both Waddesdon Manor and Ascott house all former Rothschild properties. The RAF base is very historic with Alfred de Rothschild inviting 3 squadron of the Royal Flying corps to use his land. Rothschild and Lord Kitchener, then made an agreement to use the estate throughout the first world war. The Government purchased the whole estate from the Rothschild family for £112,000 at the end of the war. The base is now used for training and there is a glider runway still in use. We then cut back onto the Wendover canal and made our way back to the car at the Reservoir, a good walk but the weather was grim and it rained the whole time.