We’d spied the canal (and its pubs!) when visiting Berkhamsted Castle, and were keen to take a stroll along the towpath.
We set off south with the intention of walking for an hour before stopping off at the Fishery Wharf Café at Boxmoor for refreshments. There were countless narrow boats taking advantage of the tranquil mooring spots (if you ignore the distant thrum of the A41), and fisherman enjoying the fine weather.
A few cyclists and dog walkers (this was a weekday) passed us going the other way, but little else. Sections of the unnavigable River Bulbourne run parallel with the Grand Union Canal here, and there’s some lovely countryside.
We made it as far as the Three Horseshoes pub on Pouchen End Lane, roughly 15-20 mins from the café in Boxmoor (a suburb of Hemel Hempstead) before reading that our planned refreshment stop was closed that day! So much for planning …
Happily we’d spied the Rising Sun on the way out and called in for an early lunch on the way back to Berkhamsted. The Riser’s a drinkers’ pub and a ploughman’s is your only choice of food – which was fine by us!
Heading back to our car we found a number of signs explaining the importance of Berkhamsted as a port in the 18th and 19th centuries. The town was known for its boat building, timber trade and watercress, as well as home to an inventor of an arsenic and sulphur sheep dip!