along the Grantham Canal

Cycling along canal towpaths has one great advantage...there are no hills! Of course, on a long-disused canal you might run over the occasional daydreaming fisherman, risk bumping your head on the underside of a low bridge and, if you arenıt concentrating, you could end up amongst the water beetles and bloodworms.

The Grantham Canal, closed in 1929, meanders across the Vale of Belvoir (pronounced ³Beever²) between the River Trent at Nottingham and Grantham. Although it begins and ends in urban areas, for most of its length it is an utterly rural canal, linking small villages and cutting through farmland.

Iıve cycled so far only from Nottingham to Woolsthorpe using the canal towpath as a route that Iıve enjoyed as an ³out and back² ride or as part of a circular trip.

Iıve cycled the towpath in the middle of winter, when the canal was frozen over and my tyres crunched through a thick layer of frost on the path, and on one of the hottest days of the glorious summer of 2003, when the pub at Woolsthorpe was a very welcome refuelling point in the middle of the day!