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 aren't concentrating, you could end up amongst the water beetles and bloodworms.

The Grantham Canal, closed in 1929, meanders across the Vale of Belvoir (pronounced "Beever") 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.

I've cycled so far only from Nottingham to Redmile, not far from Belvoir Castle, using the canal towpath as a route that I've enjoyed as an "out and back" ride or as part of a circular trip.

I've 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!