If you are visiting Taunton in Somerset county, a nearby place to visit on a sunny day would be the Maunsel Lock. After my visit to the Taunton castle museum, my sister and I decided to visit the Maunsel Lock area and walk along the canal path. There is a car park near the lock and it is a great place to start one’s walk along the Bridgwater and Taunton canal.
In its heydays, the lock was busy with boats carrying trade from and to the Bridgwater docks.
The canal is recommended for canoeing enthusiasts. The British Canoeing organization, UK’s national governing body for paddle sports, considers the Bridgwater and Taunton canal route UK’s best kept canoeing secret and recommends an 8 mile trail that starts and finishes at Maunsel lock.
Those who want to walk a specific trail can have fun trying out the Somerset Space Walk, which opened in 1997. The Space walk is a sculpture trail model of the solar system, using the towpath of the Taunton and Bridgwater canal, with the walk starting at the sun model at the Maunsel lock. My sister and I simply chose to go for a short walk along the Maunsel lock area, stretching our legs after being indoors at the museum all morning.
The Bridgwater and Taunton canal opened in 1827 and links River Tone to River Parrett. A fascinating aspect of the canal is that the locals have set up a volunteer wardens scheme to look after their canal and my walk along a key part of it showed me the well maintained and peaceful towpath.
While the canal is recommended for wild life such as kingfishers and dragonflies, I spotted a couple of swans fishing for their food.
I enjoyed the relaxing walk along the quiet towpath, taking in the fresh country air, despite its proximity to the bustling town of Taunton.
Have you explored some of UK’s 2000 miles of canal network?