Stoke Bruerne

We are lucky enough to have a canal nearby, so we took a trip to Stoke Bruerne to wander along the Grand Union Canal, I love canals they are an idyllic picture of passing boats and local wildlife.

It’s a relaxing and lovely place for a day out, but it does get busy on warm summer weekends. In and around Stoke Bruerne you’ll find the Blisworth Tunnel (at 3,076 yards (2,813m) long it is the third-longest navigable canal tunnel on the UK canal network), historic locks and bridges, a weighing machine, winding hole and traditional canal pubs – all the features of a living canal village.

Nearly all the homes and buildings in the village have been there 200 years or more. It appears that little has changed since the heyday of Britain's canals, between the early and mid-1800s. The two village pubs have a long heritage, with The Boat Inn established in 1807, and the Navigation Inn in 1822.  Both were built to support the new trade bought by the canal.

Stoke Bruerne is set in the heart of rural Northamptonshire. Set off in any direction and you'll find unspoilt countryside, tranquil lanes, pretty villages and wild flowers and birds to watch and enjoy.

We just went for a lunch at the pub and a walk along the canal but you can visit the Canal Museum and according to the website it will take from one to two hours, and you can follow the story of Britain’s canals, from the great engineers and navvies who created them to the boat families, leggers and lock keepers who lived and worked on them.  You'll find models of working boats, traditional clothing, canal crafts, a re-creation of a boat-builder’s workshop, beautiful historical signs and more.

There are boat trips in the summer months and at weekends, and also Rookery Open Farm nearby.

Directions: Stoke Bruerne is about 26 miles from Ampthill and on a good day it should take just over 30 minutes to drive there.  Leave Ampthill and drive along the A507 to Junction 13 of M1 - joining the motorway heading north.  Leave the M1 at Junction 15 (A508 for Wellingborough / Northampton) – take the A508 in south westerly direction (away from motorway), and you will pass through the village of Roade before you see the brown signs for Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum –  turn right off A508 and follow these signs.

There are two main car parks in the village throughout the year, and during event weekends additional parking is made available.

Museum Car Park
This is situated at the rear of the Museum and is accessed from Chapel Lane.  This is the first car park you will come to when arriving in the village from the A508. It has a tarmac surface and is Pay and Display.  The parking ticket is also partially refundable if you visit the museum :)

Church Car Park
This is located on Shutlanger Road and is the first car park if you are travelling from Shutlanger/Towcester/A5. Situated on the right, just past Wentworth Way, it is mainly grass but is quite large. All the proceeds go to the Church for much needed repairs and maintenance so please do pop your £2.00 in the honesty box at the gate, it all helps!

Places to Eat & Drink:
There are two (“gastro”) pubs within 100 metres of each other on opposite sides of the canal, the Navigation Inn and The Boat Inn – both are very close to the Museum and have car parks for patrons. Also canalside is an Indian restaurant (The Spice of Bruerne) and a cafe (The Waterside Cafe) at the Museum.