The Grand Union Canal is one of the most breathtaking canals in the UK. Whether you are travelling down the canal in a narrowboat or exploring a few miles on foot, you’ll have a lovely time. But what can make a visit to the Grand Union Canal a bit better? Why a fantastic country pub, of course! The Grand Union is a long canal, and so it is great to find a place to stop, relax, have some food and perhaps a drink before getting back on the canal. So, here are the best pubs all along the Grand Union Canal!
Navigation Inn, Lapworth
The Navigation Inn is a beautiful, traditional country pub that happens to be right next to the canal. Now, the Navigation may look modern, but it still feels like a lovely countryside pub inside. They have fantastic beers on tap, in fact, they have won awards for their amazing beers. They are also the only pub in the county to have Guinness on handpull, something that any Guinness drinkers have to try. Whether you want to watch canal flow by in the beer garden or treat your self to an amazing glass of wine or ale with a hot plate of homemade food, the Navigation is the perfect pub for you.
The Cape of Good Hope, Warwick
Next up we have one of the most beautifully picturesque pubs in the UK. The Cape of Good Hope is about as close to the Grand Union as a pub can get without their customer’s feet getting wet as they order a drink. If there is space, you can moor right outside the pub and enjoy some of their fantastic food and drink. They have a very welcoming and friendly team at this pub that has worked together to make a pub that is so inviting to everyone. They have a lovely food menu and a wonderful selection of beers, ales and wines. If you are ever in Warwick, stick your head in The Cape of Good Hope, you won’t regret it!
The Admiral Nelson, Braunston
The Admiral Nelson in at lock number 3 on the Grand Union Canal. The building actually predates the canal too as it was constructed sometime in the 1730s. There has been a long history of brewing and serving beers in this building, but at one time, it served as a morgue too! Don’t worry, though, the morgue was about a hundred years ago, now you can enjoy some amazing ales and lovely, pub classics on their food menu too. While you’re at The Admiral Nelson, do have a chat with the landlord about the history of the area as there are some fantastic areas to explore near the pub and the canal!
The Boat Inn, Stoke Bruerne
The Boat Inn is very close to the Blisworth Tunnel. It is a family-owned pub that first opened its doors in 1877. From the moment this pub opened, it has been the heart of the community. The locals love this pub, but boaters are just as big fans as you can moor directly outside the pub and enjoy some amazingly crafted food. They have a bistro and a restaurant in the pub as well as a traditional bar and a lounge bar both serving fantastic local ales and a great deal more too! The Boat Inn is a beautiful pub run by a lovely, friendly team!
Rigby’s Black Boy, Solihull
The Black Boy is named after King Charles II. The name is taken from his mother’s nickname for him as a young boy. The pub itself has a fantastic food menu, arguably the best in the area. It also has all of your favourites on tap and plenty of local ales to try too. What’s more, this pub is also child friendly and has plenty of entertainment for them. The Black Boy is now owned by the Rigby family who restored the pub in 1993. They have created a pub with one of the best reputations in the Midlands, and it is well worth a visit.
The Black Horse, Great Linford
The Black Horse is incredibly popular in the summer months. This is because it sits right next to the canal and watching the canal flow by with a cold pint of local ale is really hard to beat. However, this pub is also fantastic in the winter too. If you’re travelling down the Grand Union in winter, you can warm up by the beautiful fire, eat some wonderful food and enjoy some local ales that are hard to find anywhere else. There’s loads of reasons to love The Black Horse, but their food menu is something really special!
Boat House, Daventry
You must try the homemade sausage rolls at The Boat House, they are the best sausage roll you will have ever tasted! It isn’t just the sausage rolls that make people flock to The Boat House, though. Their entire food menu is superb. They only use local produce and meats to create their dishes, the freshness shines through perfectly. Their Sunday roast has got to be one of the best in the UK! They also have some lovely ales, gins and wines on their drinks menu too. This is the perfect countryside pub to relax in after travelling down the canal!
The Barge Inn, Milton Keynes
The Barge Inn was built in the 19th century so that the workers building the Grand Union has a place to get a drink! With its connection to the canal and some incredible food and drink, The Barge has been a firm favourite for boaters for many years. Also, while you are enjoying a hearty pub lunch and a fine ale, keep an eye out for the landlord. Not the current landlord, but Samuel Savage. He is said to visit the pub sometimes! Oh, Samuel has been dead for like 80 years, by the way, he’s not just the old guy at the bar with the awesome stories!
The Barley Mow, Cosgrove
If you crave a traditional country pub where you can warm yourself by the fire with a pint, The Barley Mow is perfect. It has a very traditional pub feel about it and still has exposed beams, hardwood flooring and is beautifully decorated to make it feel really cosy. The Barley Mow is right next to Bridge number 65. While you are there, you can enjoy a fantastic pub meal, some wonderful ales and they are family and dog friendly too.
The Fishery Inn, Hemel Hempstead
The Fishery Inn is a wonderful place to enjoy a cocktail by the canal in the summer months. But it is also a wonderful place in the winter months. You can enjoy a drink by their roaring fire in the lounge bar and some wonderful food too. They have a lovely garden at The Fishery that overlooks the canal, and they have a large drinks menu and some hearty meals waiting for you.
We hope you found your perfect pub along the Grand Union Canal above. For more pubs on more canals, please explore our website further. We also have other canal boat articles that can help you buy, sell and kit out your canal boat.