Grand Union Canal – Paddington Branch

GUC Paddington Branch Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Originally built to link Paddington with the Grand Union Canal, the Paddington Branch is 13.5 miles long, and offers surprisingly serene cycling in the heart of London. It can get very busy at times, and further along can get rather narrow.

Of course, when the Paddington Branch meets the main Grand Union Canal, you can simply turn right and cycle all the way to Birmingham, but I suggest you read this first.


The surface is good throughout. However, the ramps to get up to several of the bridges over the canal are often very steep, and will catch you out.


Normal bikes are best suited to this route, both because the towpath is narrow in places, and because of the steep ramps. Tandems will cope just fine though.


There are toilets at Paddington station, and at several pubs along the route.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Flat)
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Points of Interest

Spend some time at Little Venice, and look out for several historic bridges along the route.

Routes in Greater London


There are no barriers as such, but occasionally towpath maintenance results in a floating temporary path being used, and these can be rather narrow.

Forecast for the GUC Paddington Branch

What it looks like

Paddington Basin, the start of cycling the Grand Union Canal
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More Routes

To find more routes, click this link.

See also  Bowes Railway Path Traffic-free Cycle Route


DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

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