Grand Union Canal, Hatton, Warwick CV35 7JL
Hatton Locks are a collection of canal locks that make up the Grand Union Canal network. Located just west of Warwick, in the village of Hatton, the Locks are a site of historical interest. As such, you can rely on some interesting history, a day out and of course, a tea room.
Hatton Locks are a flight of 21 locks squeezed into less than 2 miles. Together, they raise canal boats 148ft. This is why it is also known as Hatton’s “stairway to heaven”.
Hatton Locks were opened in December 1799 on what was then the Warwick and Birmingham Canal. In 1929, the canal was renamed as the Grand Union Canal (on unification of a number of operators) and the decision was made to widen the Hatton stretch.
In order to accommodate traders with heavy cargos of coal, sugar, tea and spices up the flight, the locks were widened to 14 feet. This allowed navigation by industrial boats or two single narrowboats.
The widening was completed in the mid-1930s using a workforce of 1,000 people. Its completion was one of the great feats of canal building. The revolutionary concrete lock system was opened by Prince George, Duke of Kent.
Today Hatton Locks is a lovely peaceful location to watch the colourful narrow boats as they move through this flight on the Grand Union Canal . You can also enjoy the towpath and canal-side greenery to enjoy a picnic along the towpath.
As well as the resident ducks, moorhens and swans, you are likely to see house sparrows, grey wagtails, and sometimes even badgers.
If you make your way to Lock 43, you will find the Welcome Station. The knowledgeable volunteers that work there are happy to give you more information about the history of the locks. At the top of the lock, you will find the Hatton Locks Café where you can purchase hot and cold refreshments.