Combe Hay Tunnel
When you get to Combe Hay you are starting to hit the motherload on this canal.
For the last few miles the railway track has been tracking the old course of the canal, but here you will find the only tunnel on the canal as it punches through a rib of hard rock. The railway recycled the tunnel, digging out the bed to get more height whilst at the same time widening it out for width.
Combe Hill Tunnel
You can access the tunnel and you will discover that the local farmer uses at as a handy garage for his equipment.
A close look at the walls reveals the original canal walls in the refuges and the the extra depth can be seen by the line of blue bricks. Beyond the tunnel the canal is so cluttered with debris I didn't event try to push through.
The original canal tunnel wall
But this is only an entre to the Combe Hay extravaganza which lies just a short way ahead when the canal runs out of its high ground and has to make a sudden 135ft descent. But before we get there you can access the line of the canal behind the Wheatsheaf Pub, but again its just the top of the railway bridge.
The map shows another aqueduct which if it still exists is behind an equestrian centre and I couldn't reach it.
There is so much to see at Combe Hay it will take several posts to do it justice. Watch this space....