Walking the Kennet and Avon Canal

Kennet and Avon Canal Walk

We absolutely love canals, or perhaps the honest truth is that Jo likes canals and I love them. Not sure what the real attraction is, perhaps it’s the mix of quiet countryside with a bit of history and a lovely place to walk. Whatever the reason, we’re both suckers for a canal and a canal walk.

Taking Willie Nelsons advice (as always) we were On the Road Again and spending a few nights in Newbury, Berkshire. It was the Premier Inn again, and we were just planning on a few days checking out the area and exploring.


The Day of Four Counties

So a fabulous road trip from Newbury took us north past Oxford to the beautiful little town of Bicester, in Oxfordshire. Bit of a wander around there before heading east to Buckingham (in Buckinghamshire) before looping round west to Brackley in Northamptonshire and across to Banbury back in Oxfordshire. Spot of lunch there before going off south west to Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds before drifting south to Oxford again and back to Newbury. Phew!

A massive day out and a few miles on the clock but we saw so many places that we’d not experienced before. What a fabulous part of the world. Definitely be back to see more.


The Kennet and Avon Canal

Next day was our canal walk and we began in Kintbury for an 8 mile round trip walk into Hungerford and back. Slightly cloudy but perfect for walking. The canal officially runs for around 87 miles between Bristol and Reading but it’s really split into three sections.

Kennet and Avon Canal Walk

The River Avon runs from Bristol to Bath, with the River Kennet going from Newbury to Reading. The actual man-made canal joins the two rivers up. Completed in 1810 it is actually 57 miles long and was only recently restored in 1990 after years and years of neglect. They’ve done a brilliant job though as it’s now a beautiful wildlife conservation area and a lovely walk.

Kennet and Avon Canal Walk
Kennet and Avon Canal Walk
“The first lock on our little canal hike”
Kennet and Avon Canal Walk

It’s all about the locks as you walk these canals and some of the names are absolutely fabulous. We passed by Kintbury Lock, Brunsden Lock, Berks and Hants Lock, Wire Lock, Dun Mill Lock, and finally Hungerford Town Bridge. Every one has it’s own story and is riddled with history.

Kennet and Avon Canal Walk
Kennet and Avon Canal Walk
“Lunch stop in Hungerford watching the world go by on the canal”
Kennet and Avon Canal Walk

Sitting overlooking the river eating our lunch we watched a group of people taking their first paddle boarding lesson and enjoyed seeing them get their confidence and get to grips on the water. Felt like we were doing it with them. We could do that.

Kennet and Avon Canal Walk
“Leaving Hungerford for the return leg”
Kennet and Avon Canal Walk

Another aspect of canal walking that we really love is seeing all the amazing boats moored up along the waters edge and chatting and saying hello to so many different canal-types. It seems to be such a friendly world where everyone appears to be enjoying the experience together. Often wonder if we could live on a canal boat but the cold and wet winter weather soon dispels such thoughts.

Kennet and Avon Canal Walk
Kennet and Avon Canal Walk
Kennet and Avon Canal Walk
“The Dundas Arms at Kintbury Lock, our finishing point for a well deserved drink”

Such a great day out, we need to start researching more canal walks! And try and return to do more of the lovely Kennet and Avon. Sounds like a plan.


11/09/2021


38 comments

  1. A brilliant walk, I often walk the dog along the canal in Pewsey. I’ve thought about canal life too, but I think it’s quite restrictive. Love the idea of a camper though, freedom of the road! A long weekend on a traditional canal boat would be lovely though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We love Pewsey, did a lovely housesit there a while back. Lovely little town. Gonna be back in Wiltshire for a few weeks soon so will definitely get back to Pewsey. Think you’re right about a long weekend rather than life on a canal boat.

      Like

  2. Must admit I like a canal, you can spend days going pretty much nowhere! I had a colleague who lived on one, absolutely loved it, but she said it was a bit of a chore scraping the ice off the inside of the window in winter!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I watched some of the locks being used when I went for a walk in Bath and came upon this canal there. So picturesque and I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to rent a barge and do one of these trips!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These canals are such a feat of engineering and we always loved learning more about them when we were out and about! Thanks for the tour and such beautiful countryside in a wonderful part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a shame that the Military Canal down here isn’t quite like those more regular canals. This one just looks so much more interesting especially with all the locks. Top day out though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another lovely walk. Sounds like there was lots to see on this canal walk. Friends bought the shell of a canal boat a few months back. They are in the middle of refurbishing it. They are retired and use to go abroad quite regularly, However, since the pandemic, they have decided no more going abroad for them, from now on they will be holidaying on canals in their boat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a fabulous idea, refurbing a canal boat! Not sure we have the practical skills to undertake such a huge task but it sounds like a great challenge. I think a lot of people will be finding other ways to holiday that don’t involve going abroad now.

      Like

Please leave us a comment, it always makes our day.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.