The Kennet and Avon Canal

Narrowboat on the Kennet & Avon Canal crossing the Avoncliff Viaduct near Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, UK
Narrowboat on the Kennet & Avon Canal crossing the Avoncliff Viaduct near Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, UK

The Kennet and Avon Canal is 87 miles of waterway from Bristol to Reading comprising of three waterways. The River Kennet was made navigable from Reading to Newbury on the River Thames by 1723. The Bristol to Bath section uses the River Avon and was opened to barges in 1727. Then in the 16th April 1788 it was decided that it would be beneficial to have a junction between the Kennet and Avon Rivers and was completed in 1810.

There are 105 locks on this canal, and probably the most spectacular are the 29 locks used to climb 237 feet in two miles at Caen Hill near Devizes. The flight of locks was the solution of engineer John Rennie, to climbing the very steep hill and was the last part of the canal to be completed.

This canal is so long that I could go on for pages but as we still have miles and miles we haven’t yet investigated ourselves it’s best to let the experts give you more info at The Kennet and Avon Trust website

So far we have explored from Wilcot,WiltshireAvoncliff, just past Bradford on Avon, not all in the same day. Which working it out using google maps is about 24.51 miles. So we still have a lot of canal left to explore.

As far as we’re concerned you can’t beat a nice long walk along a towpath, the K & A Canal has given us days of fun exploring the hidden treasure it’s towpath has taken us to. After doing the research for this page I realised just how much more of the canal we have yet to explore and we both are thoroughly looking forward to the adventure.