The Kennet and Avon Canal
The full canal walk and 20 day walks
Guidebook to walking along the Kennet & Avon Canal. The 94 mile route from Reading to Bristol is split into 7 stages of fairly easy walking and includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath and Bristol's Floating Harbour. 20 circular walks are also included, ranging from 4¼ to 9 miles, taking in the best sections of the canal.
SeasonsThe canal and walks can be undertaken at any time: summers tend to be fairly dry and mild, spring and autumn offer some of the best walking conditions. In winter some paths can be quite muddy and some routes may be impassable if rivers become flooded - however, walking alongside the canal on a clear, frosty winter's day can be a magical experience.
CentresReading, Newbury, Hungerford, Great Bedwyn, Pewsey, Devizes, Bradford-on-Avon, Bath, Keynsham and Bristol
DifficultyFairly easy walking on mostly good paths and tracks through fairly low-level terrain (below 286m above sea level). The stages on the canal walk range in length from 15.5 to 29.7 km (9¾ to 18½ miles); however, these can be easily split into shorter stages if required. The circular walks range from 6.8 to 14.5 km (4¼ to 9 miles) and include several, sometimes steep, ascents and descents, however, they should be suitable for most walkers.
Must SeeNumerous fascinating features along the canal, such as Crofton Pumping Station, the impressive Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes, aqueducts at Avoncliff and Dundas; picturesque towns and villages, with pubs, ancient churches; Georgian splendour at Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, vibrant Bristol and its Floating Harbour; the canal travels through an interesting, gentle landscape, ranging from the rolling chalk hills of the North Wessex Downs AONB in the east to the limestone country in the west, touching on the southern edge of the Cotswolds AONB.
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Steve Davison is a freelance writer and photographer who has written several walking guides. He has also written for a number of outdoor magazines and other publications, including local and national newspapers, specialising in hill walking and European travel, with interests in nature, geology and the countryside. A keen hill walker for many years and a Mountain Leader, Steve has also worked as a part-time outdoor education instructor. He is also a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.View author profile
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