Kennet & Avon Canal Path
Reading to Bath
8 nights; 7 days walking
The Kennet and Avon Canal Path, as the name suggests, follows the Kennet and Avon Canal from its confluence with the River Thames at Reading to Bath, where it meets the River Avon. The 80 mile (129km) route follows the towpath alongside the navigation and makes for relaxed walking with good underfoot conditions and very few gradients.
From its confluence with the River Thames in Reading the Kennet and Avon Canal quickly works its way out into open countryside with views of the rolling Berkshire Downs to the north. Progressing onwards the canal passes through the North Wessex Downs AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and the Vale of Pewsey to Devizes Wharf, where the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust Visitor Centre and Museum is located in a restored bonded warehouse, and the navigation descends the impressive Caen Hill flight of locks.
Beyond Devizes the canal skirts to the north of Salisbury Plain and on to Bradford-on-Avon where the character of both the canal and the landscape changes. Instead of following the valley bottom the canal clings to the side of the Avon valley, maintaining a level course above the river and the railway. The canal crosses the valley twice, firstly on the Avoncliff Aqueduct, and then the Dundas Aquduct, before reaching a junction with the Somersetshire Coal Canal and Claverton Pumping Station. The final approach to the centre of the World Heritage city of Bath is via the Cleveland Tunnel.
Highlights of the holiday include the locks and wharfs which have been carefully restored by the Canal Trust; the pumping stations at Crofton and Claverton; the views of some of Wiltshire's white horses, etched into the chalk hillsides; the Palladian grace of John's Rennie's Avoncliff and Dundas aqueducts; the canalside inns at Woolhampton, Honeystreet, Wilcot, Little Bedwyn and Kintbury; the Woolhampton reed beds and Jones Mill Nature Reserve; and the wonderful flight of sixteen locks which carry the canal up Caen Hill.
The proximity to water means that there will be an abundance of wildlife to be seen.
Approximate daily distances:
- Reading to Woolhampton - 13 miles (21 kms)
- Woolhampton to Kintbury - 12.5 miles (20 kms)
- Kintbury to Crofton Lock - 10 miles (16 kms)
- Crofton Lock to Pewsey (including diversion to Wilton Windmill) - 11 miles (18 kms)
- Pewsey to Devizes - 12.5 miles (20 kms)
- Devizes to Bradford-upon-Avon - 13 miles (21 kms)
- Bradford-upon-Avon to Bath - 11 miles (18 kms)
- All of the above prices are per person, and based upon two guests sharing a double or twin-bedded room.
- Single traveller supplement; £50 per night (More about single supplement).
- Discounts available for parties of three or more guests.
Currency Converter: All of our prices are in British pounds. To estimate the cost in another currency use the currency converter here.
Onward travel: Public bus ot taxi
Travel information - finish
Rail: Bath Spa
Onward travel: On foot or taxi