Our fondness of walking is fairly recent development in our lives, relatively speaking. This stretch of canal is probably the walk that made us want to do more of the same.
Easily achievable in a few hours, this section of the Kennet and Avon Canal is ideal for those looking for something aesthetically pleasing and not particularly onerous at approximately 12 miles.
Starting at Bath locks where the canal splits off from the Avon we followed the towpath and admired the scenery.
Bath is a beautiful City. We admired the terraced townhouses built of Bath stone as locks took us up and out of the centre of the city.
The canal-side properties leaving Bath and approaching Bathampton with their immaculate gardens and private jetties must be admired.
After this, the towpath will take you out of the City through Bathampton and then through open spaces, forest and quaint water-side towns, the true beauty of which cannot be fully observed from the roads that go through them. The George at Bathampton is well worth a visit and is situated right on the canal.
Bathampton itself is well worth exploring a little if you have the time. Go down the road from the George, cross two bridges (the second over the dual carriageway) and you will find Bathampton Mill, an excellent spot to have a drink with a beer garden right next to the weir. The river Avon follows the canal very closely along this walk which is one of the best things about it.
The towpath out of Bathampton will take you through fields and past the Warleigh Weir near Claverton.
Once past Claverton you will reach one of the most memorable parts of this canal walk, the Dundas Aqueduct. I find aqueducts fascinating; an incredible feat of engineering. They are rare and often impressive features of the inland waterways that we have no reason at all to build in the modern day.
When we reached Dundas Aqueduct we were surprised at how busy it was. It was a welcome break in the quietness of the rest of the walk. The place was bustling with people arriving by vehicle to deliver and sell supplies to the canal-boaters. Many were simply sat watching the world go by. At the aqueduct you can see the end of an old coal canal as well as wonderful views down the Avon Valley.
The towpath goes round the outside of a small mooring area where canal folk were refuelling their vessels and cutting wood. There is shop that can be found off the towpath a little way down the road if you need to gather any supplies.
The aqueduct itself goes over the river Avon as is just wide enough for two narrow boats to pass each other.
The walk continues on the next page…