This 13 mile walk follows the River Avon from Hanham Mills on the outskirts of Bristol to Bath (the Bristol Avon, not to be confused with Shakespeare’s Avon or any of the others).
We wanted to ensure we had finished the entire Kennet & Avon Navigation and not just the canal itself which have already completed.
We ventured to the riverside hamlet of Hanham Mills, Bristol, where the first of the waterway’s 107 locks can be found.
Hanham Mills is made up of a row of beautiful riverside cottages and two pubs, one aptly named The Old Lock and Weir. Narrowboats line the banks here, and many of the boat-owners call this their home.
We set off along the grassy riverside path, taking in the lush surroundings. Despite being the middle of June the weather was grey and drizzly. Across the river we could see the nearby town of Keynsham.
The path took us through several fields and at one point led us right underneath an pylon – this giant metal structure felt extremely imposing when up so close and we could actually hear the menacing buzz of the power lines.
The rain began to get heavier, but it was so warm and humid that we did not put on our waterproofs. We arrived at the second lock of our journey next to the appropriately named Lock Keeper inn at Keynsham.
The riverside path then continued past Portavon Marina, where many boats of all types and sizes are housed. Even more narrowboats were moored along the next stretch of river, including some which were being worked upon at a boatyard. The countryside was very nice along this stretch and complimented the river perfectly.
We carried on through the long grass eventually passing under a huge railway bridge.
The railway in question is the Avon Valley Railway which used to carry passengers up to the North of the country or down into Dorset but was sadly closed in 1960. However volunteers have helped restore three miles of the tracks and now steam trains run along it once more and its is also used as a cycle route.
Continue our route on the next page below;