This guidebook to walking along the Kennet & Avon Canal covers the 94 mile (152km) route from Reading to Bristol. The canal walk is split into 7 stages of fairly easy, level walking, of between 9.75 and 18.5 miles, with advice on splitting or shortening the stages if needed. The book also includes 20 easy circular walks, ranging from 4.25 to 9 miles, taking in the best sections of the canal and visiting sites nearby, making this two guidebooks in one.
Alongside OS map extracts and detailed route descriptions, there are plenty of details on the history, heritage and wildlife encountered along the way. An itinerary planner is included for walkers who want to create longer or shorter stages, and there is useful practical information including details on accessing the walks by public transport and a list of accommodation available along the route. The result is a highly useful and fascinating companion to exploring the canal and its surroundings.
In the early 1800s the Kennet and Avon Canal provided an important direct trade route between London and Bristol. Today the waterway weaves its way through the rolling chalk contours of the North Wessex Downs to the southern edge of the Cotswolds, passing vibrant towns and cities as well as picture-postcard villages with thatched cottages, ancient churches and cosy pubs. Fascinating features – such as Crofton Pumping Station and Beam Engines, the impressive Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes, the aqueducts at Avoncliff and Dundas, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Georgian Bath and Bristol's vibrant Floating Harbour – are explored as the canal makes its journey across southern England.