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The Kennet & Avon Canal - A Canal Boat Holidays information article.

Marina(s) : Aldermaston Marina , Hilperton Marina

Length: 86 miles
Locks:106
Tunnels:1
Aqueducts:2

Linked to: River Avon, River Thames

Linking the River Thames at Reading to the Bristol Avon.The Kennet and Avon Canal is England's most southerly cross-country broad-beam canal. It provided a direct lick between London and The Bristol Channel and also offered access to The Midlands via Oxford and the Thames. Reopened by the Queen in 1990 this canal is fast becoming one of Britain's favourite waterways.

Things of interest on route

Bruce Tunnel - The only tunnel on the Kennetand Avon and named after Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Earl ofAilesbury, the local landowner. When the canal was being built he would not allow a deep cutting through his land and insisted on a tunnel being constructed instead. Above the tunnel is the Savernake Forest which is open to the public with footpaths and picnic areas the tunnel therefore it is also sometimes known as the Savernake Tunnel.

Caen Hill Locks - A flight of 16 locks and thought to be the most impressive anywhere on the UK'swaterways. They were engineer John Rennie's solution to climbing the very steephill near to Devizes. The Caen HillLocks are part of a longer 29-lock flight all packed into just over two miles.

ClavertonPumping Station - At Bath the canal drops down to the river Avon by means of a flight of locks. Each timea boat passes through this flight thousands of gallons of water are lost from the canal into the Avon. The engineer John Rennie sited a pumping station here to help replace the water from the River Avon it is capable of raising 100,000 gallons of water an hour and is operated by a giant waterwheel drivenby the river.

Kennet and Avon Canal Trust Museum - This small museum tells the 200 year history of the Kennet and Avon Canal. The exhibits tells the story of the waterway from construction to the presentday.

Avoncliff Aqueduct - Designed by John Rennie The Avoncliff Aqueduct is one of two fine aqueducts on the Kennet and Avon. The aqueduct has three arches, is 110 yardslong and carries the canal across the River Avon. Lookout for the marks of the stone masons who worked on the aqueduct more than 200 years go as these can be clearlyseen carved in the stone.

Dundas Aqueduct – Completed in 1805 the aqueduct was named after Charles Dundas, the first Chairman of The Kennet and Avon Canal Company.  It is a grade I listed building and in 1951 it was the first canal structure to be designated as an Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Places to visit

Bath, Newbury, Reading

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Canal boat holidays, the fastest way to slow down!

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