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Just 10 minutes’ walk from Reading station, the Kennet & Avon Canal runs through the heart of Reading. Shop till you drop then relax by the water’s edge!
Four things to do at County Lock, Reading:
Go shopping in the Oracle Shopping Centre and keep an eye open for boats passing through!
Huntley & Palmer used the canal to transport biscuits from its factory here.
Visit Reading Museum and see a stunning collection of old biscuit tins.Check out the amazing weir at County Lock.
Five things to do at Newbury Wharf:
Watch the boats work the locks in the centre of this bustling market town.
Visit the Kennet & Avon Information Centre on the Wharf to find out more about the canal.
Walk along to Town Bridge. The towpath is not continuous under the bridge. Horses, which towed boats in the early days of canals, went up the alley and across the street. Spot where the towropes wore away the bricks on corner of the passageway.
Take a boat trip and explore more of the canal.
Have a picnic in Victoria Park and feed the ducks.
Newbury Wharf is home to delicious cafés, great local pubs including Lock Stock & Barrel; Canal Bar and Old Waggon & Horses and the Slug & Lettuce. It's the perfect place to set up a picnic, find the nearest play area or take a boat trip. Allow 2-3 hours for this visit.
Catch the train from Newbury to Kintbury. It takes just 5 minutes on the train and costs just £4.30.
Once a busy industrial canal wharf, Kintbury is now a picture of tranquillity. It’s just the place to start exploring the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal.
Take a horse-drawn boat trip and learn more about the Kennet & Avon Canal.
Go for a bike ride along the towpath, past the water meadows where watercress once thrived in the clear chalk streams.
The Kennet & Avon is important for wildlife conservation. Look out for kingfishers, mute swans, coots, moorhens and herons.
Walk along the towpath and watch boats passing through the lock and making their way sleepily along the canal.
Visit Kintbury Parish Church close to the canal. It has a memorial tablet to Charles Dundas, first chair of the Kennet & Avon Canal Company.
Take a break from exploring Kintbury and settle in at a café or The Dundas Arms, one of the local pubs. If you're in the mood for an adventure try cycling or heading out on a boat trip. Allow 1-2 hours for this visit.
The Kennet & Avon Canal transported Bath stone. Check out St Lawrence’s Church, it was built of Bath stone.
Take a boat trip aboard the Rose of Hungerford and learn more about the canal.
The Kennet & Avon Canal is an important area for wildlife conservation. Look out for water voles and water birds.
Walk along the towpath and look for quirky canal bridges such as the swing bridge at Hungerford Marsh Lock.
Feed the ducks and watch boats passing through the locks.
During your visiting why not take a break and enjoy a local café or pub like The Plume or John O’Gaunt Inn? Make sure to take in one of the boat trips. Allow 3-4 hours for this visit.
Five things to do at Pewsey Wharf:
The Kennet & Avon Canal formed a line of defence against invasion during the Second World War. Did you know it was called the GHQ Stop Line Blue and was fortified with anti-tank obstacles. Look out for pillboxes along the waterway.
Keep an eye open for kingfishers!
Go along the towpath and look out for the winding hole, one of the few places where boats can turn round.
Relax with a picnic and watch boats making their way sleepily along the canal.
Walk to Ladies Bridge and the Wide Water, near Wilcot. It’s said that Mrs Wroughton and her two daughters, who owned the land, would only sell part of it to the canal company on condition this bridge was built and the canal made to look like an ornamental lake.
Five things to do at Bath Locks:
Take a boat trip. It’s a great way to explore this beautiful canal and admire the fabulous views of the city.
Look out for Cleveland House, once the headquarters of the Kennet & Avon Canal Company, and the square hole in the roof of the tunnel. Nobody knows what it was used for.
Have a picnic in Sydney Gardens. There’s a great museum and good play area there too.
Discover the crossover bridge. It was built so that when the towpath changed sides, the horses towing boats didn’t have to be unhitched.
Download audio trails which explore the canal between Halfpenny Bridge and Darlington Wharf.
Allow 3-4 hours for this visit.
GWR trains arrive and depart along the Reading – Bristol line. Calling at stations: Theale, Aldermaston, Midgham, Thatcham, Newbury, Kintbury, Hungerford, Bedwyn, Pewsey and then onto Bath and Bristol.
It is easy to hop on and off the train at any of these station to enjoy the Kennet and Avon canal.
The journey from Reading to Bristol Temple Meads is only 50 minutes and then take one of our local trains to start exploring.
Travel off-peak to enjoy a smoother journey on our less crowded train services.
By travelling outside of busy weekday commuter times, you can also take advantage of cheaper ticket prices too.
Looking to find the best deal on your Kennet and Avon Canal train tickets? Take a look at our money saving ticket options before you buy – you might miss a bargain!