#9. Newbury to Bradford on Avon, 8 nights

Unfortunately, this route is booked.

A relaxing and scenic cruise through Town and Country. Although this is classed as a canal route, the Kennet & Avon can be quite fast flowing, being a river navigation.

Half a day’s cruising brings us to Kintbury, a quiet and pretty village with its watermill and attractive canal-side buildings. Further on, pretty woodland accompanies us to Hungerford. Fortunately, we will miss the annual Hocktide Ceremony, which takes place on the 2nd Tuesday after Easter. This medieval ceremony concludes when “all new commoners are shod by having a nail driven through their toes.”   That’s nice !!

Crofton Pumping Station

Pumping Station at Crofton

Escaping the shodding, we head south west, climbing past Froxfield and the Bedwyns, with more pretty scenery. Our on-board cycles are often used in this area. The pumping station at Crofton houses the oldest working beam engine in the world, still performing its original duties under steam on selected open days.

Before Burbage Wharf we pass through the 502 yard Bruce Tunnel, followed by Wootton Rivers, a village with timber framed thatched houses and its church with letters instead of numbers. A close inspection of its mechanism shows it is assembled from a collection of old agricultural implements.

The attractive Vale of Pewsey leads us to Pewsey Wharf, Wilcot, Woodborough, All Cannings, Bishops Cannings and the more remote landscape of the Wiltshire Wolds. We will also see the famous White Horse, before our arrival in Devizes. The K&A Canal Trust museum and shop at Devizes Wharf is well worth a visit. There is also a visitor centre at Wadsworth Brewery, which may interest some!

Caen Hill Flight looking up near to Devizes

Caen Hill flight near Devizes

The highlight for most on this trip is the famous Caen Hill flight of 16 locks. In fact, in less than 3 miles we will pass through 29 locks. Sometimes we are assisted by CRT staff, volunteers or on-lookers through this section. But usually, it’s just us !

Passing through open countryside and beautiful woods, we reach Bradford on Avon, one of Wiltshire’s beauty spots and a highlight on the canal. The town is well worth visiting. Until the 19th C, the town had 30 water-powered cloth factories in production. Some of these buildings survive today, ensuring Bradford remains rich in architectural treasures.

The route is 45 miles with 71 locks and 10 swing bridges – scenic and relaxing but with some effort needed! More than enough opportunities to help!

Join us on Kailani at 1pm and we set off cruising at 2pm. Departure on your last day will be at 10am.

The closest railway stations are at Newbury and Bradford on Avon.


Unfortunately, this route is booked.

Hotel Boat Kailani