#22. Devizes to Bristol, 8 nights

Unfortunately, this route is booked.

A mixture of relaxing scenery and “engaging” locks, with a visit to the splendours of historic Bradford on Avon, Bath and Bristol.

Our journey starts with a short spurt to the top of the famous Caen Hill flight of 16 locks. In less than 3 miles, we will pass through 29 locks…..phew! Normally we are assisted by CRT staff, volunteers or on-lookers through this section.

Caen Hill Flight looking up near to Devizes

Caen Hill flight near Devizes

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.

Though in open countryside and woods we see examples of John Rennie’s work at the Avoncliff and Dundas Aqueducts, the latter being the most well-known feature on the whole canal. It is a fine example of work with Bath Stone. Major improvements took place in the 1970’s and it was reopened in 1984.

It is not long before we see the splendour of Bath across the Avon Valley. A mixture of  Georgian housing, ornate bridges and tunnels follows, where we are treated to extensive views of the city and pretty Bathampton.

Bath Pulteney Weir

View of Pulteney Weir at Bath

It is just a short step to reach historic Bath, first developed by the Romans and now a popular spa resort. There are many places of interest in the city and our schedule gives us time to visit. Make time to see some of the wonderful architecture, especially Royal Crescent, for which Bath is particularly famous. There are various museums, including the Postal Museum, from where the first postage stamp was used to send a letter on 2 May 1840.

Our journey continues onto the River Avon where we negotiate Bath Bottom Lock – a 19ft fall from the canal to the river. The scenery changes to rural as we depart the city and we meander along to Keynsham, normally the upper limit of the tidal Avon. From here we continue towards Bristol with varying sights and sounds. The journey concludes in Bristol Harbour close to Brunel’s SS Great Britain, one of the first great iron-built ships. There is also time to visit the city and other harbour locations, or stroll downstream to view the famous suspension bridge at Clifton.

We have cruised 38 miles and encountered 51 locks and 8 swing bridges – scenic and relaxing with more than enough opportunities to help if you wish.

Join us on Kailani at 2pm and we set off cruising at 3pm. Departure on your last day will be at 10am.

The closest railway stations are at Bristol Temple Meads and Pewsey, Swindon or Chippenham (for Devizes). A taxi will be needed from your chosen railway station to Devizes Wharf. We suggest Devizes Taxis tel 01380 723129, fare approx. £25.

Unfortunately, this route is booked.

Hotel Boat Kailani