This Saturday we are doing the final stretch of the Kennet & Avon Canal having genuinely believed we had already finished it at the end of our last walk!
Having conquered the Berkshire stretch of towpath and riverside right-of-way from Hungerford to Reading, we got home, delighted with our achievement, only to discover a shocking fact. Namely, the term ‘The Kennet & Avon Canal’ does not only apply to the man-made section of inland waterway that runs from Bath to Reading connecting the River Avon and the River Kennet; the definition commonly includes the entire navigation of water, including the stretch of River Avon that goes through Bristol and arrives in Bath (where the canal branches off and starts) and also the stretch of the River Kennet after the canal terminates that goes through Reading and ends up in the Thames. We have chalked this up to some misleading terminology and (possibly) a lack of research.
Hence, we are heading to Bristol this Saturday to begin what is, for all intents and purposes, the last major stretch of this waterway walk. If we were to fully adhere to the above definition of the ‘whole’ navigation then we would probably have to start at the heavily industrialised Avonmouth Docks. But, for the sake of keeping the walking scenic and pollution free, we will be starting at Hanham Mills in outer-Bristol which is where the first lock appears on the whole navigation if following it West to East; this will be treated as our official starting point.
We will go back to Reading to finish the short stretch of River Kennet that we have not done at some point in the future, purely for completeness.
Will post pictures on Instagram and Twitter as we do it.
Will have more waterside tales for you soon.
Adam & Harriet