Welcome to part 1 of the final instalment of our Kennet & Avon canal saga… well, sort of. it depends on your definition of ‘Kennet & Avon Canal’. If we are referring solely to the man-made canal and not the entire navigation of water that includes the River Avon and the River Kennet, then this is the last instalment. Glad we cleared that up. Upon completion of this walk we were shocked to discover we might not have actually finished it properly (you may remember our disappointment).
Let’s get straight back to where we left off in Thatcham, Berkshire. The end was in sight. Only 15 miles to go. After a good rest and a full English breakfast, we left the Berkshire Arms, walked back to Midgham lock and started walking determinedly toward Reading.
Before long, the canal took us through the sleepy canal-side settlement of Woolhampton where the The Rowbarge freehouse can be found.
We knew we would be pressed to finish this walk before sunset (with time allowed for stops) so we pressed on along the towpath toward Aldermaston Wharf along a woody and peaceful stretch of the canal.
Aldermaston Wharf is a small settlement that has the Kennet & Avon canal right through it. Historically the wharf would have been lively with trade being in easy reach of cargo boats from Reading. There is now a chandlery, visitor centre and tearoom at the wharf where we stopped to gather supplies.
Continue our journey on the next page below…