The Kennet and Avon Canal - within the City of Bath and then to Keynsham.
The Roman City of Bath - Sydney Gardens - Old Warehouses - Bath Lock Flight. As the canal reaches the outskirts of Bath it passes through part of Sydney Gardens which are the oldest gardens in Bath. Designed by Charles Harcourt Masters the 12 acres of gardens were opened as a public pleasure ground in 1795 with an
entrance fee however Bath Council purchased them with free access in the early 1900s.
The canal is crossed by several ornate cast iron bridges which were constructed in 1800 as well as two tunnels - Cleveden House is situated on top of one of these tunnels (Cleveden Tunnel is 173 feet long). This
beautiful Georgian House was at one time used as the old canal company's headquarters. The gardens are certainly worth a look round not only for the gardens but also just to look at these bridges which include several GWR Bridges. The railway cuts right through the gardens and the bridges were constructed in a manner in keeping with the grandeur of this part of Bath.
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Sydney Gardens footbridges
GWR bridge Sydney Gardens Bath
Cleveland House Tunnel
Sydney Wharf Bridge
Bath Top Lock 13
Bath Lock13 Bridge 189
Pulteney Lock 12
Abbey View Lock
Horseshoe Walk Bridge 190
Wash House Lock 10
Bath Deep Lock 8 9
Bath Deep Lockgates
Bottom Lock 7
River Avon Bath
Dolmead Bridge 195
Baptist Chapel Bridge 194
The City of Bath and The Widcombe Lock Flight. The flight comprises of 6 locks which takes the Kennet and Avon canal down 60 feet to join the River Avon at Bath Bottom Lock 7 - there were originally 7 locks on the flight but locks 8 and 9 were joined together to make a large Deep Lock which at 19.5 feet deep is
the second deepest lock in the U.K. for normal narrowboat use (The Rochdale Canal's Tuel Lane Lock is 3-1/2 inches deeper). The Old Roman City of Bath is extremely popular with holiday makers and sightseers - from the canal opposite Bath Spa Railway station there is a footbridge across the canal
and from the station it is only a short walk up into the centre of the City with its beautiful churches, old buildings and of course Bath Abbey and the Spas. (If
sightseeing the area by car a convenient way to visit both Bath and Bradford on Avon is to park at the large and fairly inexpensive Bradford on Avon railway station and get a train to Bath Spa and back).
Dolmead Bridge 195
Railway bridges Bath
Small suspension bridge
Weston Lock 6
A4t bridge 208
Kelston Park railway bridge
Once through Bath the path does change sides at Bridge 208 (Newbridge) - follow the river bank until reaching Kelston Park Railway Bridge (209). From here the Nicholson Waterways Guide shows the towpath continuing on the other side of the river. However it's best to ignore this and instead follow the River Avon Trail (i.e. stay on the same side of the river) - which takes you past Kelston Lock 5. Then continue along a narrow road and just after passing Saltford Lock 4 (where there is a nice pub),
you have to leave the river for a short while and walk round the sewer works to then reach Swineford Lock 3.
Saltford Lock 4
Weir + Lock Swineford
The Kennet and Avon Canal - Swineford Lock and Weir then Bitton Railway Bridge.
The area around Swineford Weir and Lock is somehow quite interesting - since (apart from floating there) it can only be reached by walking the path it has a sort of remote perhaps isolated feeling to it - though there are several houses across the other side of the weir. This area used to have quite a few mills most of which have been replaced or converted into dwellings.
The next place of particular interest is at Bitton Railway Bridge - you may spot a steam engine or two chugging across it as it's on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path (i.e. Cycle route 4). The steam engines run from Bitton Steam Centre at various times - their website is here
so perhaps check it out for running times etc. At the bridge go under it and turn left to reach the cycle path next to the railway line - then cross the bridge and go left again back down to the river
towpath. Just a little further along the path there is yet another railway bridge which is in this case is a brick viaduct - again there is the opportunity to perhaps spot a steam engine or two chugging across the river.
Bitton Railway Bridge
Bristol Bath railway
River Avon warehouses
White Hart Bridge 213
White Hart Bridge
White Hart Bridge 213
Keynsham Lock 2
River Avon sidebridge
River Avon Hanham
Going through really open countryside, the route follows the River Avon round a huge bend, goes via Keynsham with it's nice weir. Then from Keynsham Lock there is another huge bend during which the river passes a large (now abandoned and due to be resurrected into houses and so on) Bournville factory. Then eventually you reach Hanham Lock and Weir which is totally surrounded by beautiful trees. Hanham Lock is numbered Lock no.1 as it is the first lock on the actual "canal" section of the Kennet and Avon Canal.
We also have quite a few more websites about holidays and tours of Portugal Algarve, Greek Islands, several Canary Islands, Cyprus, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and The Mekong Delta and Myanmar. Items about England include The Grand Union Canal, The Stratford-on-Avon Canal and The Oxford Canal - lots of walks in England including walking The Thames Path and also a topic about British Wild Flowers and English Churches. These can be found via our Site Resources
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