We’ve shone a spotlight on the Kennet & Avon canal and the view is bedazzling…

In brief:

Completed in 1810, the Kennet & Avon canal is an 87 mile waterway connecting Bristol to London. Flowing through spectacular Cotswold countryside and beautiful towns and cities such as Bradford-on-Avon and Bath, travelling along it on foot, bike or boat is a great way to spend an afternoon (or entire week if you fancy it).

Parts of the canal closed in the 1960s but it was brought back to life by enthusiasts and local people. It was reopened by the Queen in 1990 and has gone from strength to strength since, becoming popular with tourists and day trippers, not to mention wildlife (including the odd stag and hen do!).

Things to do:
Paddle a canoe or take charge of your own narrowboat, up the canal. There are boat hire shops in and around Bath (like Bath Narrowboats) and in Bradford-On-Avon (like Sally Narrowboats). If you’d rather be on two wheels, bikes are also available (try Next Bike). Or bring your own.

Look out for:
The ornate beauty of Sydney Gardens in Bath, where you can hop out for coffee and cake at the Holburne Museum. Pints by the water in The George at Bathampton and engineering marvels such as the Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts.

The kids will love:
Steering a boat (under supervision obvs), pretending to be pirates, opening locks and stopping for a treat at the Dawdling Dairy, a canal boat ice cream shop by the Dundas aqueduct.

Grown ups will love:
Pootling along enjoying the quiet life, finally living out their childhood dream of captaining a boat (even if it’s a small one) and stopping off for a drink at every pub on the way. Best make yours a lemonade cap’n.

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