Canal Routes

Canal Routes 2017-08-12T15:32:51+00:00

Canal boat holidays and day trips from Hilperton

7 – 14 Night routes

Key: ☉ Bristol/Rtn ☉ Hungerford/Rtn ☉ Newbury/Rtn ☉ Reading/Rtn

Guides: Pearson 8, Nicholson 7, Lockmaster 20

25 hours cruising would elsewhere be considered little more than a short break, but here the route includes Bradford on Avon, Bath, Bristol and, unusually, many more towns and villages that the canal passes through the centre of. Having followed the route of the River Avon by canal, after Bath the navigation uses the River itself, reverting to canal to divert into Bristol city centre.

• Some stunning weirs accompany each river lock down to Bristol.
• Museums and waterside features reflect the city’s former importance as a sea port.
• Visitor moorings are available right in the centre of the city in the floating harbour (mooring charge applies)
• Frequent reminders of the route’s industrial history such as the brass mill at Kelston are found within rolling valley countryside

Guides: Pearson 8, Nicholson 7, Lockmaster 20

Beyond Pewsey and through further lush Wiltshire countryside, the highest point of the Kennet & Avon is marked by the 502 yard Bruce Tunnel. The canal then follows close alongside the Great Western main railway line through the Bedwyns – Great & Little – and down to Hungerford. Pass by Savernake Forest, an ancient woodland mentioned in the Doomsday book.

Guides: Pearson 8, Nicholson 7, Lockmaster 20

Beyond Hungerford the canal shares the valley with both the railway and the River Kennet, beginning to use the river course as the navigation.

• The Kennet & Avon Canal is so central to Newbury that the main shopping street passes directly over it.

Tourist Information 01635 30267

• Take a day out at the races and visit Newbury Race Course 01635 40015

Guides: Pearson 8, Nicholson 7, Lockmaster 20

Continuing its picturesque course virtually the entire way to Reading, the number and variety of towns and villages that are visited will give full entertainment for a fortnight return cruise.

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3 – 4 Night routes

Guides: Pearson 8, Nicholson 7, Lockmaster 20

Bath has been designated a ‘World Heritage City’ with a history stretching back to the Roman Baths after which it is named and that can still be visited today. Moorings are available very close to the city centre and Bath is, without doubt, worthy of at least a couple of days of exploration.

• The medieval town of Bradford on Avon, just an hour from Hilperton, offers a very pleasant stopping point. Weavers’ cottages cling to the side of the Avon valley, looking down across the old mills to the ‘Broad Ford’ on the river that gave the town its name.
• The splendid Dundas and Avoncliff Aqueducts both take the canal over the River Avon as it follows the river alley between Bradford and Bath.
• Claverton’s pumping station ( and American Museum (01225 460503 / may be incongruent with each other but certainly offer to satisfy differing interests!
• Bath City and the spectacular Pulteney Weir and Bridge.

Guides: Pearson 8, Nicholson 7, Lockmaster 20

For an easy weekend to combine cruising and exploring, spend a day in Bradford on Avon and another cruising to the base of the Devizes flight. Perhaps use this as a ‘taster’ weekend to take a look at the impressive rise to Devizes, incorporating the notable Caen Hill Locks.

Guides: Pearson 8, Nicholson 7, Lockmaster 20

The Devizes flight consists of 29 wide beam locks, rising by 237 feet over just two miles. The flight opens at 8am each day and navigation must start no later that 2pm to ensure that ascent or descent is completed by dark.

• Devizes visitor centre (01380 729408) has information about the town’s medieval history
• Reward yourself after the strenuous rise studying the local history of Wadworth & Co who still make local deliveries with a shire horse team!
• The Canal Visitor Centre at The Wharf, Devizes 01380 721279 /

Day Boat Routes

Map: View the day boat route map

If travelling West, you’ll head towards Bradford on Avon about 1 hour cruising from Hilperton. You’ll pass through one lock which is Bradford Lock. You’ll then cruise on towards Avoncliff.

We suggest you turn somewhere between Avoncliff once you have travelled across the amazing aqueduct and Limpley Stoke depending on your lunch arrangements. A popular stop for lunch is at the Cross Guns at Avoncliff.

If travelling East, you’ll pass through 1 swing bridge on the way to the village of Semington where you’ll find two locks then followed by 3 more swing bridges and continue on to Seend Cleeve. Turn at the bottom lock at Seend Cleeve and we suggest that you stop for lunch at either The Barge Inn which is idyllically located canalside at bridge 154 or you may prefer to try the Brewery Inn which is 5 minutes from bridge 154.

We advise customers not to go up through the 5 Seend Locks on a day trip.