The Kennet and Avon Canal, England’s most southerly cross-country broad-beam canal, weaves its way from the Thames in the east to the Bristol Avon in the west. Linking London to the Bristol Channel, the route of the canal takes it through some of Wiltshire’s most spectacular and tranquil scenery, from the rolling Vale of Pewsey in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the southern tip of the Cotswolds, and through historic Wiltshire towns such as Devizes and Bradford on Avon.
Reopened in 1990 by the Queen after decades of dereliction, the canal underwent continuous improvements aided by a £25m Heritage Lottery Grant as well as other funding and due to the extraordinary efforts and dedication of canal volunteers.
Some of the canal’s outstanding structures include the breathtaking Caen Hill Lock Flight; Avoncliff and Dundas aqueducts; Claverton Pumping Station; and the Crofton Beam Engines at Wilton, which are amongst the world’s oldest working steam engines. The canal also provides a wealth of recreational opportunities including walking, cycling, fishing and boating.
Visit the Kennet and Avon Canal website to find out all about these attractions and recreational opportunities and where to find them.
When the restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal and Cotswold Canals is complete, an impressive ‘Wessex Ring’ will be formed, comprising the Kennet and Avon Canal, Wilts & Berks Canal, River Thames and the Cotswold Canals.
We are a key member of the Kennet and Avon Canal Partnership and assists the development and maintenance of the canal through the provision of financial contributions and technical assistance. Each year the Canal & River Trust produce a report on how the local authority funding contribution is used. Read the 2014 annual report 2014 annual report 452kb and 2015 annual report 2015 annual report 439kb for this partnership.
Last updated: 1 December 2015