See historic towns
Kennet Avon Canal
Take a canal boat
Take canal locks
up and down hills
Stop at peaceful
pubs and villages
Four Counties Ring
Base 48 occupies the original wharf building and dry dock in historic Bradford on Avon at the western end of the Kennet and Avon Canal. It is easily accessed by road or rail.
Base 48 is run by one of the UK's expanding boat operators, whose well equipped boats are hired at prices including damage waiver and fuel.
Bath Top Lock and Return: 16 miles 2 locks 5 hours
Cruising west from Bradford on Avon, the canal clings to the side of the Avon Valley, passing two splendid aqueducts and a unique restored water pump at Claverdon. At Bath, moor by the top lock for easy access to the World Heritage site of Bath with its Georgian crescents, Roman Baths and elegant streets. It is another 6 locks each way to the world famous Pulteney Bridge and weir, which you can moor close by.
Saltford Lock and Return: 30 miles 16 locks 15 hours
Head west down the locks to Bath City Centre and Pulteney lock, to Saltford lock which marks the last turning point before the no-waiting section to Bristol.
Foxhanger Wharf and Return: 22 miles 16 locks 14 hours
East beyond Bradford on Avon head into the countryside towards Devizes, turning before the Caen Hill flight of locks. Perhaps walk or cycle to the charming canalside market town of Devizes, home to the superb Victorian Wadworth Brewery and its horse-drawn deliveries.
Bristol and Return: 54 miles 28 locks 24 hours
Beyond Bath is the city of Bristol and its Floating Harbour in the centre of the city. This is a fascinating place with the magnificent SS Great Britain in its dry dock in the Harbour and, not far away, Telford’s engineering masterpiece – the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Pewsey and Return: 50 miles 72 locks 34 hours
Continue further east along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Devizes, this time ascending the Caen Hill flight of 29 locks (timed opening) through the Vale of the White Horse to Pewsey. This is the home of Crop Circles with the canal meandering lazily through the countryside interspersed by thatched villages and country pubs. Return down the Caen Hill locks.
Hungerford, Newbury or Reading and Return: 76/94/134 miles 120/142/186 locks 54/64/90 hours
East of Pewsey follow the Kennet and Avon through a mixture of locks, swing and lift bridges to the summit deep in the heart of Savernake Forest. Crofton and its famous steam-pump marks the beginning of a long descent along the pretty Kennet Valley through Hungerford, Newbury and Thatcham before joining the River Thames at Reading.