Walking the Kennet and Avon Canal         Day 5: Wednesday 10th September 2008

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time grid ref comments
1 0944 SU278641 It's 0940. Not sure when this'll get sent as no signal.
2 0955 SU272632 Sunshine and shorts.
3 1020 SU264625 Crossing Roman road at Crofton.
4 1114 SU249624 I've got to the top lock.
5 1150 SU236632 Using the path over the top of Bruce Tunnel.
6 1630 SU157612 It's 1600. At Pewsey Wharf. No signal for a long time.
7 1636 SU162604 It's 1615. Arrived at Pewsey Railway Station.

Radley   0804,0827,0833,0927
Oxford             0842
Oxford             0849
Didcot   0815
Didcot   0820
Reading  0836,0903,0914,1002
Reading  0847,0948,0948,1048
Hungerf  0920,1022,1022,1122
Bedwyn   0928,1032,1032,1132

Pewsey   1627,1842,1934
Hungerf  1640,     1951`
Westbury      1859
Westbury      1911
Reading  1717,2007
Reading  1740,2026
Oxford   1806
Oxford   1821
Radley   1827,2059

OpenSing          R-B 17.40
Save/CheapDaySing P-R 21.00

Save/Cheap/OpenDS H-B  2.90
Save/CheapDaySing P-H  4.20

AnytimeReturn     R-H 16.20
AnytimeSingle     H-B  2.60
OffpeakSingle     P-H  4.20
                total 23.00 

Unfortunately, because I was unable to get a signal on my mobile, today's real-time updates did not happen for most of the afternoon.

Use this link to see the photos for today.

Click on the middle of the photo to get the title of the photo. The photos together with the titles give a sort-of-diary for today.

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Yesterday, the real-time messages and the pushpins on the map did not appear until I fixed a software problem when I got home. Hopefully that won't happen today. The first update should appear just after 0930.

Yesterday, during the morning it rained on and off, and it rained continuously all afternoon. It's all very obvious in yesterday's photos. Today, the forecast is for a dry day with some sunshine with temperatures getting up to about 19 degrees. So I'm planning to wear shorts today.

Today, I'm walking from Great Bedwyn to Pewsey. It looks expensive to get two singles. So I though about whether to drive to Hungerford and park there, and then get singles from and to Hungerford. In the end I chose to get a return from Radley to Hungerford plus the two singles from and to Hungerford. That's a total of 23 UKP.

The walk is about 9.25 miles. Before lunch, I plan to do the 6 miles to Wootton Rivers; and, after lunch, do the 2.75 miles to Pewsey Wharf followed by another 0.5 miles to Pewsey's Railway Station. Although I said 9.25 miles, map.google.go.uk makes it about 10 miles.

The big excitement about today is I get to the top pound, the highest point on the route. There are several exciting things happening today, but more about that later!

From Bedwyn, it's about 1.5 mile to Crofton. Here's the first surprise: the Crofton Engine House houses two 19th century steam engines. It will be open by the time I get there but the engines are only in steam at selected weekends of the year.

SU2662 : Crofton Engine House, Kennet and Avon Canal by Dr Neil Clifton
Crofton Engine House, Kennet and Avon Canal
  © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

At Crofton, the locks come thick and fast. The Nicholson's Guide say that the 6 locks take me up 61'0" and all that happens within a mile.

I then reached the next excitement: the top pound. It's only 2.5 miles long running from Crofton Top Lock (lock 55) in the East to Wootton Top Cadley Lock (lock 54) in the West. It's at about 450 feet or at about 140 metres above sea level.

Half way between these two locks, there's another piece of excitement: there's Bruce Tunnel which is 502 yards (459 metres) long.

Here is the eastern end:
SU2363 : Kennet & Avon Canal by Michel Van den Berghe
Kennet & Avon Canal
  © Copyright Michel Van den Berghe and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The "towpath" goes over the top, and so in about 0.5K I will reach the western end:
SU2363 : Bruce Tunnel by David Stowell
Bruce Tunnel
  © Copyright David Stowell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From the top pound, it'll be all downhill to Bath!

It starts aggressively enough: at Wootton Rivers, there are four locks that take the Canal down 32 feet. But then there is no lock for 15 miles.

One possibility for lunch is the Royal Oak at Wootton Rivers.
SU1963 : The Royal  Oak, Wootton Rivers by Colin Bates
The Royal Oak, Wootton Rivers
  © Copyright Colin Bates and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The Nicholson's Guide says it's a very attractive 16th century pub in the main street, serving real ale and a good choice of wines. Very extensive range of home-cooked meals, prepared with fresh local ingredients. The Pearson Guide says that it serves Wadworth beers and guest ales. I only know 6X from Wadworth. I wonder what else they will have. There is more about the restaurant and pub on one of the pub's web pages.

It's about 2.5 miles to Pewey Wharf:
SU1561 : Pewsey Wharf by David Stowell
Pewsey Wharf
  © Copyright David Stowell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From Pewsey Wharf, it's about 0.5 miles along the A345 to Pewsey Railway Station.

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