Walking the Kennet and Avon Canal         Day 8: Saturday 13th September 2008

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time grid ref comments
1 1120 ST930603 Long trek from home to the start of today's walk. Sunny. Walking through pretty Seend Cleeve to get to canal.
2 1142 ST928614 At Seend Bottom Lock I meet up with 2 boats I've seen before. Both crews recognise me! And say hello.
3 1206 ST904609 Here an aqueduct has been constructed to take the canal over the A350.
4 1231 ST900610 Just seen the junction with the Wilts and Berks Canal the other end is in my home town, Abingdon. Missed a heron.
5 1429 ST855607 The Kings Arms was closed. Walked 0.6 mile to the Old Bear. Nice pub. Has jazz nights including Alan Barnes.
6 1433 ST855607 I had a half of Longbarrow and a pint of Ursula.
7 1457 ST850596 River Avon is close, on the right.
8 1542 ST825602 Got to Bradford Lock. Last day tomorrow. Boo.

Radley   0727,0758,0827,0901
Oxford        0817
Oxford        0845
Didcot   0737,     0836,0907
Didcot   0812,     0856,0913
Swindon  0830,     0915,0932
SBS           1000
SBS      0910,1010,1010,1010
         49,  49,  49,  49
SCleeve  1013,1113,1113,1113

BrOAvon  1520,1620,1720
Bath     1533,1633,1733
Bath     1543,1643,1743
Didcot   1628,1728,1828
Didcot   1655,1755,1855
Radley   1704,1804,1904

0727 Advance   4.50
0827 Advance   6.00
R-S  S/C       8.30
R-S  Open     15.70

1520 Advance   7.00
1620 Advance  12.50
B-R  S/C      26.00
B-R  Open     36.50

AdvanceSing R-Sw  4.50
OffPeakSing R-SW  8.30
AnytimeSing R-Sw 15.70
OffpeakSing Br-R 26.00
OffPeakRet  R-Br 26.50
AnytimeRet  R-Br 73.00

OffPeakRet  R-Br 26.50
Sw-SC Sing        3.10
total            29.50


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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Today's weather forecast says that any early patchy mist and fog will disperse this morning to leave a bright day with sunny spells. It says that there may be isolated showers. However, many places across the southwest will remain dry today. It gives a maximum temperature of 19 degrees.

So hopefully it's shorts again for today's walk which is from Seend Cleeve to Bradford on Avon. Including the third of a mile road bits at both ends to get to/from the canal, it'll be about 7.85 miles. It's about 4.5 miles to Hilberton Road Bridge where there is a pub called the Kings Arms. So I'm planning to go there for lunch.

As it was a bit of a rush to get the 0727 train yesterday, this morning I plan to catch the 0827 train getting into Seend Cleeve at 1113. I'll probably get to the pub by 1315. I can then do the 3.3 miles in the afternoon from 1415 to 1620 or perhaps from 1345 to 1520 if I rush a bit. So the first "real time update" won't be until about 1115.

From the canal at Seend Cleeve, it's about 0.5 mile to the Semington Locks. There are two locks here taking the canal down about 16 feet.

Immediately afterwards is the remnants of the junction with the Wilts & Berks Canal but the guidebooks say there is little to see. The other end of the Wilts & Berks Canal was in Abingdon which is where I live. And on the walks I've done in Oxfordshire I've walked along the towpath of bits of this Canal. Many of those bits see the canal in a sorry state. There are plans to restore the canal to full navigation but to me these are very hopeful ambitions. Anyway I will keep my eyes open for the junction.
ST9061 : Wilts & Berks Canal Junction by Maurice Pullin
Wilts & Berks Canal Junction
  © Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

I've also found a photo of Semington Bridge which comes immediately the Junction:
ST8961 : Semington Bridge - No.160 - K&A Canal by Maurice Pullin
Semington Bridge - No.160 - K&A Canal
  © Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It's about 2.3 miles from Semington Bridge to the Kings Arms. It looks as if the pub changed hands in January this year and so the accounts in the canal guides may be out-of-date. I couldn't find anything on the web about the pub except for the a newspaper article describing the new landlords's plans.
ST8660 : The Kings Arms by Maurice Pullin
The Kings Arms
  © Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Just after lunch, I'll reach Balls Bridge, Ladydown Aqueduct and Biss Aqueduct. The following photo shows these three and is looking back towards Hilperton.
ST8559 : Biss Aqueduct, Ladydown Aqueduct and Balls Bridge, Kennet and Avon Canal by Dr Neil Clifton
Biss Aqueduct, Ladydown Aqueduct and Balls Bridge, Kennet and Avon Canal
  © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The following photo shows a scene just over a mile further on.
ST8359 : Canal Towpath near Widbrook by Maurice Pullin
Canal Towpath near Widbrook
  © Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

To finish the day, in under a mile there is the only lock in Bradford-on-Avon. Unsurprisingly, it's called the Bradford Lock. This lock is quite deep, being 10'3". However, it's not the deepest on the Canal; that treat is in store for tomorrow.

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