The canal in Bath

Bath to Bradford-upon-Avon walk

31-Mar-13 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Crossing the Dundas Aqueduct

Bath to Bradford-upon-Avon walk

31-Mar-13 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

book3 walk6 swcwalks

The Avon from the Dundas Aqueduct

Bath to Bradford-upon-Avon walk

31-Mar-13 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

book3 walk6 swcwalks

Bradford-on-Avon to Bath walk

Follow the tranquil Kennet and Avon Canal through a pretty valley between the historic towns of Bradford-upon-Avon and Bath

Length 9.9 miles. Flat. Hard surface. About 4.5 hours plus pub and cream tea stops.
Toughness 2 out of 10
Maps OS Explorers: 155 and 156
Features

This lovely and very easy walk starts in the beautiful historic town of Bradford-upon-Avon, and follows the Kennet and Avon canal along its towpath following a beautiful steep sided valley, crossing the river Avon twice on aqueducts. The canal is elevated above the river, giving nice views throughout. The walk finishes in Georgian Bath.

There is a nice selection of pubs and tea rooms along the way.

The walk can be done in either direction - Bradford is also a pretty town to finish in.

Author's note. I used to take the train from Waterloo to South Wales which follows the picturesque river valley alongside the canal as it winds its way towards Bristol - the canal being clearly visible from the train on the far side of the valley.

Walk Options
  • You could carry on along the canal, or a cyclepath along a disused railway line, all the way to Bristol.
  • You can do the walk in reverse, starting at Bath, and continue along the canal past Bradford
  • You could devise a circular walk back to Bradford.
Travel

By Train

Bradford-on-Avon has a train service from both London Paddington (2 hrs, change at Bath) and London Waterloo (2 hrs 15 to 3 hrs, direct (rare) or change at Salisbury)

Bath has a fast (1 hr 30 mins, direct) train service from London Paddington, and a much slower one from London Waterloo (2 hrs 30 mins, direct (rare) or change at Salisbury).

However, there are problems: 1) these stations are outside the Netword Card area, which makes the journey more expensive, and 2) the tickets on the fast trains from Paddington are much more expensive than the slower ones from Waterloo

Travel by the fastest route: out via either Waterloo or Paddington, return to Paddington.

  • Its £82 (£61 after 10am and weekends) if you buy a "return via Paddington" ticket on the day.
  • Book a week or 2 in advance, and get "Advance" tickets. These are sold as one-way singles, and are about £20-£30 each, so £50 return.

Travel by the cheapest route: out and back from Waterloo via Salisbury.

  • The cheapest route for buying tickets on the day is out and back from Waterloo. The return journey especially is longer, but much cheaper at £45 return.
  • Previously cheap Advance tickets don't seem currently available on this route.

Consider doing the walk in reverse, if the train times are more convenient

Fare advice updated: Sep'19

By Car : About 2 hrs 15 mins from London. There is a car park at Bradford-upon-Avon train station, and a free visitors car-park by the canal. Return to your car by direct train, about 10 mins. If making a weekend of it, Bristol, Avebury and Glastonbury are nearby.

Saturday Walkers Club : Publicise the walk 3 weeks in advance to allow advance tickets to be purchased, or take advantage of occasional special offers.

History
  • Bath is a major tourist attraction. Bradford-on-Avon is smaller but still well worth seeing.
  • Kennet and Avon Canal
Lunch

There are several pubs and tea rooms en-route. Including...

  • Cross Guns Avoncliffe (2.5 km) - historic pub, canalside, outside terrace
  • Angelfish Cafe (6.5 km) - canal visitor centre cafe near the Dundas Aqueduct
  • George Inn (11 km) - Chef & Brewer pub in Bathampton, historic, canalside, outside teraace.
Profile
Help Us!

After the walk, we would love to get your feedback

You can upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr, and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

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By Train

Out (not a train station)

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start BA15 1DF Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish BA1 1SU Map Directions Travel to the start:

Map Walk This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.
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Help

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Sep-19

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is a very easy to follow walk, just follow the canal! (NB not the river - there is an River Avon walkway for much of the route as well)

Bradford-upon-Avon station to Avoncliff Aqueduct

  1. Exit Bradford-upon-Avon station, walk to your right, past the car park, to the road junction.
  2. To explore the town: turn left to visit the historic centre with many 17thC buildings. Then retrace your steps to this point.
  3. To continue the main walk, turn right. Continue for 200 meters. Pass Pound Lane, and then a park, on your right hand side.
  4. Just before the hump back bridge over the canal, veer right on a small road. Follow it for 20 meters to the canal towpath. There are 2 pubs here.
  5. Turn right along the canal, and then follow the towpath, with the canal on your left hand side.
  6. After 3 km/2 miles, just past the Cross Guns pub, you come to the Avoncliff Aqueduct (a bridge carrying the canal over the river). Just before the aqueduct, cross under the canal to the other side, and follow the towpath over the aqueduct. You can see Avoncliff Station and a weir.
  7. Continue on along the towpath.

Avoncliffe Aqueduct to the Dundas Aqueduct / Canal Junction

  1. After 2km/1.5 miles, Feshford Station is visible on the other side of the Valley
  2. After 2 km/1.5 miles, you reach the the Dundas Aqueduct where the canal crosses back over the river. At the end of it, you come to a canal "T junction".
  3. To go to the Angelfish Cafe and canal visitor centre, turn left along a signposted path, and follow the canal spur for 0.8km. Afterwards, retrace your steps to this point.
  4. To continue the main walk, cross a lock over the canal spur, and turn right. Follow the path, crossing a bridge to the opposite bank, and continue on towards Bath.

Dundas Aquedut / Canal Junction to Bath

  1. Follow the canal for 5km/3 miles, until you reach Bathampton, which has The George Inn, a canalside pub with a canalside terrace.
  2. After a further 2 km/1.5 miles, the canal and towpath goes under a fine house and into a cutting. This is close to Bath town centre.
  3. To go to Bath's historic centre: Turn right at this point for a shortcut into the town centre.
  4. After 1 km/0.7 miles, the canal comes out into the open again. The river is visible below to the right, and the train station becomes visible on the other side of the river.
  5. Keep following the canal towpath, crossing over a few roads, and passing some locks.
  6. Leave the canal just before it finally joins the river. Walk up to the road, and take the footbridge over the river towards the station.
  7. Walk through a tunnel (beneath the platforms), and Bath station entrance is on your left hand side.
© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml