BERKSHIRE COUNTRYSIDE FROM ALDERMASTON
You can do this route from :
Aldermaston wharf is close to the railway station with good connections to Paddington in London, taking 55 minutes from London Paddington , or 13 minutes from Reading railway station.
At Aldermaston Wharf is the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Visitor centre, with a picnic area, and serving light refreshments from Easter -Oct. There is also the Butt Inn pub at Aldermaston Wharf, serving real ales and excellent food for all the family.
4 night cruise through the Berkshire countryside through the busy shopping town of Newbury to Hungerford, a pleasant Market town with 18th century buildings
Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holidayRead our cruising notes.
Turning out of the marina westwards, you will immediately encounter a lift bridge which is electrically operated by canalboaters, and which spans a busy road. Follow the instructions by the bridge. You will then have your first lock, once through here you will see a disused gravel pit, some a haven for wildlife since the 1960\\\'s.
The scenery is very rural until you reach Thatcham, when you get to Woolhampton be careful of the current below the lock which can cause problems.
Woolhampton village is 200 yards north of the canal, there is a pub canalside, or a couple in the village, it is an hours cruising from Aldermaston to here, and makes an ideal place to stop for your 1st night.
Passing Woolhampton you pass through 3 locks in this rural landscape until you reach the raipdly expanding village of Thatcham, which is now almost a suburb of Newbury. There is a railway station close to the canal near bridge 42. There are various pubs and restaurants in Thatcham access is from bridge 42, and a Nature Discovery centre north of Widmead Lock with shop and cafe.
It is 3.25 hours from Aldermaston to here.
You soon pass Newbury racecourse on your left. See their website for details of race days.
The River cuts right through the town and above Newbury Lock is the delightful quiet West Mills area where rows of terraced houses face the navigation and there are extensive moorings.
Beware of the current below Newbury lock.
It is 6 hours from Aldermaston marina to here, or 5 hours from Woolhampton and an ideal place for your 2nd nights mooring.
Victoria Bridge 59 is handy for getting to Newbury to the north, or the racecourse to the south.
Newbury developed in the Middle Ages as an important cloth town, and the town has managed to retain much of its period charm. The District Museum is one of the most interesting buildings in Newbury built in 1626 as a cloth weaving workshop. The town centre has many shops, pubs and restaurants to choose from. A short bus or taxi ride away is the Living rainforest, which gives you the opportunity to experience rainforest life under glass.
The canal soon leaves Newbury behind, and once more enters the rural Berkshire landscape. To the south of the canal is Hamstead Park, a very fine park which borders the canal, there is an old watermill by the lock. Soon the canal reaches Kintbury which is just a small village to the south of the canal up on the hill. It is a quiet village with a station, and attractive buildings by the canal, including a watermill and a canalside pub. There are also 2 pubs in the village, and stores.
It is 8.75 cruising hours from Woolhampton to here.
Once leaving Kintbury the River and canal run side by side through pretty woods, and soon Hungerford is reached. The handsome Hungerford Town Bridge gives easy access to the centre of the town which is set out along a wide main street. There are many pubs and restaurants in the town.
You can turn just before bridge 84.
It is 5.75 hours cruising from Newbury to here.
Make your return journey to Woolhampton which is 10.5 hours cruising.
Get up early and cruise for 1 hour back to the marina
NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.
Maps and Guides
Pubs available on this canal route:-
|Pub Name||Pub Address||Distance from Aldermaston||More Info|
|Lock Stock And Barrel||194 Northbrook Street, Newbury RG14 1AA||Full Details|
|The Butt Inn||Station Road, Aldermaston Wharf, Reading RG7 4LA||Full Details|
|The Falmouth Arms||Bath Road, Woolhampton RG7 5RT||Full Details|
|The Hinds Head||Wasing Lane, Aldermaston RG7 4LX||Full Details|
|The Mansion House||Liebenrood Road, Reading RG30 2ND||Full Details|
|The Railway Tavern||Station Road, Hungerford RG17 0DY||Full Details|
|The Rowbarge Inn||Station Road,woolhampton RG7 5SH||Full Details|
|The Swan Inn||Station Road, Thatcham, Newbury RG19 4QL||Full Details|
|The Angel Gastro Pub||Bath Road, Woolhampton RG7 5RT||Full Details|
|The Dundas Arms||53 Station Road, Kintbury RG17 9UT||Full Details|
|The John O Gaunt||21 Bridge Street, Hungerford RG17 0EH||Full Details|
|The White Hart||2 High Street, Thatcham RG19 3JD||Full Details|
NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.