CAEN AND RETURN FROM BRADFORD ON AVON
You can do this route from :
Short rural country route along the Kennet & Avon Canal to the bottom of the spectacular Caen Hill flight of Locks (does not include this flight, but you can walk up to the lovely Cafe at the top!!).
The unspoilt market town of Bradford on Avon is the last outpost of the Cotswolds in the western corner of Wiltshire close to the borders of Somerset.
The magical appeal of the towns position on the banks of the River Avon gives visitors a wonderful setting for leisure, cultural and tourist activities.
Bradford on Avon has delightful shops, restaurants, hotels and bed and breakfasts lining the narrow streets of the town centre. The surrounding hillside is covered with cotswold stone houses and cottages of every shape and size. It is a miniature Bath, rich with architectural treasures from the Saxon period to the 19th Century. Bradford upper Wharf is very attractive, with a small dock with some of its original buildings still standing, and an old canal pub by the lock.
The town centre is very compact, you can walk down the hill from the Canal wharf. There is also a swimming pool near the canal. The Great Tithe barn stands below the canal embankment and is one of the finest in the UK, dating from the 14th century with a massive cathedral like structure. The splendid 9 arch Town Bridge is very unusual as it has a chapel in the middle, dating from medieval times, but used during the 17th & 18th centuries as the town prison.
Westwood manor lies 1 mile south west of Bradford on Avon, a 15th C stone manor house open through the National Trust.
Turn right out of the Old Chandlery Marina towards Devizes and soon you cruise past Hilperton marina . The canal sweeps through undulating woodland and arable farmland past the rural village of Semington through a series of swing bridges which are something of a hallmark of this section of canal.
There are 2 locks at Semington and a swing bridge, it is a very pretty village & best access is just before the lock.
It is an ideal place to stop for the night as it is 2 hours to here and the Somerset Arms pub is about 1/4 mile south of Semington Bridge 160.
As well as the many swing bridges around Seend there are 5 locks to navigate, luckily there are plentiful moorings at the ever-popular Seend Cleeve and close by pubs and quiet countryside to please the eye and fill the stomach. There is the Brewery Inn 200 yds south of Lock 19 and the Barge Inn by Lock 19. The Three magpies pub in Seend Cleeve has good quality food, nice beer garden and good ales- it is 200 yds south of Sells green bridge.
The hills to the south climb steeply up to the village of Seend and to the north flat pasture land stretches away.
Moor by Sells Green bridge 149 for the night as the Three Magpies pub is quite handy, just walk up the lane to your left by the bridge.
At Lower Foxhangers the first of 7 locks is reached which takes you to the bottom of the Caen Locks.
There is a turning point at the bottom of the locks and it is worth mooring up near here & take some photos of these fantastic locks and even walking up them to the lovely little cafe at the top.
Time to negotiate the 7 locks again at Foxhangers and make your way back to Bradford on Avon, stopping at Seend on your way back for the night. It is 5 hours cruising to here
Make your way back to Bradford on Avon which is 3.5 hours away.
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
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