Take a trip down the Kennet & Avon Canal while in Bath

Friday, 14 October 2011 11:00 AM

If you are planning a short break in cottages in Bath, why not explore the city by water and take a cruise down the Kennet and Avon Canal?

Snaking for 87 miles though some of the most beautiful parts of England, the canal cuts right through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bath.

Following the River Avon from Bristol, the waterway then joins with the River Kennet at Newbury, before continuing its journey to Reading, where it meets the River Thames. So, depending on how long you are staying in the city, you may wish to explore even further than your base.

However, even if you decide to simply take a leisurely cruise through Bath you will not be disappointed, as the sights you will see and activities you can try are not to be missed.

As you make your way down the water you will soon reach the Bath Bottom Lock, which marks the point at which the River Avon and the canal meet.

However, a far more interesting sight is the Pulteney Bridge, which sits just north of the manmade waterway and crosses the Avon.

This striking structure was completed in 1771 following a Robert Adam design and it features shops reaching right across it. Indeed, today it is one of just four bridges that have shops fully spanning both sides.

As you continue along the canal you will reach Sydney Gardens, which could be the perfect place to head back on to dry land.

This is the oldest public park in Bath and sits behind the Holburne Museum, which you may wish to pay a visit. Several famous people from days gone by have strolled among its flowerbeds, including members of the royal family and the author Jane Austen.

Should you feel like making your way down the canal in a different way, you could take a paddle in a canoe. Alternatively, why not head out of the city a little and enjoy a spot of fishing?

The canal is an important part of wildlife conservation efforts in this part of England, so by walking or cycling down it you are sure to see plenty of local flora and fauna.

And once you have had your fill of the countryside, you will not have far to travel before you are in Bath again, as the city enjoys a setting where it is surrounded by the lush Cotswolds countryside.

By the time you are back at your self-catering cottages, you are sure to sleep soundly knowing that you have crammed as much as possible into your short break.

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