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jradley

Kennet & Avon - Devizes - Bath - Devizes in 4 days ?

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Hi,

 

I'm new here so please be gentle....

 

We are looking to book our first canal holiday and logistically the Kennet & Avon would work well for us. We would really like to visit Bath on the trip but can only do a 4 night mid-week break. Starting points which seem viable are either Hilperton or Devizes (bottom of Caen Hill, not top).

 

I don't know realistically how far we can get in a day's cruise. I appreciate Hilperton is nearer to Bath as a starting point and I am sure is viable, but is Devizes ok too or is that pushing the luck ? Things to consider is the boat would have to be returned by Friday 09:00am so not much cruisng on the Friday morning. We would also like to spend a good few hours in Bath looking around. If we were to moor at say Batheaston or Bathampton on the Wednesday after visiting Bath, would we be able to make it back to Seend the next day in preparation for returning to Devizes on Friday mornning or is that just too far in one day ?

 

Many thanks,

 

John

 

Edited by jradley
fix typos

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40 minutes ago, jradley said:

Hi,

 

I'm new here so please be gentle....

 

We are looking to book our first canal holiday and logistically the Kennet & Avon would work well for us. We would really like to visit Bath on the trip but can only do a 4 night mid-week break. Starting points which seem viable are either Hilperton or Devizes (bottom of Caen Hill, not top).

 

I don't know realistically how far we can get in a day's cruise. I appreciate Hilperton is nearer to Bath as a starting point and I am sure is viable, but is Devizes ok too or is that pushing the luck ? Things to consider is the boat would have to be returned by Friday 09:00am so not much cruisng on the Friday morning. We would also like to spend a good few hours in Bath looking around. If we were to moor at say Batheaston or Bathampton on the Wednesday after visiting Bath, would we be able to make it back to Seend the next day in preparation for returning to Devizes on Friday mornning or is that just too far in one day ?

 

Many thanks,

 

John

 

Hilperton would be better. It's doable from devizes but you wouldn't have time to appreciate the journey.

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I initially thought you meant you wanted to get to both Devizes (as in literally above Caen Hill flight) and also Bath in the same midweek hire. That would be a good challenge and ultimately achievable.

 

As for Foxhangers hire base to Bath and return that shouldn’t be a problem. Their website says Bath is 9 hours cruising from their base which suggests you could also have a full day in Bath. Have a chat with them and I suspect you’ll find many of their boats do this trip every week.

 

JP

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18 hours ago, jradley said:

Hi,

 

I'm new here so please be gentle....

 

We are looking to book our first canal holiday and logistically the Kennet & Avon would work well for us. We would really like to visit Bath on the trip but can only do a 4 night mid-week break. Starting points which seem viable are either Hilperton or Devizes (bottom of Caen Hill, not top).

 

I don't know realistically how far we can get in a day's cruise. I appreciate Hilperton is nearer to Bath as a starting point and I am sure is viable, but is Devizes ok too or is that pushing the luck ? Things to consider is the boat would have to be returned by Friday 09:00am so not much cruisng on the Friday morning. We would also like to spend a good few hours in Bath looking around. If we were to moor at say Batheaston or Bathampton on the Wednesday after visiting Bath, would we be able to make it back to Seend the next day in preparation for returning to Devizes on Friday mornning or is that just too far in one day ?

 

Many thanks,

 

John

 

We have recently (last weekend) just come back from a holiday on the Kennet and Avon. We hired from Hilperton, we managed to get to the bottom of the Caen Hill locks at Foxhangers by the end of the first day (around 4.5hrs).. so only around half a day difference between the 2 suggested starting locations.

We actually headed up the flight at Caen Hill with the intention of heading east towards hungerford.... But were told when we had got to the top that the flight would be closing for at least 2 days (possibly longer) and that we should head back down the following day to ensure passage before it closed.... Which we did.

We then retraced our route back past Hilperton and headed out towards Bath, stopping at Bradford on Avon, and Bathampton before winding in Bath and having a steady pootle back to Bradford on Avon. 

It should be fairly easy to make Bath and back in 4 nights at a leisurely pace. 

The canal between Bradford and Bath is particularly beautiful too!

Hope this helps! 

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Don't forget the first day will be a late start (how late depends on the efficiency of the hire base) and the last day, some bases require you back and empty by around 10:00am

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Hi,

 

Many thanks for all the replies - all very much appreciated. The link to canalplan is really good - google maps for canals !!

 

My query has now become a moot point I must admit - whilst looking at boats from Hilperton they slipped in a 25% discount for the week we were looking at, which made a siginificant savings and tipped in their favour. Also, looking at cruising times I figured Hilperton would give us more time to walk and explore places on the way without feeling rushed at all, especially as we may be a little slow through locks until we get the hang. If we have a period of bad weather it also gives an option to sit it out without feeling the need to motor on regardless.

 

Many thanks again,

 

John

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Hilperton to the top of the flight at Bath is either a longish day or a very easy day and a half. At the top of the flight you're ten minutes' walk from Bath town centre. Your speed through locks won't come into it as there's only the one at Bradford-on-Avon to get through (and at busy times there's often help there). There are a couple of winding holes before the top lock at Bath so you'll be fine to get back.

 

We're off from Hilperton to do that very journey tomorrow afternoon and Sunday (but we're continuing to Bristol and back over the week).

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From Hilperton don’t forget you would still have the option of going to Bath and back and east of Hilperton as well if you find yourselves with both the time and the inclination.

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On 12/07/2019 at 18:40, Onionman said:

Hilperton to the top of the flight at Bath is either a longish day or a very easy day and a half. At the top of the flight you're ten minutes' walk from Bath town centre. Your speed through locks won't come into it as there's only the one at Bradford-on-Avon to get through (and at busy times there's often help there). There are a couple of winding holes before the top lock at Bath so you'll be fine to get back.

 

We're off from Hilperton to do that very journey tomorrow afternoon and Sunday (but we're continuing to Bristol and back over the week).

There is currently a stoppage on at the top lock at Bath, guess who wanted to go through there today😡

 

Also next weekend is the Bristol Harbour festival, talking to the harbour master this morning it is going to be very busy

Edited by Tim Lewis

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Many thanks again for the replies.

 

I've just ordered both the Nicholson and Pearson guides which will no doubt help us plan nice places to stop en route and help plan the overall trip.

 

My current thinking is to head east a little on the day of collection, next day head most of the way to Bath, then to Bath and back out the following day, leaving a relaxed last day to head most the way back to Hilperton, stopping a short hop away before returning the boat early the final day.

 

Cheers,

 

John

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It's really only 3 full days, plus a few hours to crusie on the day of collection and very little time to crusie on the day of return (back by 9am). When I first posted I wasn't aware just how little time we would have available on the day of collection and return so had counted them collectively as about a day.

 

John

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Having just recently done this stretch, I'd say a stop at BoA (just west of the lock there's plenty of vm's handy for the town) and if you get the chance a stop near Dundas aqueduct (easy mooring at or just west of). Also - The Bathampton Mill does great food (esp on Sunday) if you have time. It's a beautiful stretch, you need longer.

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On 05/07/2019 at 16:07, jradley said:

If we were to moor at say Batheaston or Bathampton on the Wednesday after visiting Bath, would we be able to make it back to Seend the next day

We have just done Seend to Bathampton both ways, each in a day (as part of a Seend-Bristol-Seend trip in 4 days). On the return trip we were moored above Seend top lock by about 5.00, just as the convoy of hire boats who had started from Foxhangers that afternoon arrived. I imagine most of them stopped for the night 3 locks down at The Barge pub.

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Thanks,

 

This is useful info. Now that we have booked from Hilperton instead of Foxhangers I'm not sure we will push as far as Seend though. I would do as far as the bottom lock to go to the Barge Pub but there seems to be no winding hole until the top, which is a bugger really. I'm thinking of maybe Semington instead as our first destination before turning round to head off to Bath. Not so sure of the eating places there though.

 

Bathampton and BoA are definitely on our list of places to stop

 

Cheers,

 

John

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There is what looked like a winding hole after the lock east of the Barge, I don't know if it's an official one though. Funny enough I was with a boat looking to wind (which they did further up just west of swing bridge 150). You can see it on google though the map shows it more clearly than the photos. Might or might not be deep enough.

 

Winding Seend.png

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13 minutes ago, Johny London said:

There is what looked like a winding hole after the lock east of the Barge, I don't know if it's an official one though. Funny enough I was with a boat looking to wind (which they did further up just west of swing bridge 150). You can see it on google though the map shows it more clearly than the photos. Might or might not be deep enough.

 

Winding Seend.png

But if the OP is coming from Hilperton he would need to pass through 3(?) of the Seend flight in both directions to wind there.

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22 minutes ago, Johny London said:

Yes but he was talking about going up to the Barge was he not?

I was, as it seems a good palce to go. But......

 

Given our limited time and the fact I'm not sure how confident the missus will be at either driving the boat through the locks or working the locks (I anticipate I will be pretty much single-handing with a bit of help from her) I am trying to limit the number of locks on day 1 & 2 at least. I'm not convinced the Barge Inn is worth the extra distance, time & locks afterall :( My thinking now is maybe Semington and either the pub there or eat on board.

 

We will be only 47ft so stand a better chance than others at being able to wind at the smaller holes though.

 

John

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52 minutes ago, Sir Nibble said:

There's nothing special about the barge Inn. The George at bathampton is nicer. Try and find time to visit claverton meadow, especially if you fancy a swim.

I disagree, the barge was much nicer than the George (at least last summer). Better location, better food, better service, better beer, better garden. But as for Claverton the pumping station's well worth a visit if you can see it on a running day.

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