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mrsmelly

Bristol Avon

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Hi Peeps. Intend dropping onto the avon at Bath probably tomorrow as deep lock is closed for three days on monday and nipping up to Bristol. There are two boats and wondered as I have never been as far as Bristol if there are any moorings at all on the way? Non of the marinas we have contacted can help. If we just carry on how crucial are the tide timings at Bristol end? and where do we pay. I have read up on it a bit but half the stuff is contradictory and there is nowt as real as asking you lot :cheers:

Oh heck Ive posted in wrong place but hey ho I do live afloat so thats ok then!!

Edited by mrsmelly

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We've only done that section twice, but from our experience there is a short pontoon (3 boats?) just under the Bitton Railway Bridge (no. 211) on your right as you head towards Bristol. There is another short pontoon on your left, which also has water and Elsan (I think) but I neglected to make a note of exactly where in our copy of Nicholsons, so that's not much use, I'm afraid. There is also moorings at Hanham Lock, but these were occupied by what looked like long-termed a when we went past last year.

 

On the two occasions we've gone down to Bristol, we've done the deep lock late in the afternoon, and moored by Bath bus station (pretty much opposite what look like old warehouses, which'll be on your left after four bridges) overnight so that we have all day to get to Brizzle. We motor on down to Hanham, phone the keeper at Netham Lock, which is where you pay and get a key, for the water points if I remember correctly. The Netham keepers will point out the mooring spots, opposite the Great Britain being our preferred spot, and you'll be on your way.

 

We prefer Bristol to Bath - we think it has a better feel to it, and there's only so much sandstone this old fogey can stand!!

 

Hope this helps, and that you enjoy your trip.

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21 minutes ago, Col_T said:

We've only done that section twice, but from our experience there is a short pontoon (3 boats?) just under the Bitton Railway Bridge (no. 211) on your right as you head towards Bristol. There is another short pontoon on your left, which also has water and Elsan (I think) but I neglected to make a note of exactly where in our copy of Nicholsons, so that's not much use, I'm afraid. There is also moorings at Hanham Lock, but these were occupied by what looked like long-termed a when we went past last year.

 

On the two occasions we've gone down to Bristol, we've done the deep lock late in the afternoon, and moored by Bath bus station (pretty much opposite what look like old warehouses, which'll be on your left after four bridges) overnight so that we have all day to get to Brizzle. We motor on down to Hanham, phone the keeper at Netham Lock, which is where you pay and get a key, for the water points if I remember correctly. The Netham keepers will point out the mooring spots, opposite the Great Britain being our preferred spot, and you'll be on your way.

 

We prefer Bristol to Bath - we think it has a better feel to it, and there's only so much sandstone this old fogey can stand!!

 

Hope this helps, and that you enjoy your trip.

Thanks for all that. I evntualy found tel number and rang Bristol harbour who were most helpful. We are at BOA at present and intend doing it in one hit tomorrow morning. Approx how long did the river section bath to hanham take you?

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We are in Cardiff for the next few days and you will be getting dangerously close. Is it possible to restrict your personal rain cloud to England only while in Bristol??

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Just now, Dr Bob said:

We are in Cardiff for the next few days and you will be getting dangerously close. Is it possible to restrict your personal rain cloud to England only while in Bristol??

:D Dont worry I own a narrowboat not a proper boat so I aint no way Jose taking it out to sea. I may be daft but I aint that daft so it will be staying England side of the Bristol channel so rain shouldnt get to Wales.

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We did this trip last summer. Took us about 7 hours from Bath bottom lock to getting moored in Bristol harbour. Loved the harbour, had a great week there. 

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7 minutes ago, ianali said:

We did this trip last summer. Took us about 7 hours from Bath bottom lock to getting moored in Bristol harbour. Loved the harbour, had a great week there. 

Again thanks for first hand recent knowledge. Canal planner states similar but I prefer the forum ?

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First time we came back leaving Bristol moorings at 8:30 and moored on the BOA side of Bathampton Bridge (183) at about 19:00. That included lunch on the hoof, but about 30 minutes for tea by the bus station in Bath. I thought that we were pushing on a bit, going against the stream at about 1600 revs, BETA 1505, but then I'm a bit of a wuz (that spelling looks well dodgy!) when it comes to flogging the engine!!

 

Unless something has changed pretty radically, you'll encounter moored boats pretty much solid from BOA to Avoncliff Aqueduct, clumps of CCers between Avoncliff and Dundas Aqueducts, with the section between Dundas and Claverton seeming to be nothing but moored boats. After that, well, it's just Bathampton and Bathwick to look forward to! 

 

I think your best bet might be to get onto the river at Bath, and see the time is like, at least you'll have done the deep lock, the gates of which are flippin' heavy, and folk like watching but not helping!

 

Have fun!

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On ‎09‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 15:08, mrsmelly said:

Thanks for all that. I evntualy found tel number and rang Bristol harbour who were most helpful. We are at BOA at present and intend doing it in one hit tomorrow morning. Approx how long did the river section bath to hanham take you?

Did this last July

 

Took three and a half hours from the Bath Sus Station Moorings (On the Avon) to Hanham lock, a further 45 Minutes to Needham lock where you buy your license. We spent the next hour and a bit exploring the harbour and it's arms before mooring up at the pub at the end of the Floating Harbour. 

 

We then went back to bath that day as we were on a bit of a mission but I would certainly recommend staying in Bristol for a day or so, I believe that the new Brunel exhibition at the SS Gt Britain is good.

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On 09/06/2018 at 16:54, Col_T said:

First time we came back leaving Bristol moorings at 8:30 and moored on the BOA side of Bathampton Bridge (183) at about 19:00. That included lunch on the hoof, but about 30 minutes for tea by the bus station in Bath. I thought that we were pushing on a bit, going against the stream at about 1600 revs, BETA 1505, but then I'm a bit of a wuz (that spelling looks well dodgy!) when it comes to flogging the engine!!

 

Unless something has changed pretty radically, you'll encounter moored boats pretty much solid from BOA to Avoncliff Aqueduct, clumps of CCers between Avoncliff and Dundas Aqueducts, with the section between Dundas and Claverton seeming to be nothing but moored boats. After that, well, it's just Bathampton and Bathwick to look forward to! 

 

I think your best bet might be to get onto the river at Bath, and see the time is like, at least you'll have done the deep lock, the gates of which are flippin' heavy, and folk like watching but not helping!

 

Have fun!

When we went through there last summer it was remarkably free of wall to wall CCers. Plenty of mooring opportunities at Bathampton, claverton, between the aqueducts etc. It was difficult to moor on the cut in Bath but then there aren’t a lot of visitor type moorings.

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I did this trip last summer with DMR. Once on the river there are not that many places to moor. The pontoon mentioned earlier was being 'looked after' by CMers well settled in IIRC so no chance of mooring there.

 

Perhaps Dave (DMR) will notice this and fill in the details but if not, I suggest you PM him for truely informed information.

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While I think of it, there are visitor moorings of sorts just downstream of Saltford before the next lock, alongside Mead Lane. We stopped there for lunch.

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The reality for us so far this week or so. The K and A is obviously still a very scenic waterway and not in bad shape, however since our last trip down in 2002 and since we moored at Bathampton for a year in 93 I can state it is now pretty awful regarding cruising and completely overun by cmers and other pee takers and boats built for larger waterways. We have though got a mooring at vms nearly every day as we moor up early and cmers seem to leave these spaces alone probably down to CART hassle? Yesterday there were masses of free moorings in Bath above the locks. We are moored on the river a few hundred yards down on the right of the bottom lock having breasted up on one space which boaters shuffled up and spaced for us as we were looking. We will be off down to the floating harbour in an hour or sos time. Things to note, bro in law rung CART yesterday a Sunday and of course answerfone. I rang Bristol harbour and Netham lock saturday and sunday and a real person with knowledge actualy spoke to me!!

Edited by mrsmelly

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2 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

The reality for us so far this week or so. The K and A is obviously still a very scenic waterway and not in bad shape, however since our last trip down in 2002 and since we moored at Bathampton for a year in 93 I can state it is now pretty awful regarding cruising and completely overun by cmers and other pee takers and boats built for larger waterways. We have though got a mooring at vms nearly every day as we moor up early and cmers seem to leave these spaces alone probably down to CART hassle? Yesterday there were masses of free moorings in Bath above the locks. We are moored on the river a few hundred yards down on the right of the bottom lock having breasted up on one space which boaters shuffled up and spaced for us as we were looking. We will be off oop to the floating harbour in an hour or sos time. Things to note, bro in law rung CART yesterday a Sunday and of course answerfone. I rang Bristol harbour and Netham lock saturday and sunday and a real person with knowledge actualy spoke to me!!

The staff at Needham Lock were extremely helpful and friendly when we visited last year!

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7 hours ago, Tim Lewis said:

The staff at Needham Lock were extremely helpful and friendly when we visited last year!

Yes agreed. First class bloke who told us all we needed to know even were to take dog. Got a fab mooring opposite the SS Gt Britain and there was £9.88 credit on the hook up ? cost £172 for a week licence and mooring. I was suprised how fantastic the river was between Bath and Bristol I think its now my fave stretch and prettier than the Thames amongst others. Also unbeleivable weather yet again :D I know you mean Netham ;)

Edited by mrsmelly

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Been off line for the weekend, down in Brsitol (by Train) working as a builders labourer for the kids! On a good sunny day the river from Bath to Bristol is very hard to beat, I I also reckon better than the Thames, and just the right length to do in a single long day, we don't worry about moorings just get into Bristol and hit town.

 

Easton is sadly a bit too far to walk from the harbour but just had one of the best indian meals ever! 

 

Last year we encountered two boats actually moored up in Hanham Lock having lunch, but it was out of season ?

 

...........Dave

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22 minutes ago, dmr said:

Been off line for the weekend, down in Brsitol (by Train) working as a builders labourer for the kids! On a good sunny day the river from Bath to Bristol is very hard to beat, I I also reckon better than the Thames, and just the right length to do in a single long day, we don't worry about moorings just get into Bristol and hit town.

 

Easton is sadly a bit too far to walk from the harbour but just had one of the best indian meals ever! 

 

Last year we encountered two boats actually moored up in Hanham Lock having lunch, but it was out of season ?

 

...........Dave

There was a hire boat moored at the top of hanham lock today having lunch as we approached. It realy REALY pees me off when plonkers do this and they very soon understood not to do it again, simply nowhere else to go with two near full length boats :banghead:  Beautiful sunny run all day today :D There were two blokes in the lock at the end of the traffic light section at Reading last week when we approached with a fair old flow on. They were eating and had all paddles down as though it was their private marina :banghead: there are some right plonkers about on boats these days.

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1 hour ago, mrsmelly said:

There was a hire boat moored at the top of hanham lock today having lunch as we approached. It realy REALY pees me off when plonkers do this and they very soon understood not to do it again, simply nowhere else to go with two near full length boats :banghead:  Beautiful sunny run all day today :D There were two blokes in the lock at the end of the traffic light section at Reading last week when we approached with a fair old flow on. They were eating and had all paddles down as though it was their private marina :banghead: there are some right plonkers about on boats these days.

 

ok I confess, it was us and mtb, but once it gets to September that river is sadly deserted. A trip boat did come up from Bristol but the Disco was so loud we had about 20mins warning to get out of the way. The Kennet is a different kettle of fish and needs to be taken a bit more seriously.

 

"The Stable" up at the top of St Augustines reach does rather nice cider and pizza, and Bar 1 next door is ok too. A walk round the entire harbour is good with a lunch time pint at the Ostrich. Steam train runs at the weekend.

 

................Dave

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4 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

Yes agreed. First class bloke who told us all we needed to know even were to take dog. Got a fab mooring opposite the SS Gt Britain and there was £9.88 credit on the hook up ? cost £172 for a week licence and mooring. I was suprised how fantastic the river was between Bath and Bristol I think its now my fave stretch and prettier than the Thames amongst others. Also unbeleivable weather yet again :D I know you mean Netham ;)

I bet that was the new younger lockie, the older one made you want to visit again. I think that is expensive, £25 a night for a week.In comparison, Liverpool is £25 cheaper. I know what you mean tho, it's a great place to go and to moor, make sure you don't overstay though, I did accidentally and no one noticed. It worked out at £15 a day, far more reasonable. I think you need to be good with maths , particularly, subtraction when asked how big your boat is.

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Also don't be afraid to move whilst your there, turn right out of where you are and go down the bottom, there is a pub on left hand side you can moor at, also moor where the the pubs are, left and left again, secure moorings,  through a gate, the lockie will give you the number,also there will be money on the meters, don't buy a card. There is a reasonable wither spoons there for cheaper beer.

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44 minutes ago, Timx said:

I bet that was the new younger lockie, the older one made you want to visit again. 

Yes, I spent about half an hour chatting to the old boy when I went through about 5 years ago and he made me a cup of tea. Really nice bloke.

Edited by blackrose

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Yeah, but his maths and eyesight on gauging boat size, and adding dates together was so poor, it made you want to come back and spend longer there. Think he made a lot of of money for Bristol.

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6 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

Yes agreed. First class bloke who told us all we needed to know even were to take dog. Got a fab mooring opposite the SS Gt Britain and there was £9.88 credit on the hook up ? cost £172 for a week licence and mooring. I was suprised how fantastic the river was between Bath and Bristol I think its now my fave stretch and prettier than the Thames amongst others. Also unbeleivable weather yet again :D I know you mean Netham ;)

We went down to Bristol last year. Great place, and it cost us £145 for a week (Wide beam 60 x 11). We are heading that way again, at the moment we are at Bradford on Avon collecting our legit drugs, then hoping to head up the Seven and also the other Avon.  So we should pass each other sometime.

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On 09/06/2018 at 14:45, Col_T said:

1... there is a short pontoon (3 boats?) just under the Bitton Railway Bridge (no. 211) on your right as you head towards Bristol.

 

2. There is another short pontoon on your left, which also has water and Elsan (I think) but I neglected to make a note of exactly where in our copy of Nicholsons.

 

3. There is also moorings at Hanham Lock, but these were occupied by what looked like long-termed a when we went past last year.

Having just been up to Hanham lock and back this week (April 2019) I thought I'd share what I learned.

 

1. This is the pontoon that is now taken over by crusties...

 

2. This pontoon is on your left, just east of Swineford lock. However, on both occasions when I went past it was rendered nearly inaccessible by moored boats... unlicensed by the look of it.. it is for facitilty use only.

 

3. There was no one at all moored at Hanham pontoon, itself far and away the longest mooring.

 

To sum up, it was a great stretch of river but hopeless for actually stopping to explore anything - though I did get lucky with a night on the 24hr pontoon at Keynsham - it only holds two boats and one had taken root, so considering it was Sunday lunch time I couldn't believe my luck! Slap up in the pub nearby, which was a decent 7/10 but a full 10/10 for the Proper Job ale.

 

I also tried several impromptu moorings but either couldn't get near enough to the bank or got stuck :( Though one or two boats had succeeded in places - it pays to know the river well, but of course it was my first time on.

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Edited by Johny London

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