Please support our volunteers out on the National Cycle Network this Christmas Donate now

Kennet and Avon Cycle Route

Route Details

  • From - to: Bath to Reading
  • Distance: 85 miles
  • Type: Canal towpath and quiet rural roads
  • Surface: Compacted stone
  • National Cycle Network: Route 4

Route Description

This historic canal links the Thames and the Bristol Channel, weaving through spectacular scenery on its way from Bath to Reading. Its impressive architecture is in keeping with surroundings that also provide a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna. The route extends to Bristol along the 16 mile Bristol & Bath Path and is a part of the Severn & Thames Cycle Route between Gloucester and Reading.

The canal starts at Bath and cycling is permitted throughout the length of the canal, except for a few short sections near Reading. Long sections of the towpath, including the whole length from Bath to Devizes, around Newbury and between Thatcham and Reading, have been widened and the surfaces improved.
 
The section between Bath and Devizes is 22 miles (of which 21 are totally traffic free). Between Bath and Bradford on Avon look out for the two impressive limestone aqueducts, Dundas and Avoncliff, both now fully restored to their former glory, and the Claverton Pumping Station, now restored to full working order by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust. At Devizes you will find the dramatic Caen Hill Locks, a flight of 16 locks which may be the most impressive anywhere on the UK's waterways.
 
The route then continues towards Reading passing through some of Wiltshire's quietest countryside.  Between Devizes and Marsh Benham the cycle route leaves the towpath and follows quiet lanes through the Vale of Pewsey with fine views of the surrounding hills and the Pewsey White Horse. From Marsh Benham the route is again generally along the towpath all the way into Reading.

Severn & Thames Cycle Map (covers Bristol to Hungerford) and Thames Valley Cycle Map (covers Hungerford to Weybridge).

For further information, visit the Canal & River Trust website.

Free maps

Download a free guide to the Kennet & Avon Cycle Route. 

Local attractions

Bike hire

Route Info Window: 

This historic canal links the Thames and the Bristol Channel, weaving through spectacular scenery on its way from Bath to Reading.

Latitude: 
51.431075599049876
Longitude: 
-1.6506492775390513
Zoom level: 
10

This historic canal links the Thames and the Bristol Channel, weaving through spectacular scenery on its way from Bath to Reading.

Length: 
85 miles