Kennet and Avon Cycle Route

Follow the historic Kennet and Avon Canal through spectacular scenery from Bath to Reading. This 82-mile route will take you along tranquil canal towpaths and through gorgeous countryside. On the way you’ll see limestone aqueducts, Claverton Pumping Station and the dramatic Caen Hill Locks.

The Kennet and Avon Cycle Route is around 83 miles in length and takes you from Bath to Reading. It uses tranquil canal towpaths along the way and passes through gorgeous countryside.

The historic Kennet and Avon Canal links London with the Bristol Channel.

The canal’s impressive architecture is in keeping with the peaceful surroundings. The countryside here provides a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna.

From this route you can reach Bristol on the 13-mile Bristol and Bath Railway Path. Together they form a part of the Severn & Thames cycle route between Gloucester and Reading.

The Kennet and Avon canal starts at Bath and, except for a few short sections near Reading, cycling is permitted alongside it (although the Network route does not follow the canal all the way). 

Long sections of the towpath have been widened and the surfaces improved.

This includes the whole length from Bath to Devizes, around Newbury, and between Thatcham and Reading. Some sections of the towpath have a rougher surface, so please take extra care.

The section between Bath and Devizes is 22 miles (of which 21 are traffic-free).

Look out for the two impressive limestone aqueducts between Bath and Bradford-on-Avon. Dundas and Avoncliff have both been fully restored to their former glory.

You should also keep an eye out for the Claverton Pumping Station. It has been restored to full working order by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.

At Devizes, you will see the dramatic Caen Hill Locks. This is a flight of 29 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.

Here you’ll see 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.

The Kennet and Avon Cycle Route is a dream for those looking for a peaceful route.

It’s a delightful blend of gorgeous countryside and tranquil canals.

This route will enchant those who are interested in the history of the UK’s canals, and the fantastic engineering that went into building them.


Please note

We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.

However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.

Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.

Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.

Please help us protect this route

Kennet and Avon Cycle Route is part of the National Cycle Network, cared for by Sustrans. Your donation today will help keep the Network safe and open for everyone to enjoy

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