Foxhangers offer boating for all generations
There are so many things to see and do along the Kennet and Avon Canal, that we guarantee you will be spoilt for choice!
Obviously, our favourite canal activity – and many people agree. Every year we welcome around 8,000 people and 700 dogs to a Foxhangers Canal Holiday. They include couples, families with infants, young children and teenagers as well as groups of friends (including four legged ones!). They come for the peace and quiet, the beautiful scenery, the history, the wildlife and the many welcoming canalside pubs.
Many people enjoy cycling along the towpath (which is permitted in most places along the Kennet and Avon).
The towpath surface has been greatly improved for cycling, funded by www.sustrans.org.uk
The Kennet & Avon Canal towpath provides a continuous Public Right of Way from Reading to Bristol. Continuing improvements to the towpath seek to provide a wide, safe and accessible surface and trouble-free walking conditions. From Reading to Great Bedwyn the local railway service provides good access to many parts of the canal. Details of the services can be obtained from www.thameslinkrailway.com Rail access returns between Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon, Bath and Bristol with services provided by Wales & West www.walesandwest.co.uk
Bus services with access to the canal between Reading and Newbury are provided by Reading Buses www.reading-buses.co.uk. Wiltshire Bus provides services in the central area with the ‘Wigglybus’ service providing access to several of the more remote villages in the Vale of Pewsey. BadgerLine www.firstbadgerline.co.uk serves the West Wiltshire, Bath and Bristol areas.
Other useful contacts:
TRAVELINE on 0870 608 2 608
NATIONAL RAIL ENQUIRIES on 08457 48 49 50
Timetable leaflets, booklets and maps for public transport services in Wiltshire can be obtained by ringing Wiltshire County Council on 01225 713000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people enjoy fishing, either from their boat or from the bank. Fishing is permitted along most of the length of the Kennet and Avon canal, which has a good stock of Skimmers, Bream, Tench, Roach, Rudd, Perch, Gudgeon, Pike and a few Carp.
There are 13 angling clubs who have sole fishing rights to these waters. They operate along varying lengths of canal and river, with many welcoming day ticket fishing.
The Kennet & Avon Canal is home to what has become one of the major long-distance international canoeing races – The Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race. This 125-mile race is held over the Easter Weekend. Senior classes cover the route non-stop whilst Juniors stop overnight in Newbury and Marlow. Visit www.dwrace.org.uk for information about the race’s history, rules and entry details. Other races based in Newbury, The Watersides Series and Reading act as a forerunner to this major event. Information about canoeing in general can be found at www.britishcanoeing.org.uk. In addition to competitive canoeing the canal provides excellent water for cruising by kayak or Canadian canoe. BCU membership includes a British Waterways’ permit for canoeing.
Recent surveys have identified up to 103 different species of bird over the length of the canal. Of these 38 could be classified as specialist waterway birds with 14 species confirmed as breeding. Sand Martins nest in the drain-pipes set in the brick walls of the canal in the centre of Reading.
The relatively rare Reed Bunting (left) is found in many parts of the canal. Wilton Water and the Kennet Valley gravel pits provide significant habitats for breeding and wintering waterfowl. The Red Kite has also been seen in the Great Bedwyn area as it extends its range over the Downs from its base in the Chilterns.
Along the canal there are plenty of places to visit! From museums to areas of outstanding natural beauty to, find out what you could discover on your canal holiday by using our interactive map.