The Kennet and Avon Canal

Reading to Devizes

Traffic lights; swing and lift bridges; chalk hills; no jump-off places at locks.


The first lock on this canal is a Thames style lock maintained by the EA. We didn't think much of the mooring facilities (or lack of them) in Reading but you can tie to the railings above the lock. This will allow you to grab a pint from the full range of Fullers ales at the Fisherman's Cottage. Excellent ale and good food. Our first mooring on the canal is Burghfield. The Cunning Man is a harvester but it does London Pride and Bass. Aldermaston is a good place to stop with full facilities and a nice canalside shop. Excellent quality 6X and good food at the Butts Inn.

At Woolhampton there is a good local shop for bread and milk. The Falmouth Arms serves Thomas Hardys only but the Row Barge on the canal itself has top quality (but not cheap) food and six interesting guest beers. Highly recommended. Warning! Watch the current between the lock and the swing bridge. Plenty of swing bridges in this section. Newbury is a good place to shop. Our favoured mooring being west of the swing bridge. Good Fullers ales at the Lock, Stock and Barrel. Good food and ale at the Dundas Arms at Kintbury (Morland, Ruddles and an interesting guest).

At Hungerford there are plenty of convenient shops. Worth visiting is the Down Gate (Brakspear), the John O' Gaunt (Morland) and a particular favourite Hungerford Club just behind the Church. The Club welcomes non-members (get signed in) and has one or two interesting guest ales. An excellent find was the Pelican at Froxfield, 10 mins walk from Froxfield bridge. Excellent ale serving London Pride and a guest ale. The wonderful Harrow at Little Bedwyn is sadly closed. Great Bedwyn has a small store and two ordinary pubs.

Sadly there are now no pubs until Wootten Rivers but the Royal Oak makes up for it. Top quality food and Wadworth 6X straight from the cask plus a guest. The Barge at Honey Street has Ushers Best and a changing second Ushers beer. The bar has plenty of crop circle enthusiasts and related literature. The French Horn at Pewsey is comfortable, serves Wadworth IPA, 6X and a seasonal ale. At Horton Bridge, the Bridge is an excellent pub serving Wadworth IPA and 6X on gravity. A good museum documenting the canal at Devizes. There is a launderette and good shops. Favourite pub was the White Bear (Wadworth IPA and 6X).

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