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“Great family Fun!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kennet & Avon Canal

Kennet & Avon Canal
South of Durley, Durley BA15 1LE, England
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Ranked #1 of 1 Attractions in Durley
Type: Bodies of Water, Outdoors
Activities: Walking
Attraction details
Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great family Fun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2011

We have just returned from a very enjoyable week on the Kennet and Avon canal, on an 8 berth narrowboat called Dodlease with Anglo Welsh. The 18month old boat was clean, comfortable, and everything was working. The staff who showed us over the boat on arrival were very helpful, and the office was available throughout the holiday to help with advice or assistance. We were a group ranging from 16-85yrs + 1 dog, and everyone had a great time. This stretch of the canal is exceptionally beautiful, we loved it, the holiday exceeded our expectations.

Visited July 2011
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33 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Anglo Welsh nightmare”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2011

Tap Dance is a 12 berth Anglo Welsh narrow boat based in Bradford on Avon and 12 of us (three families and a dog) looked forward to our annual 6 day canal holiday. Sadly this was to be cut very short due to the very poor condition of the boat!, made worse by the unresponsiveness of Anglo Welsh

Day 1: On pick up, the rudder fell off (out of its lower mount) delaying us a couple of hours, plus boat not cleaned properly: rubbish from previous hire still on board, wet floor from fridge and sink blocked in one of washrooms.

Day 2: sink cannot be unblocked easily, vomit found under one bunk, making it unusable (smell) covered (apparently) by talc - beginning to smell!!

Day 3: morning - engine wont start: call out engineer (very good he was too), replace 1 battery, but 2 more also need replacing (thats 3 out of 6 then), fix blocked sink - full of vomit from previous hire. lose half a day.

Day 3: evening meal time, holding tank fails and raw sewage contaminates boat, including one of the bedrooms - Time to call it a day!!

Get boat back to marina and abandon holiday.

Day 4: complain direct to Anglo Welsh from the marina - no other boats that size available (fair enough we were a big party).

1 month on - still no formal response from Anglo Welsh despite weekly chasing (in fact - no response at all without a chase).

The last hire before us was a stag party - it seems that Anglo Welsh welcomes this, and we paid the price for this policy.

My Advice? Buyer Beware as you don't seem to get much support from Anglo Welsh when things go wrong, and reject the boat at the first sign of trouble - dont try and live with it like we did.

Visited April 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 29
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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Fantastic for cycling”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2010

Had two great days cycling along the towpath - Bradfod-upon-Avon - Devizes - Alton Barnes. The best pub was the Barge Inn at Honeystreet - a fantastic pint and an idyllic canalside garden. Great views of Wiltshire White Horses.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Anglo Welsh...Buyer Beware”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2010

My wife and I have just returned from a trip on the Avon and Kennet canal.
The boat we hired, (Hanham) was based at Bradford on Avon marina.

We were duly given a tour of the vessel and advised of safety / operational procedures.

We were told by the hand over crew that the best way to helm the vessel was to open bow and stern doors and look through the boat. At 6 feet tall this immediately became a problem. The only way to helm the boat was to stand but even then, visibility was poor.
We left the marina and cruised west staying overnight by the Lock inn cafe.

That evening my wife received a shock when using the WC when she found the pan had detached itself from the base revealing the contents of the tank and a vile aroma that prevailed until an engineer called the next morning and rectified the problem.
We found the boat to be in a very shoddy condition. The stern gland was also passing water and the bilges required pumping out. The engineer also rectified this problem.

The vessel is, in our opinion, in a very poor condition including safety and security features. The table top, when collapsed, doubles as the bed where the corner of the table top protrudes into the walkway creating a bump hazard, which did in fact injure my wife on one occasion when the bed was left made up and id no good for a six foot person to sleep on let alone two!

The tiller and throttle controls are in my opinion to far apart to control the vessel comfortably and safely and as already pointed out, helm visibility is very poor.
The bow and stern doors did not close properly. Electrical wires of varying types were taped up. Windows were screwed shut. The w c was broken.

I am a very experienced boat handler and have hired narrow boats on numerous occasions at different locations including open sea vessels. I hold a commercial Yacht master ticket and in addition am qualified to powerboat, instructor level. I am very aware that open sea and inland waterway vessels operate differently although the principles are the same.

I believe the boat had not been thoroughly worked up and is in need of an urgent re-fit.

All in all, Hanham was so disappointing to us both. We decided to cut the holiday short and returned home. The boat was not worth the £1200 we paid.

I have included some pictures showing wiring, helm position and visibility along with the life buoy. All in all a thoroughly poor vessel.

I am assuming the rest of the Anglo Welsh fleet is in better condition.

I wrote to Anglo Welsh who eventually offered me a £150 refund.

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