Kennet & Avon Canal
Kennet & Avon Canal
4.5

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles111 reviews
Excellent
71
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15
Average
12
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8
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5

Davanden
Alexandria, Virginia, USA370 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
After leaving the Holburne museum, we went back into the park, where we found that it was crossed by the Kennet & Avon Canal. There were narrowboats moving through, most heading south. We walked down the towpath. At one point we listened to a tour guide explaining to a group how horses had to cross the canal when the towpath changed sides and pointing out how the bridges were designed to ease the stress on the tow ropes. Now, of course, the narrowboats are all powered by gas engines. As we continued our walk, we realized that there was a virtual subculture of boaters. We came across boat rental companies with lots of narrowboats lined up for the holiday trade. Elsewhere the banks were lined with boats tied up, people lounging on or beside them. As we got to the point where the canal meets the river, we watched the whole process of transiting a lock. The boat’s operators pushed the sweeps that opened the gates. Then the boat eased in. The gates were closed, again by shoving. The sluice was opened by turning cranks that the people brought with them. After the water level was equalized with the exit, more shoving opened the far gates, and the boat moved out of the lock. The gate was closed. Some of the people on the shore lent their hands with the shoving and the turning.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

oldgeezer5
Kin Kin, Australia18 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Family
We hired narrowboat Sacha from Sally Narrowboats at Bradford on Avon. We travelled first to Bath and then East to Great Bedwyn before returning to Bradford on Avon. Our party of seven adults from Australia were looking forward to conquering the Caen Hill locks and enjoying the reputed beauty of the K&A, having done several other UK canals in the past.

The boat was ready on our arrival and we were able to get set up on board and depart after a briefing without any issues. The Sally Narrowboat staff, both on our arrival and on return were courteous and very helpful as we battled with luggage and supplies. The boat was clean and well equipped for our 11 day confined space adventure.

The K&A canal itself is another matter. In general we found the canal sides to often be too overgrown to allow mooring with most potential mooring spaces taken up by live aboards in various states of tidiness. Finding moorings near popular spots such as Honey Street, Seend Cleve and Devizes was near impossible. Sections of the canal East of Devizes are overgrown with reeds reducing to a clear waterway of one boat width. We were dissappointed to find the canal in many areas did not live up to its reputation, but if you do choose this canal then we recommend Sally Narrowboats at Bradford on Avon as your boat provider.
Written October 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julia N
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
Moonraker Canalboats website has not been updated for some time and is confusing. Moonshadow has not run on a Saturday since 2022 and the point of departure is now The Barge Inn at Seend Cleeve not Honey Street Wharf as shown on the map and detailed in the About Us/ What’s Next Section of the website. As we were not made aware of this until a week before our departure, we had to change our route planning at the last minute to travel west to Bath rather than east to Newbury to avoid days spent navigating the Caen Hill flight. Unfortunately, moorings along this section of the Kennet and Avon Canal are now largely taken by permit holders and/or live aboarders meaning there is little available mooring along the canal particularly for widebeam canalboats. The lack of mooring space at The Barge Inn for leaving Moonshadow on our return similarly proved a constant worry throughout our holiday. All Moonraker canalboats are advertised with bow thrusters and central heating. Unfortunately, neither worked from the outset and the logs supplied for the log burner were too big and damp to be of use so we had to buy our own, kiln dried and much smaller logs to fuel the much needed log burner. Some light fittings were pretty dodgy and the door to the tumble drier was broken and had to be propped closed in order for it to work. Thank goodness it did work as it was the only way we could dry towels in the absence of central heating and working towel rails. The shower drain and bathroom sink in the ensuite did not work from Day 1 although this problem was promptly addressed before we left Bradford on Avon on Day 2. I do not want to sound too negative and I know that the obvious problem of lack of available moorings on the Bradford on Avon/Bath section of the K&A Canal is out of Moonraker Canalboats control but Moonraker Canalboats advertise a luxury canalboat holiday experience which it could have been had the boat been better maintained and we had been made aware of the limited availability of suitable moorings.
Written September 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carl C
Flagstaff, AZ53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
A most enjoyable push bike ride. Love riding the Canal and have done it in both directions from Pewsey. Riding the canal from Pewsey to Hungerford can be a bit rough. However, a stop at the Crofton Beam Engine is a must. Heading toward Bath, the Caen Hill Twentynine canal locks at Devizes is mesmerizing. Most of the canal boaters will give you a wave as you pass them by, as you are usually going faster on your push bike than they are.
Written June 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Theresa A
County Durham, UK38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
We hired an electric boat just for an hour to have a quick trip on the canal ... It was great fun and the repeat of a memory from our daughters childhood. John was really informative and helped get us set up and educated in how to handle her ... And when we got back was kind enough to spend a while chatting about other types of trips we could do another time when we come down (thanks John we appreciated it and hopefully will be back soon to have a longer trip)
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

robert l
4 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Friends
Our 3rd time on a canal holiday. Whilst we had a great time as a group of friends. I can honestly say, the general condition of the canal is poor. Very overgrown, both tow paths and the canal itself. In some areas, you can barely get a narrowboat through, so if you meet oncoming traffic, someone ends up in the weeds, especially beyond Devizes out to Honeystreet. the only areas maintained well, was tourist areas, such as Caen Flight, Bath, Etc. Then when you go from Hilperton to Bath, you are greeted, by a never ending stream of moored, live at home boaters, which slows you to snail pace. I would say a good 50% of those boats have out of date licenses and are permantly moored on 24/48 hour moorings, resulting in you having to moor in the forest of the tow path. Canal and river trust, really need to get a handle on this problem. A very small minority of the residents who live on the canal were less than welcoming. Highlights were The Caen Flight, very helpful volunteer lock keepers, Bath, especially The Salamander pub. Lovely and welcoming. Olea Mediterranean resturant in Bradford upon Avon was very good. Lowpoints, No decent Moorings, the state of the canal and a endless, stream of moored boats. We will do other canal holidays, but will avoid the Kennet and Avon for the time being.
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard H
Didcot, UK108 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
We hired Golden Eagle, a 56 ft narrow boat, from Anglo Welsh leaving from Bath. The people at Bath Narrow-boats were extremely helpful and were in touch with us on and off during our week's break. We headed towards (but not up) the Caen Hill Flight. We chugged merrily towards our destination meeting a lot of helpful people on route. Everyone said hello and wished us well. The boat was very comfortable, just right for the two of us. Apart from odd incidents we did not have any major problems throughout.
We wanted a break from the nightmare that Covid-19 had wrought upon us and this break provided just that! A pleasant escape.
Written September 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Terry B
Benfleet, UK212 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Family
We had a week cruising from bath to pewsey. Whilst I agree we some comments on the overgrown banks, this does not spoil the canal. The canal would be a much better cruise if it wasn’t for the amount of resident boats moored in the 12/24 moorings close to the lovely towns and villages. At one point we worked out over 80% of boats on one stretch were unlicensed and quite frankly, wouldn’t look out of place in a skip. I think something needs to be done to sort this out. This could be so much better especially doing the Caen flight and the beautiful vale of pewsey it’s a shame it is spoilt by so many unsightly boats and extremely rude owners that think the canal is exclusively theirs. They seemed to have forgotten why one of the reasons for canal systems to be restored was for pleasure.
Written September 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aschlickman
Chicago3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Friends
Honeystreet Boats provided us “first timers” with a lovely narrow boat and the friendliest service you can imagine. We chugged East for three nites and enjoyed the challenge of maneuvering the long boat and getting through the locks. It was a fascinating and beautiful experience. We will be back! Thanks to John Lynn Liam and John’s lovely mother who runs the extraordinary India Shop ( where we bought lovely imported tablecloths). PS Their Mill Cafe had excellent food and service- a scrumptious breakfast to end our trip.
Written May 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julie M
3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Family
We hired from Bath and travelled to foxhanger marina , turned around and returned . We were shocked at the lack of decent moorings . Most were taken up by live aboard which is fair enough but the bank was so deep with undergrowth in parts making it impossible to moor . We are glad we have experienced this stretch on the canal , but won't be doing it again . It was too stressful trying to find a mooring in the 7 days we had
Written September 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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