How to get there -
We started from Crofton Puming Station because that's where we finished the previous days paddle but I have shown the start map as a car park a little further east at Mill Bridge for those who want to do it as a day trip. Mill bridge is south of Great Bedwyn which is about 5 miles southwest of Hungerford.
From Hungerford, travel west on the A4 turning left into Manor Park at Froxfield. Continue past Little Bedwyn and into Browns Lane. At Great Bedwyn turn left and then second right into Church Street. After half a mile turn left crossing over the railway and the canal and into the carpark on the right.
Get a map with driving directions to start
(enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site -
Launch over the bank and head east.
This is a relatively short trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal of about six and a half miles with locks at approximately half mile intervals. If you start from Crofton there are 14 locks and from Mill bridge there are 11.
There are no canal side pubs but at Great Bedwyn the Cross Keys is just a few hundred yards northwest of the wharf. Canoes are not generally permitted to use the locks but if there is water flowing over the weirs and or you are heavily laden or in a larger group I would recommend going through the locks rather than portage. We had a lock windlass
with us but were lucky enough to meet up with a co-operative narrowboater who was happy to operate the paddles in return for some help with opening and closing gates.
When rising through locks care needs to be taken to lift the paddles progressively and slowly to avoid creating too much turbulence in the lock. However on this part of the canal you will be descending so this is less important. The greatest turbulence is also usually at the front half of the lock so its best for canoes to stay well back from the top gates.
The trip is part of a two day trip starting at Wootton Rivers. For the first part click here