How to get there - Batheaston is on the A4, two miles east of Bath. From the roundabout at the eastern end of the Batheason Swainswick Bypass turn north into London Road East. The free public car park is after a quarter of a mile on the left, immediately after the roundabout. For those with SatNav the postcode is BA1 7RL.
If coming from M4 motorway down the A46 towards Bath then follow the signs for A4 Chippenham ( don't take the slip road to turn off for Bath). Follow to the first roundabout signed to the left to Batheastern. Follow this road for approx 0.5miles to a mini roundabout and bear to your left (Main road)
Car park entrance is approx 200yds past mini roundabout on the left.
Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - There is a set of concrete steps down to a good get in point.
Description - This trip combines the best of a section of the River Avon with a paddle on the Kennet & Avon Navigation offering fine views over the valley below and the hills above. There are no locks or weirs to negotiate but there are nevertheless two fairly lengthy portages, first from the toll bridge across the River Avon at Bathampton for about a quarter of a mile to the Kennet & Avon Navigation at the Gearge pub and second (slightly shorter) from the Canal near the Claverton Pumping Station over a railway level crossing to the River Avon below Warleigh Weir. A portage trolley is therefore very highly recommended for this trip.
After about one and a half miles is the site of the inclined plane which brought Bath stone from Conkwell Quarry at the top of the hill to the wharf at the bottom.
The Claverton Pump is driven by a waterwheel & pumps water (up to 100,000 gallons an hour) from the river up 50 feet into the canal. The Pumping Station is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday from early April to late October and, if you have the time, is well worth a visit.
The trip is of five and a half miles in total.
Comments on this trip
SW 24 May 2013
Note to get to the right roundabout you need to follow signs for Chiippenham on the A4 if coming from the M4 Mototrway. Should you come off at the Bath turn then just turn left into London Road and travel about 1.5 miles and you will get to the car park on your right this time. The car park is good with toilet facilities but gets busy around lunchtime and a convenience store, fish and chip shop and a pub just across the road. The launch point is also good but quite a drop easy to get in a kayak but more difficult to get out on your own. The river is shallow enough to stand in the mud at the very edge. There are however now some lower ledges at the other end of the car park where bank work has taken place.I just paddled the other way against the stream up to the weir and then a complete circle to the toll bridge and back c 2hour paddle. Be aware at the toll bridge there is a downstream weir just 100m beyond it.