Walk completed August 16, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 29, 2014 -- Day 14, Devizes to Wootton Rivers, 12 Miles

A quick email from Janet advised me that we had walked the Kennet and Avon Canal with our Canadian friends, Keith and Cathy, not 5, 7, or 10 years ago as I has supposed, but a whopping 14 years ago. No wonder I’ve been finding it much more difficult this time.

A quiet Sunday on the towpath made for a lovely walk. The most frequent traffic were the cyclists that kept passing – some just out for a short day’s ride, and a few others who are cycling the entire K&A Canal. There were very few narrowboats, and a few paddlers in kayaks. Aside from that, I was generally alone, with the waterfowl in the water and the songbirds singing in the trees.

Quiet canal at Devizes

Several miles out of Devizes, I encountered a group of hikers from the West Berkshire towns of Mortimer and Burghfield. They are hiking the K&A Canal in stages, today starting at Honeystreet and aiming for Devizes. They told me they parked their cars in Devizes, and took taxis to Honeystreet to commence their walk. Taxis?? Had I known there were taxis going to Honeystreet, I could have skipped a good 5 or 6 miles on the towpath today. But it was a lovely day, and I enjoyed the walk.


Chris, David and James
Much later in the day, I encountered a group of 5 cyclists. Cycling on the towpath requires mountain bikes (or at least hybrids), as the path alternates between crushed rock, grass, mud and soil. Wide tires are a must. The first two of the group passed me quickly, but the others were stopped re-securing their packs. They are all from the Maidenhead village of Bray, which is right next to the Monkey Island Hotel. They chuckled when I mentioned the peacocks; apparently they can be heard in Bray.


Approaching Pewsey, the canal passes under Ladies Bridge, and unusually ornate bridge completed in 1808. That’s about the time that Lewis and Clark explored the Pacific Northwest and Beethoven completed his 5th Symphony. One would assume that the bridge has had periodic maintenance over the centuries, but the historical perspective is interesting for such a simple bridge.

Ladies Bridge

David and Martin
The only other walkers I met today were David and Martin, walking the K&A canal in stages.


Wootton Rivers is a picturesque little village, with virtually all of the buildings covered by thatched roofs. I didn’t take any pictures this afternoon, because dark clouds overhead subdued the scenery. The forecast is for clear weather ahead, so perhaps tomorrow’s pictures will come out better.

Keith will remember the pub in which I’m having dinner – it’s the pub from which we arranged the transportation to our B&B 14 years ago.

Reminder - Double click on any picture to enlarge

© 2014 Ken Klug

1 comment:

  1. Just love to see all the colorful boats, that bridge is pretty nice considering it is so old. The sun will be out for you tomorrow, hopefully you won't feel sluggish. Rest up.