Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
The Kennet & Avon Canal, at 87 miles long, links London with the Bristol Channel, and passes through some spectacular landscapes including Wiltshire and the rolling Cotswolds.
26th Dec 2017 1:00pm onwards
The River Avon is closed to boat traffic due to flood conditions. High levels and strong flows are being experienced.
I’m Giles, and I'm here to help you move your boat from one part of the waterway network to another, when you can’t do it for yourself.
Nuthatch Canal Boat Hire Near Bath
Hollands Boats - fully qualified & experienced boat engineer specialising in Narrowboats. Primarily based on the Kennet and Avon canal. Engine servicing, heating installation (including coal burners),...
We are a 248 berth marina with long term and visitor non residential secure moorings available for narrow-boats and wide beams. Each mooring has electric hook up and water there are toilets showers laundry...
Hilperton Marina has a shop with snacks, cold drinks, ice cream (in season) and souvenirs, and an extensive chandlery.
We are are small family run business. We currently have 5 boats for self drive holidays or breaks on the Kennet and Avon Canal and on the River Thames.
Small, secluded marina offering long and short-term moorings, within walking distance of Newbury town centre. Dry Dock onsite operated by The Dry Dock Company, t: 07799640644.
We are Roving Traders travelling the inland waterways on our narrow-boat Islonian trading as Flavoursfloat.
A fully functioning hair and nail salon based in and around the beautiful town of Bradford on Avon. Services include cutting, colouring, styling and Bridal work. Manicures, pedicures and gel polish. Soon...
The Wessex Rose is Englands newest, largest and most luxurious Canal Hotel Boat and offers scheduled 3, 5, 7 and 9 night 'all inclusive' cruises on the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal and the majestic River...
Bridge 163 Whaddon to Bridge 166 Kings Arms (Hilperton Road Bridge)
Kennet & Avon Canal
Reading, near Sulhamstead Lock 100
Lock 93 Heales to Midgham Bridge
Lock 95 Aldermaston to Head of Salmons Cut pass Froud's Bridge and Marina at junction with River Kennet
Lock 98 Ufton to Lock 96 Padworth
Lock 99 Tyle Mill to the confluence with River Kennet
Theale Swing Bridge to approximately 100 metres downstream of Lock 100 Sulhampstead
Lock 102 Garston to approximately 50 metres upstream of Lock 101 Sheffield
Lock 104 Southcote to confluence with River Kennet upstream of Lock 103 Burghfield
Lock 105 Fobney to confluence with River Kennet downstream of Railway Bridge 11
Bear Wharf near County Lock 106 at Reading to the start of Fobney Meadow at Bridge 8 Rose Kiln Lane)
Lock 94 Woolhampton to Lock 93 Old Heales plus offside bank from Oxlease Swing Bridge 33 to Lock 93 Old Heales
Lock 92 Midgham to east side of Bridge 37 Aldershot Weir Footbridgeboth banks
Thatcham swing Bridge to Lock 90 Monkey Marsh towpath sideLock 90 Monkey Marsh to Widmead Lock 89 both banks
Whitehouse Turnover Bridge 53 to Lock 86 Greenham both banks
Confluence with the River Kennet at Bridge 67 Hampstead Weir Footbridge to Hampstead Lock 81
Lock 86 Greenham to Greenham Island at Newbury
Junction with River Kennet at Northcroft to Bridge 64 Guyers Lock Bridge
Lock 88 Bulls to Lock 87 Ham
A point adjacent to Kintbury Station to Bridge 77 Vicarage footbridge
Bridge 112 Milkhouse Water to Bridge 120 Ladies
Bridge 120 Ladies to Bridge 161 Semington
Bridge 161 Semington to Bridge 163 Whaddon
Bridge 166 Hilperton Road (Kings Arms) to Avoncliffe Aqueduct
Avoncliff Aqueduct to confluence with the River Avon at Bath (excluding the basin area)
Today, thousands of visitors enjoy boating, walking and cycling along the peaceful towpaths of the Kennet & Avon Canal, fondly known as the K&A. This beautiful waterway is a favourite family weekend escape for locals and a pleasure to discover on a day out for visitors. Go to our places to visit pages now to download your free guides to:
Boating and towpath notices
Find stoppages, restrictions, towpath closures and other navigational advice for this waterway
But this haven in southern England faced closure in the last century and was only brought back to life thanks to the tireless dedication of volunteers. Just a few decades ago we came very close to losing this national treasure, forever.
What we know as the Kennet & Avon Canal is actually made up of three historic waterways, the Kennet Navigation, the Avon Navigation and the Kennet & Avon Canal.
In 1724 the River Kennet was made navigable from Reading to Newbury, and by 1727 boats could reach as far as Bath. For hundreds of years before this people had talked about linking the River Kennet with the River Avon, but it was not until 1794 that a route was fixed via Devizes and an Act was passed. The resulting canal was completed in 1810.
Water supply up to the summit soon became a problem, so in 1812 a steam engine was installed at Crofton to pump water from Wilton Water (amazingly this Boulton & Watt engine is still working today). Three years later a companion Harvey’s engine was also installed.
Despite the impressive length of the K&A, through traffic never accounted for more than 6% of the total and the waterway was never prosperous.
The situation worsened for the Kennet & Avon Canal when the Great Western Railway opened in 1841. Suddenly income halved and it seemed likely that the canal would be converted into a railway. Thankfully, however, this Bill was not passed and instead, the K&A was sold to the Great Western Railway in 1852.
Although the canal was loss-making, the Great Western Railway was legally obliged to keep it open as long as there was some traffic on it. This it did, though there were many complaints about the level of maintenance. Nevertheless, in 1897 the Boulton & Watt engine had major repairs and a few years later, its companion 1845 engine was rebuilt.
After a century of decline, in the 1960s the canal eventually fell into disrepair and parts of it were closed to boats. The future of the K&A, along with that of many canals, looked bleak.
However, waterway enthusiasts and local people flocked to the cause. The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust was formed and, with hard work and dedication, these volunteers gradually restored the canal to its former glory.
In 1990 the Queen officially reopened the K&A, and since then the canal has gone from strength to strength with the help of a £25m Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Substantial restoration works have been matched by the development of canalside resources, including wildlife habitats and moorings.
What's happening near you?
Look at our Local to You pages to find all the latest in your local area, including news, events, stories and details of how you can get involved with our work
Kennet & Avon waterways
Find out more about the Kennet & Avon and Bridgwater & Taunton canals