Walking from Reading to Bath on the Kennet & Avon Canal

Cameron Lockwood, 14, decided to swap time on the Xbox for time on the towpath and walk the length of the Kennet & Avon Canal. Read his story.

Cameron Lockwood, walking on the Kennet & Avon Canal Cameron Lockwood, walking on the Kennet & Avon Canal

"We got to chat about lots of things that we don’t have time for at home."

Cameron

I was visiting Caen Hill Locks in Devizes with my Mum when I spotted a map on an information board. I took a good look and thought it would be fun to walk the Kennet & Avon Canal from Reading to Bath. I set myself the challenge there and then and felt confident that I could finish it.

I knew I had been spending far too much time playing games on the Xbox and was not doing enough exercise. All the walking would be good for me.

At first my parents didn’t believe I was serious. Then I got the maps out and started planning the whole route, choosing where to stay and where to stop for supplies. I have dyslexia, so it was a bit difficult for me, but I did it.

20 miles a day

I only had four days to do the whole walk. I worked out I needed to travel roughly 20 miles a day to cover the 75 miles from where the River Thames joins the canal at Reading to where the canal joins the River Avon at Bath.

It was a hot weekend when I set off, so I kept my head cool by dunking my hat in the water. It was hard work and of course, I got blisters, but that didn’t put me off.

Mum and Dad took turns to walk half days with me and I really enjoyed spending time with them because we got to chat about lots of things that we don’t have time for at home.

Wildlife and villages

We saw lots of wildlife, which was fascinating, and Dad pointed out a roe deer to me. I was amazed to see it.

We passed through many villages, but my favourite place was Crofton Pumping Station.

I also liked operating the swing bridges to let the boats through and chatting to the boaters.

We discovered we could easily get the car to access points along the canal. This was great as it allowed our elderly dogs to join us along short stretches of the towpath.

I admit at the end I did feel proud of what I had accomplished.

Regenerative experience

Kirsty, Cameron’s Mum, adds: "This lovely walk gave us the space and time to talk to each other as well as others passing by. We found it to be a quiet and regenerative experience.

"We felt so proud of Cameron – he was the only one of us to walk the whole way.

“To top it all, Cameron raised £275 in sponsorship money, which he split between his school and his two favourite charities."

Last date edited: 22 October 2018