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A trip along the Avon & Kennet canal

p9umap9uma Posts: 565
edited April 2012 in Tour & expedition
My wife and I are considering cycling from Reading to Bath along the Avon & Kennet canal, neither of us have done a cycle tour before, though we often do long day rides on our road bikes.
The bike for this tour which we anticipate will be three or four leisurely days are Marin San Rafael hybrids all mud guarded up, with Altura bags at the rear on a rack, water bottle/cages, pumps, spares and tools map and snacks.
Whilst I realise this is not an epic journey by any stretch of the imagination, it is a mini adventure for us. What I would like to know from the experienced tourists is, do you have any tips for a trip such as this is there anything that I have not listed above that is essential?

Many thanks for your input.
Trek Madone 3.5
Whyte Coniston
1970 Dawes Kingpin

Posts

  • p9umap9uma Posts: 565
    <kicks tumbleweed>
    Trek Madone 3.5
    Whyte Coniston
    1970 Dawes Kingpin
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    Make sure you get the guide: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/assets/files ... eguide.pdf There are odd stretches where you arend supposed to cycle but many do - I leave that up to you. There are some very rutted parts where the guide takes you onto the road, between Bedwyn & Devizes - follow the route as on Hybrids your teeth will fall out on the bumpy towpath!

    Its a really good way to start this type of thing as its mainly flat and there are lots of pubs along the way!

    I did Reading to Severn Beach (the coast after Bristol) last year with my (then) 11 year old son. We did it over 3 days stopping in Devizes and Saltford (just past Bath). The first day was a bit long for him at just over 50 miles though.

    You will probably be looking at overnight in Hungerford (where I cant help you) then Devizes.

    In Devizes I can recommend Southdown B&B (http://www.whitehorsewalking.co.uk/) they are really cycle friendly, bikes go in a secure garage and they have a hot tub to ease the aches and pains and the most wonderful breakfast ever! I hear that Rosemundy is great too (and has a swimming pool) http://www.rosemundycottage.co.uk/

    You dont need to worry about taking too much as there are so many stops on the way.
  • p9umap9uma Posts: 565
    apreading wrote:
    Make sure you get the guide: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/assets/files ... eguide.pdf There are odd stretches where you arend supposed to cycle but many do - I leave that up to you. There are some very rutted parts where the guide takes you onto the road, between Bedwyn & Devizes - follow the route as on Hybrids your teeth will fall out on the bumpy towpath!

    Its a really good way to start this type of thing as its mainly flat and there are lots of pubs along the way!

    I did Reading to Severn Beach (the coast after Bristol) last year with my (then) 11 year old son. We did it over 3 days stopping in Devizes and Saltford (just past Bath). The first day was a bit long for him at just over 50 miles though.

    You will probably be looking at overnight in Hungerford (where I cant help you) then Devizes.

    In Devizes I can recommend Southdown B&B (http://www.whitehorsewalking.co.uk/) they are really cycle friendly, bikes go in a secure garage and they have a hot tub to ease the aches and pains and the most wonderful breakfast ever! I hear that Rosemundy is great too (and has a swimming pool) http://www.rosemundycottage.co.uk/

    You dont need to worry about taking too much as there are so many stops on the way.

    Fantastic Response.

    Very many thanks for taking the time with your detailed reply and thanks for the links.

    Regards

    Carl
    Trek Madone 3.5
    Whyte Coniston
    1970 Dawes Kingpin
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    Nearly forgot Lunches:

    First day, if you want a pub lunch then the Rowbarge in Woolhampton is great and does good snacky stuff as well as lunches if you dont want too much.
    Day 2, there is a fantastic bakery in Bedwyn and I think some of the pubs do good food too.
    Day 3, there is a great pub right next to the river in Bradford on Avon, which is a really beautiful place.

    If you make it to Hungerford on day 1 then The Downgate, just as you enter Hungerford does great food. Thinking about it though, you may stop at Kintibury on day 1. Tried 2 mediocre pubs there which were both OK but nothing to write home about. The one by the river doesnt do food on sunday lunchtime though and the owners seem a bit funny...

    Use or ignore the above - there are lots of great places.

    Day 3 is the most beautiful. Right from Devizes, but particularly from Bradford on Avon to Bath the scenery is absolutely stunning. The 2 aqueducts are quite a sight.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,107
    Bradford-on-Avon has several places on the canal - best for lunch is the Lock Inn (not really a pub but does sell beer). This is actually on the canal (can eat on a barge), not the right next to it. The boatmans breakfast (all day) is good but too heavy if you are cycling afterwards. If you need it there is a LBS (open Sundays) across the road too.
    Towpath Bradford to Bath can get very busy especially Sun afternoon, too many walkers/dogs/fishermen to be enjoyable for me.
  • p9umap9uma Posts: 565
    apreading wrote:
    Nearly forgot Lunches:

    First day, if you want a pub lunch then the Rowbarge in Woolhampton is great and does good snacky stuff as well as lunches if you dont want too much.
    Day 2, there is a fantastic bakery in Bedwyn and I think some of the pubs do good food too.
    Day 3, there is a great pub right next to the river in Bradford on Avon, which is a really beautiful place.

    If you make it to Hungerford on day 1 then The Downgate, just as you enter Hungerford does great food. Thinking about it though, you may stop at Kintibury on day 1. Tried 2 mediocre pubs there which were both OK but nothing to write home about. The one by the river doesnt do food on sunday lunchtime though and the owners seem a bit funny...

    Use or ignore the above - there are lots of great places.

    Day 3 is the most beautiful. Right from Devizes, but particularly from Bradford on Avon to Bath the scenery is absolutely stunning. The 2 aqueducts are quite a sight.


    Excellent, I'll put tos suggestions on the list, thanks for the information.
    Trek Madone 3.5
    Whyte Coniston
    1970 Dawes Kingpin
  • p9umap9uma Posts: 565
    Mad_Malx wrote:
    Bradford-on-Avon has several places on the canal - best for lunch is the Lock Inn (not really a pub but does sell beer). This is actually on the canal (can eat on a barge), not the right next to it. The boatmans breakfast (all day) is good but too heavy if you are cycling afterwards. If you need it there is a LBS (open Sundays) across the road too.
    Towpath Bradford to Bath can get very busy especially Sun afternoon, too many walkers/dogs/fishermen to be enjoyable for me.

    Thanks for this, I had forgotten about the Lock Inn, I have been there before but on a different trip whilst visiting Braford. Good call, cheers.
    Trek Madone 3.5
    Whyte Coniston
    1970 Dawes Kingpin
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