Kennet and Avon Canal

A walk through changing landscapes and charming settlements, following the Kennet and Avon Canal.

6 to 14 nights
95 miles
Easy / Moderate to Demanding

From £590 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

The Kennet and Avon Canal walk travels from Reading to Bristol along the South of England, following a major water transport route built over 200 years ago during the heyday of the British canals.

The trail passes through varied landscapes, including the chalk hills of the North Wessex Downs in the east, and southern fringes of the Cotswolds in the west, offering ample chance to spot a variety of wonderful plant and wildlife. This largely rural walk features rolling fields, quiet woodlands and pretty valleys interspersed with picturesque villages and bustling towns, in particular the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Bath and the vibrant harbour town of Bristol.

© Contours Walking Holidays Kennet and Avon Canal map
Reading to Bristol
95 miles (152 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Walking on mostly easy paths and tracks through quintessentially English countryside.

Counting all 105 canal locks along the route and discovering their industrial history.

Completing the walk in the World Heritage City of Bath and exploring its magnificent architecture.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
KAC1 From Reading to Bristol 6 nights, 5 days walking Demanding£590
KAC2 From Reading to Bristol 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate / Demanding£785
KAC3 From Reading to Bristol 10 nights, 9 days walking Moderate£980
KAC4 From Reading to Bristol 14 nights, 13 days walking Easy / Moderate£1375

Kennet and Avon Canal 6 nights, 5 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather

Travel to Reading where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Reading to Newbury. 19.5 miles (31km)

Day 2

Newbury to Crofton. 15.5 miles (25km)

Day 3

Crofton to Devizes. 19.5 miles (31km)

Day 4

Devizes to Bath. 22.5 miles (36km)

Day 5

Bath to Bristol. 17.5 miles (28km)


Depart from Bristol after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to walk more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are walking on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Walker or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Walker Supplement
(please ring for prices)
Single Supplement
£40.00 per person / per night

Due to the high costs incurred by booking a Lone Walker on this trail, we can only provide prices on application. Please contact us for further details.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Bath)
£65.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 6 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

For many walkers, the Kennet and Avon Canal offers far too many interesting sights to take in without adding an extra night or two to stop and explore further. We can arrange for you to do this at any of our overnight rest stops.

As an example, we would recommend Reading as a good choice for an extra night, and would also give you chance to prepare before embarking on your journey. The town's extensive history can be discovered in Reading Museum, which is housed in the Victorian Gothic Town Hall, and there are plenty of other examples of historical architecture to find here too. As well as this, Reading also boasts a full range of services and amenities, including restaurants, pubs, shops and tea rooms to enjoy.

Devizes is another tempting option in which to spend a rest day. This market town offers a range of services and has a number of interesting sites to visit. For those interested in brewing, the Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre is certainly worth a look, whereas budding historians would enjoy the Wiltshire Heritage Museum and St John?s Church, as well as seeing the privately-owned Devizes Castle, built on the site of a former Norman stronghold.

The UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath would also be a great place for an extra night or two if you wish to explore the local area more thoroughly. This Georgian spa town's origins can be traced back to the Iron Age, and so boasts a vast amount of history to learn about while exploring magnificent buildings such as Bath Abbey and the iconic Roman Baths. There are also a few great circular day walks out into the local countryside, as well as a variety of shops, eateries and activities available, catering to every taste and ensuring that everyone has a wonderful stay.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Bath)
£65.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 95 miles (152 km)
Duration: 6 nights, 5 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 15.5 miles (25 km)
Maximum daily distance: 22.5 miles (36 km)
Code: KAC1 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Reading
End of holiday: Bristol

Route Profile

Kennet and Avon Canal Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Bristol and Cardiff.

By Rail - There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Reading). There is a choice of stations at Bristol. Bristol Temple Meads or Bristol Parkway - depending on the location of your accommodation.

By Bus - Various bus services run to Reading and from Bristol.

From London - Trains run from London Paddington station to Reading.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take the train from Bristol to Reading.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.

Customer reviews from the Kennet and Avon Canal

“This was an easy, relaxed walk with lots to see along the way.”
Ms Matthews, USA
“Great countryside and interesting engineering of canals. Baggage and B&B all worked well.”
Mr Styles, UK
“From picking this holiday on the website, the personal attention given to our booking, the very complete holiday pack, all the b&b's and hotels we stayed in, the way the luggage transport is handled; this is the most relaxed way I can imagine booking a holiday and be sure our interests are in capable and caring hands.”
Mrs Sanders, Netherlands
“Great trip! Wonderful time of the year.”
Mrs Rodgers, USA
“We enjoyed the walk very much, beautiful scenes, many locks and comfortable walking paths, even the weather was helpful.”
Mr van der Meer, Netherlands
"Boats on the Canal" by Carmen Matthews (2018)
"West of Lock 15" by Carmen Matthews (2018)
"Great Bedwyn" by Carmen Matthews (2018)
"Caen Hill Locks" by Carmen Matthews (2018)
"Balance" by Hannah Vernon (2018)
"Bradford on Avon Canal" by Claire Renard (2018)
"Vintage Steam Train" by Claire Renard (2018)
"Red Barge in the Sun" by Claire Renard (2018)
"Bradford on Avon Canal" by Claire Renard (2018)

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