Today we had an easy day ahead of us, which was just as well due to the impending heatwave we have been forecast. At 9 am there was still mist hanging over the Canal, but this did not last long. We had a couple of manual swing bridges to deal with, before arriving at Bradford-on-Avon. We had also been warned that from now on, the number of moored boats would mean spending most of our time with the engine on tick over. The only Lock we had to navigate is located close to the centre of the town, and was being manned by at least four volunteers. Probably due to the fact there is a nice tearoom overlooking the Lock. Whilst mooring on the approach into Bradford-on Avon would be tight, there was plenty of opportunities to tie up on the other side of the town. Our next landmark was the Avoncliff Aqueduct, where the canal performs a couple of sharp 90 degree turns to carry it over the river below.
The Canal now runs along the side of several deep gorges and parallel to the railway line, following the course of the River Avon. A couple of miles further on we crossed our second Aqueduct, the Dundas Aqueduct. There was plenty of visitor mooring here, and at the far end, some much needed shade. The Aqueduct was built from stone in 1804, and is named after the first chairman of the Kennet and Avon Canal Company.
In the photo above the Canal is to the left. To the right is the entrance to the former Somersetshire Coal Canal. This Canal opened in 1805, and was built to supply coal to Bath and Bristol, from the Somerset coal fields. At its peak it was serving 30 collieries. It was finally abandoned in 1904, so this remarkable feat of engineering, lasted just 100 years. A small section has been restored, and now operates as private moorings and boatyard.
At the end of the Coal Canal Arm is a cafe, where we had lunch and an ice cream. Wandering back to the boat, you get a better side view of the Dundas Aqueduct.
We are now on the outskirts of Bath which we should reach tomorrow. This means we will be timing our approach to Bristol, to coincide with the neap tides, so the tidal section of the River Avon should be fairly benign.
Totals 9 Miles 1 Lock
Running total 354 Miles 396 Locks 10 Tunnels