Slow Float to Bath – 4th August 2019

According to the guide we had five hours of cruising to make it to Bath. We decided we would leave about 9.00am which would give us the opportunity to stop a few times and view some suggested sites and still make Bath at a reasonable time.

What we forgot to take into consideration was the hire boat change over day at Bradford which resulted in boats being returned to the hire base as well as new hires going out. We also got hire boats from other companies which just seemed to converge on us the entire day.

It also appears that they only make hire boats in one size and that is extra long. Many of the drivers were pretty inept and to be guiding something so long passed moored boats and oncoming boats created mass confusion. We stayed well back from the cacophony.

The guy just in front of us did not know which side of the canal to drive on and was progressing at a speed of backwards. It is not so much we were in a hurry but the chaos that just him created became mind numbing.

The stretch of the canal from Bradford on Avon to Bath is very scenic and hangs on the side of the valley with great scenery. Our first stop was at the Avoncliff Aqueduct which carries the Kennet and Avon Canal over the River Avon and the Bath to Westbury railway line, at Avoncliff in Wiltshire, England. It was built by John Rennie and chief engineer John Thomas, between 1797 and 1801 and is a listed building.

Aerial shots show these aqueducts off a lot better.

It was very slow progress not just due to hire boats but also because of the myriad of permanent moored boats but really this didn’t matter too much as the scenery was so stunning you needed plenty of time to take it in.

Next stop was the Dundas Aqueduct. As it is now and

as it was when first built.

We moored for a little while to find the best spot to take a good picture but once again, it is the aerial shots that do it justice.

Next stop was the Claverton Pumping Station that use to and still does at times pump the water from the River Avon up to the canal.

By now time was getting away from us so we needed to get moving to Bath. We have been to Bath many years ago but once been never forgotten. It spreads itself over a very tight valley and most of the inner city is built of limestone. Bath is a World Heritage Listed city and tomorrow on our travels our photos will show you why.

Progressing into the city on the canal, you go by the Sydney Gardens and then under two short tunnels.

Once again we flukes getting a mooring in our desired location and just as the rain started. We are promised a week of rain going forward which isn’t the best news a boater can hear. We have a full day off in Bath before we head off to Bristol on Tuesday so will be Tommy the Tourist tomorrow.

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