The canal has benefited from the very proactive Kennet and Avon Canal Trust since 1951 and the canal now extends 87.5 miles from its junction with the Thames at Reading westward to the River Avon to Bristol.

This trust was a test bed for the Canal and River Trust structure, being the first canal area local control model.

My observations indicate that the canal has two distinct characters roughly divided into west and east that is Bristol to Devizes and Devizes to Reading, with perhaps Reading city itself being a third section. The west is bustling and full of immediately appealing gems, the east is much quieter with fewer boats and passing through villages and two largish towns. Reading has much more of a modern city atmosphere and a place to stop if you want a brief dose of commercialisation.

Click on the canal sections below this in the left sidebar for details and photos.