Kennet and Avon Canal and River Thames Holiday
30 August to 6 September 2014
Having explored much of the western and central part of the Kennet and Avon
Canal in 2012, this year we returned to complete the eastern section, plus do a
little exploration of the River Thames.
On Sunday morning we reach the strange Monkey Marsh Lock. It is a Scheduled
Ancient Monument being one of only two surviving "turf-sided" locks (though it
is more general vegetation than turf). The water spills sideways a long way when
the lock is full, hence the barriers to keep the boats in the middle. This was
the original style of lock on the Kennet, but most were eventually rebuilt in
brick or stone.
With Mary at the tiller, Lucy holds our boat in to the side with the middle
Continuing west along the canal
Newbury Bridge with Newbury Lock beyond.
Opening West Mills Swing Bridge in Newbury
Some of the gates on this canal are a bit heavy, and here it is taking three
people to close this one at Aldermaston Lock as we make our way back down the
canal towards the Thames, having joined up with the section we'd previously
visited at Hungerford
Lock 100, Sulhamstead Lock
More scalloped edges
After an overnight stay above Fobney Lock on the edge of town, we are now
heading through the very shallow County Lock into the centre of Reading
The relatively fast-moving water through the centre is controlled by traffic
lights so there should be no-one coming the other way
Safely through the awkward bit we moor below Duke Street Bridge to do a bit of
Then we head out onto the Thames and upriver through Caversham Lock
Above Gatehampton Railway Bridge
We moored just above Wallingford Bridge and walked around Wallingford and then
Next day we pass through Reading again, here looking at the mouth of the River
Kennet as we continue downriver.
We stopped for the night at Sonning, where at least one of the locals has a
sense of humour.
Next day going back upriver, we pass through Sonning Bridge
On the Kennet and Avon, Sarah winds the delightfully easy paddle gear on Blake's
County Lock and its very shallow weir
Queuing below Fobney Lock isn't terribly easy as there is mooring for just one
boat so we lurked in mid-river, using occasional engine against the current. The
swans and cygnets jump the queue.
Approaching Ufton Swing Bridge
The crew on the last morning