Saturday 13th July
A splendid breakfast was delivered before I retired. Fruit juice, two croissants, fresh strawberries, yoghurt, and an apple and banana, and a cheese sandwich.
The forecast said, "hotter than yesterday". I was away at 5:45 hoping to beat the heat, but by 8:00 it was already uncomfortable.
From Bradford-on-Avon the canal was much busier with holiday boats, and many more cyclists to the point where they became a damned nuisance - the heat tends to make me bad tempered. I was too early for any of the cafés I passed, and eventually got a pint of orange and lemonade at The George about three kilometres from Bath. I have been charged £1.86, £2.36, and, at this last call, £3.20 for that drink.
The canal wends its way through the atttractive Georgian architecture of Bath, and finishes in an indeterminate fashion - there is a descending lock which would put you into the River Avon and onwards to Bristol, but from appearance, at this stage it just looks like a continuation of the canal.
At the final lock it was 12:40 so I had covered the fifteen miles in approximately seven hours. Even with that early start the heat was a killer, and I was soaked in sweat and somewhat bemused almost to the point of hallucination when I arrived, and I'm sorry to say I was in no mood to explore the wonders of Bath. I walked the few hundred yards to the railway station. It was 12:50, and luckily, I was able to board the 13:00 train to Birmingham, the first stage of my homeward journey. From Birmingham to Preston took two hours with no air-conditioning. I was running with sweat the whole journey wearing the same shirt I had worn, except for evenings, for the last five days; I don't know if this was apparent to my fellow passengers, but it was not something that was worrying me.
From Preston I landed at Arnside for 18:41.
I would recommend this walk highly. TheKennet Avon is by far the most attractive canal I have explored, and much less walked than I expected, certainly as far as Bradford-on-Avon. Places of refreshment are scarce without diverting from the canal, so if it is hot I suggest carrying plenty of liquid. I can normally go all day without drinking much, but on this trip the heat was intense and after the first three hours I was craving for liquid for the rest of the day. I wonder what it would be like as a winter walk?
At last I can post some decent photos taken with my camera instead of the woeful results from the iPhone.
|The River Avon from the Avon Canal aqueduct at Avoncliff|
|Quite a lot of this walk was fortunately in dappled shade, but there was plenty in uncomfortably hot sunshine as well|
|On the way into Bath|
|The final lock taking the Avon Canal into the River Avon. It is not apparent here but we are in the town centre only about three hundred yards from the large railway station|
Sent from my iPhone