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Friday, 5 July 2013

Sir Hugh is off on holiday

This time it's unashamed indulgence. For the first time ever I have booked accommodation for all five nights in advance and not a campsite, youth hostel, bunk barn or dosshouse in the itinerary, just four pubs and a bed and breakfast. No need for an EPIRB, and no humping tents, sleeping bag, cooking equipment etc, just a diddy little rucksack with a toothbrush and a decent shirt and clean socks to don when I dine.

The Kennet and Avon Canal from Reading to Bath measures 76 miles (123 km.). I take the train from Arnside on Monday, 08.07, and arrive in Reading for 12.39 where I am booked into a hotel. That will give me time to walk to where the canal meets the River Thames to the east of Reading and back again, so that I will be able to start on the canal directly from the hotel next morning walking west.

I bought a superb map on line (Heron Maps - Waterways Series - Kennet & Avon Canal and River Avon). This is a strip map, double sided at 1:50000 with more detail of relevance than you see on the equivalent OS map. The only trouble is its length - nearly two metres. If I try to open it up to re-fold in a high wind I may end up  paragliding part of the route - just hope the wind is blowing from east to west.

Ports of call are Reading, Thatcham Froxfield, Honeystreet, Semmington and Bath.

The map. 


Roderick Robinson said...

Think of it as therapy.

Sir Hugh said...

That's the objective, but I suspect I may not get away with it, but what could go wrong?

The Crow said...

In my family, the person who utters "But what could go wrong?" is threatened with banishment because he or she has invited the wrath of whatever gods hold sway over the event being planned.

Surely, though, the gods who oversee holiday plans were asleep when you typed those words, or don't have Internet access. One can only hope!

I hope your journey is a good one, restorative, pleasant and entertaining. With no wrathful interventions.

welshpaddler said...

Have an indulgent time. We had a pleasant day on Thursday canoeing on the Mon & Brec canal

Anonymous said...

Nothing can go wrong - the weather forecast is good,the route is presumably flattish and you have the map. Enjoy!!!

Gayle said...

Excellent! Another five days' worth of blogs for me to enjoy :-)

And, a good weather forecast too.

Have fun.

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - I was only saying that tongue in cheek, but I have been known to turn the most benign of walks into epics.


Welshpaddler - that could be my next target?


bowlandclimber - I'll have to engineer something for the blog. The LDWA website says there is 2388ft of ascent which is difficult to believe, but the profile shows that is accumulated over about half the distance, approximately 38 miles so that's only about 63 feet per mile.


Gayle - Is that while you are supposed to be working? I hope your boss is a sympathetic backpacker.

John J said...

Wot, no spare undies??

Have a great walk, I look forward to reading about it.


gimmer said...

the Vale of Pewsey is my favourite area round here - so I may ambush you somewhere there - maybe at Honeystreet, where our workers once stayed when we did a job for a Ms Faultless - not far from Little Clench, which is equally memorable for other reasons (there also resides A Mystery Author and his vast library!).
Try to have a chocolate brownie at Thompson's cafe when passing Pewsey itself: indisputably the best in the world.

Sir Hugh said...

Gimmer - thanks for the tips. I am staying in a b and b at Honeystreet and will be eating at The Barge Inn as far as i know.

welshpaddler said...

Let me know if the Mon and Brec are on your list as it would be good to meet up.Bob

mikeywalky said...

I'm glad to see that Essex hasn't deterred you from visiting the deep south again.

You've picked a nice area to walk through with plenty of places on the way to get some scran or indulge in some re-hydration.

Don't miss the Crofton Beam Engines (nr Gt Bedwyn)and you can marvel at the locks on Caen Hill (if your are interested in Industrial archaeology) - Be prepared for a steep descent here (237 feet in 2 miles).

If you fancy, there is the Wadworths Brewery Tour in Devizes (just a little way off the canal).

And, before Pewsey you can easily practice your trainspotting skills although you might see the same ones over and over again!

Have a great walk.

Mark said...

Looking forward to your posts. I hope everything goes smoothly. The image of you whizzing through the air, propelled by your map, had me chuckling.

Sir Hugh said...

Welshpaddler - Will do. It does look interesting.


Mikeywalkey - Thanks for the tips. I'm not sure where you hail from but your knowledge of the South seems widespread.


Mark - You might well laugh, but if I hadn't let go of the map on Halls Ridge on Blencathra a few years ago I might well have ended up in Penrith with the map. Unfortunately it didn't have my contact details on it so I never did find out where it ended up.