In WalkingNature

The Kennet and Avon Canal stretches across the county of Wiltshire from West to East, offering many wonderful walking options. Keep an eye out as you stroll along the towpath and you’re likely to be rewarded by the sight of a stately heron fishing in the shallows, or the bright flash of a kingfisher darting past. And there’s lots to see on walks along the canal besides the wildlife; stately aqueducts, historic locks, waterside pubs and colourful narrowboats all add to the charm of the Kennet & Avon Canal as it winds its way across Wiltshire.

Here are five lovely canal walks in Wiltshire to inspire you to take a stroll down by the water…

Walkers on the canal footpath

Wilcot Circular Walk

Ideal for small children, this short circular route begins at the Golden Swan pub in the quintessentially English village of Wilcot. The walk gives you the chance to explore the village itself before looping through the surrounding countryside to join the Kennet and Avon Canal at Ladies Bridge. From here, enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the canal as you follow the towpath back to the start of the walk at Wilcot. 

  • Grid ref: SU 14318 61107
  • Accessibility: Level route suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. Can be muddy in places.
  • Car parking: Wilcot village
  • Length: 3.6 miles

See the full walk.


Devizes to Roundway Hill Circular Walk

Admire a variety of pretty scenery, including views over the town of Devizes, on this circular walk which takes in Roundway Hill as well as stretches of the Kennet & Avon Canal. The route begins at the Market Place in Devizes and takes you via Roundway village up to Roundway Hill, before returning to Devizes and following the towpath alongside the Kennet and Avon Canal back to the Market Place. During the walk, you will have a number of opportunities to spot the Devizes White Horse which was created to mark the Millennium and now watches over the town and surrounding countryside from a nearby hillside.

  • Grid ref: SU 00370 61542
  • Accessibility: Some steep uphill sections.
  • Car parking: Wharf Car Park, Devizes
  • Length: 5 miles

See the full walk.


Pewsey and Wooton Rivers Walk

About a quarter of this eight-mile walk runs alongside the canal, with the rest taking you through pleasant fields and pretty villages. Begin at the Bruce Arms pub and head towards Wootton Rivers before meeting the Kennet and Avon and heading West along the towpath. After a couple of miles, you make your way through the village of Pewsey before returning to the Bruce Arms via the village of Milton Libourne. This walk is the perfect opportunity to explore some of the picturesque villages that the Vale of Pewsey is known for.

  • Grid ref: SU 19789 61069
  • Accessibility: Generally level with some gentle inclines. Tarmac roads, footpaths and fields. Unsuitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
  • Car parking: Milton Lilbourne village, or the Bruce Arms (with permission)
  • Length: 8 miles

See the full walk.


Bradford on Avon to Avoncliff Walk

Another good option for families, this walk begins and ends in the charming market town of Bradford on Avon. From here, it is an easy walk to follow, simply tracing the towpath to the nearby village of Avoncliff. When you reach Avoncliff, admire the historic aqueduct which carries the canal over the River Avon, before you return to Bradford on Avon by the same route along the towpath.

  • Grid ref: ST 82557 60875
  • Accessibility: Mainly level. Can be muddy.
  • Car parking: St Margaret's car park, Bradford on Avon.
  • Length: 3.54 miles

See the full walk. 


Great Bedwyn and Wilton Windmill Circular

There's a lot to see on this circular canal walk. Begin by following the Kennet & Avon from Great Bedwyn past a number of locks to Crofton Beam Engines, which was built over 200 years ago to pump water to the highest point of the canal, and is still in working order today. From here, climb the hill to admire the views from local landmark Wilton Windmill before continuing through the countryside to arrive back into Great Bedwyn.

  • Grid ref: SU 27997 64566
  • Accessibility: Canal towpath, quiet lanes, woodland tracks. Easy-moderate walking.
  • Car parking: Bedwyn Station
  • Length: 5.5 miles

See the full walk. 


Keen to stretch your legs some more? Looking for more inspiration to get outdoors and enjoy Wiltshire's lovely landscapes? Find out more about walking in Wiltshire. 

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