Walking the Canal from Bradford on Avon to Bath

by Heidi Obermeyer

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Gooooooooood morning world! After a restful weekend and a successfully completed first week of class, I’m feeling much better than I was when I wrote my last Debbie Downer post. Being abroad can be lots of ups and downs, so I’m just keepin’ it real. Luckily today that means writing about a really fun walk I did the weekend before last, so hopefully I’m keeping the complaints to a minimum 🙂

I finally went on my first official Bath adventure! Er…. adventure near Bath. Adventure involving getting back to Bath? Yeah, that’s what I was going for. Anyway, I and a few friends decided to get our outdoorsy game on and walk from Bradford on Avon to Bath, a flat, 10 mile walk along a canal connecting the two towns. The path is well kept, and obviously a popular place to walk and bike, but the middle bits had far fewer walkers than the ends and we were pleasantly alone for some of the journey.

That’s not to say the canal is empty of civilization though- there’s tons of long, narrow boats in varying states of loving upkeep and absolute disrepair tethered to edges along the entire route. It was really fun to see the huge variety in paint jobs, names, and usage- some of the boats even have little restaurants or cafés on them! We also saw a few birthday parties putter by on boats rented for the day, which I think could be fun if you didn’t feel like actually walking the canal.

One of the most interesting parts of the walk was crossing the aqueducts that carry the canal over the River Avon. I had never (as far as I know) seen an aqueduct in action before, and it was actually quite a surreal experience to walk alongside one body of water some 50 feet above another. Another highlight was a big box of windfall apples that someone had set out along the path, a few of which were taken home by Katelyn and made into a seriously delicious applesauce. She even found clotted cream flavored ice cream (!!!) and I have to say, I haven’t had a dessert that tasty in a while. There also seem to be a ton of wild berries growing around here, and even though I reallyyyyyyy want to try one, I’m not sure how acceptable that is or if they’re even safe to eat. Advice here, British readers?

If you’re interested, the train ride from Bath to Bradford on Avon- or the other way around- only cost us about 4£, and was a really nice way to see the area around Bath and explore Bradford on Avon, which also turned out to be a pretty cute little village. More information on the Canal can be found here, but if you’d like to wing it most locals seem to know what you’re talking about if you ask after the path.

What should my next Bath adventure (Bathventure!) be? I hear there’s a hill ’round these parts that has amazing views of the city, but I have yet to climb it. All suggestions are welcome 🙂 Happy Monday!