Well here it is the last section of this walk. It has taken two years to complete but like the end of a good book it leaves you slightly bereft when you finish. I have to say that I was really pleased that we left this section until last as finishing in Bath seemed somehow more interesting than finishing in Reading. The scenery along the way more than justified our decision too.
|Limpley Stoke Section|
We started by driving over to the hamlet of Avoncliff where we had left off the day before. Getting to the station in a car is not easy as it is at the end of a lengthy narrow lane and there are only a few spaces available. We struck lucky on the basis that we were quite early and not all of the half dozen or so spaces had been taken. There is another car park available on the other side of the aqueduct but there is no physical road connection between the two so be warned!
Once we had got ourselves together we started by crossing the aqueduct and then crossing underneath the canal on the far side to gain the towpath. The terrain of the walk was much changed from a little further east as we have now reached the southern end of the Cotswolds. The canal now follows the wooded Avon valley and to say it is picturesque would be an understatement. The weather had improved markedly on the day before too with bright sunshine and puffy clouds the order of the day.
|Somerset Coal Canal Basin|
Eventually we came to Dundas Aqueduct. This fantastic engineering feature carries the canal over the River Avon a second time in order that it can maintain the same level heading towards Bath. The main Bath to Bradford-on-Avon railway line also passes underneath. The aqueduct was named after the Chairman of the Kennet and Avon Canal and was built between 1797 and 1801 by John Rennie and it still very ornate even 200 years later following restorations in the 1980s and approximately 10 years ago. Perhaps unsurprisingly it was the first canal structure in Britain to be designated as a scheduled ancient monument.