Kayaking in Bath is the perfect activity to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the waterway, whilst admiring the scenic setting of the Kennet and Avon Canal, nestled in the Somerset countryside.
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Return, come back the way you came
Wear the relevant safety equipment (recommendations on this page)
ABOUT THE KENNET AND AVON CANAL
From Bristol to Bath the canal follows the course of the River Avon before joining the River Kennet when it reaches Newbury. In total the waterway is 87 miles long and incorporates 105 locks. Running amidst rolling hills and pasturelands the Kennet and Avon canal is the perfect location to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside. The canal is a popular location for boating, canoeing, paddle boarding and kayaking, attracting plenty of visitors each year looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The Kennet and Avon Canal is an ideal location for beginners, the water is incredibly still which provides a smooth journey on the waterway.
KAYAKING IN BATH/ BATHAMPTON
A fantastic starting point to explore the Kennet and Avon Canal is Bathampton. Follow this postcode BA2 6TR to navigate your way to a suitable launch point. You will be able to park for free very close to the water and easily lower your kayak into the canal.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Warleigh Weir is located on the River Avon, Warleigh Weir is a popular spot for wild swimming. The weir is easily accessible from the Kennet and Avon Canal and reached by walking a short distance down the track and across the railway line. Dundas Aqueduct is Situated close to Monkton Combe in Somerset, the aqueduct carries the Kennet and Avon Canal over The River Avon. This point of interest boast spectacular views across the water and Somerset countryside.
RECOMMENDED ROUTE MAP
If you don’t own one already, a waterproof phone case is a life saver when it comes to kayaking, it’s a cheap purchase that brings hours of piece of mind! The exact model I use is no longer available however, this is extremely similar. I would recommend testing your case out before you hit the water by popping something inside and submerging it in water. Now I’ve got one, I wouldn’t leave on a kayaking trip without it, it allows you to bring your phone along with you, which is advantageous form a safety point of view, and also allows you to take lots of photos while you are on the water. Head to the bottom of this blog for further kit recommendations.
There are a few essential things you can do before heading out on your kayaking trip. Firstly, make sure you check the weather, an obvious one, but it’s important to prepare for the planned forecast, not just the current moment. Make sure you take a phone with you in the unlikely event you need to call for help, you’ll be thankful that you have it! Research your route well beforehand, the last thing you want to do is to take on a route that is too long for the time you have planned, and you certainly don’t want to be left loosing light whilst trying to get back. Obvious, but vital, wear a buoyancy aid that fits well and can’t slip over your head. The water might look calm, but you can’t always tell what’s going on further down. Check out the current, you might like to plan your route so you are going back with the current, this makes it easier when you are tired. Wear water shoes, you don’t know what is lurking on the river bed, there could be glass or broken branches. All in all, be prepared, plan, stay safe and have a lovely time!
KAYAK OR CANOE?
Looking to hire your equipment and not sure what to go for? What is the difference between a kayak and canoe? Kayaks are more light-weight which makes them slightly easier to manoeuvre. In a kayak the paddler uses a double-bladed paddle to cut through the water, the paddler will be seated with their legs stretched out in front of them. In a canoe the paddler is either kneeling or seated on a bench and uses a single bladed paddle to propel themselves forward. Canoes are a popular choice for families as they can often seat more people than a kayak can.
KAYAKING IN BATH – ADVENTURE DAYS AND TRAINING
Original Wild offer Bath’s most popular kayak tour! They’ve got some pretty awesome reviews, and are definitely worth checking out. They also offer multi day adventures and training days in Bath and Bathampton. The unique sessions are held during the day as well as offering night and evening sessions. Ideal for groups, hen and stag parties and corporate days.
RECOMMENDED KAYAKING KIT
Check out the below kit to ensure you have everything you need for a safe and exciting adventure kayaking in Bath.
New lifejackets sold in the UK, Ireland and Europe are required to meet the international Standards Organisation standard ISO12402. For kayaking you need a buoyancy aid at level 50. Make sure the lifejacket is a good fit, comfortable and non-restricting.
Waterproof Dry Bag
To ensure your personal belongings are kept dry on your kayak consider investing in a good quality waterproof bag. This bag features 2 adjustable shoulder straps and buckles to make it easy to carry. To free your hands you can use it as a large volume backpack, it also comes in plenty of cool colours to choose from.
It’s a great idea to purchase a pair of water shoes to ensure you don’t ruin your trainers form submerging them in water. These water shoes are quick drying, lightweight, and fit snuggly on your feet.
Have you been kayaking in Bath? Share your recommendations in the comments below.
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