Walk #73: Devizes to Wooton Rivers
Map of the walk
Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format. For a detailed table of timings for this walk, please see the table file.
For more details of the distances involved with this walk, please see Jim Shead's waterways pages.
A nice day which I finished in plenty of time despite a relatively (for me) late start. Early on in the day's walk the underside of my feet started aching and this aching did not let up until my bath fter I had got to my B&B for the night.
Today's walk was 15 miles of very easy canal towpath walking - I had time to walk further, but my feet were suffering towards the end of the day. Highlights of the day were the White Horse carved on the hillside north of All Cannings and the picturesque village of Wooton Rivers, where nearly every house is thatched.
This B&B is very nice (although relatively expensive), and I am still about 7 miles ahead of my schedule. I am considering spending tomorrow night in Kintbury (between Hungerford and Newbury), or at Newbury itself (at 19 miles perhaps a bit too far . It will all depend on the state of my feet.
The local accent is absolutely delicious - one of the barmaids at the Royal Oak sounds like a real country bumpkin with a very thick but lovely accent. As I drunk my pint I reflected on the fact that I could live in a village like this, and indeed it has been used for filming television series in the past.
On the other hand, another barmaid told me that in the sixties and seventies Wooton Rivers was known as the most incestuous village in England, and in the eighties it was in the papers as the wife-swapping centre of the country. I find it hard to believe it of such a lovely village, but on the other hand everyone in the village did seem very close and friendly, so who knows?
This was a simple walk following the Kennet and Avon canal eastwards from Devizes passing though All Cannings, Honeystreet and Pewsey. Navigation was simple; I just had to follow the canal. The towpath starts on the southern side of the canal; at ST113607 it crosses over onto the northern bank, and at Bristow Bridge (ST150614) it seaps back over to the southern side once more. It remains on the soutehrn bank until Wooton Rivers is reached.
This makes a total distance of 14.9 miles, with 404 feet of ascent and 377 feet of descent.
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And finally, enjoy your walking!
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