Categories
South West Wiltshire

Bradford-on-Avon to Monkton Combe

Description:
An 11 mile (18km) circular walk from Bradford-on-Avon along the Kennet & Avon Canal to the Dundas Viaduct, then along the Somerset Coal Canal before heading to Monkton Combe and returning to the Kennet & Avon Canal at Avoncliff to rejoin the towpath to return to the start point.

Walk Grade:
Easy/Moderate

Distance:
11 miles / 18km

Time:
4.5 hours

Car Parking:
The walk starts at the Canal and River Trust Pay and Display car park near Bradford-on-Avon wharf  (BA15 1BX) (Grid Ref: ST826601).

Walk Route:
Leaving the car park head towards Bradford-on Avon wharf to join the towpath (Grid Ref: ST825602).  Now follow the towpath in a westerly direction along the edge of Bradford-on-Avon.  After 2.5km the towpath reaches Avoncliff aqueduct (Grid Ref: ST804599). To continue on the towpath follow the way markers to go down and under the aqueduct to rejoin the towpath, with the canal now to the right, cross the aqueduct.

The towpath now follows the canal high above the river Avon and Great Western Railway line. After 2.6km the canal reaches the fine structure of Dundas Aqueduct (Grid Ref: ST785624).  After crossing the aqueduct turn left to join the towpath of the Somerset Coal Canal (Grid Ref: ST783625).

Follow this towpath for 500 metres to reach the Angelfish Restaurant and tearooms (Grid Ref: ST782621).  Now cross the B3108 and then go under the A36 to follow a path along a driveway (Grid Ref: ST780621) towards Monkton Combe School.  The footpath leads through the school to reach a lane (Grid Ref: ST775621) turn left passing old school buildings. After passing the school it is worth continuing on to reach St Michael’s Church (Grid Ref: ST772619).

After visiting the church return along the road and turn right by the Wheelwright Inn (Grid Ref: ST772620). Now head downhill to pass the village lock up which was built around 1776 (Grid Ref: ST773619) and continue down the lane to join a footpath leading across the Midford Brook (Grid Ref: ST774618) before heading steeply uphill to a lane leading into Limpley Stoke (Grid Ref: ST777610).  Follow the minor road to reach the busy A36 (Grid Ref: ST780605), cross with care, and follow the road on the opposite side to reach St Mary’s Church (Grid Ref: ST783603).  Continue down this country lane (Church Lane) to head into Freshford.

Walk through the village on New Road to reach the High Street, turn left and at the end of the street turn right to head downhill on a road aptly named “The Hill”.  Pass the The Inn at Freshford (Grid Ref: ST791600).

Now cross the River Frome and take a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: ST790599) cutting across the corner of a field to re-join the road at the junction to Freshford Mill (Grid Ref: ST790597).  Head uphill and just after passing a row of terrace houses take a footpath on the left (Grid Ref: ST790596) which continues uphill.  Join a road, Staples Hill, and follow for 900 metres to reach a road junction (Grid Ref: ST797593) turn left along the lane sign posted to Avoncliff and Upper Westwood.

After 2km in Westwood turn left opposite the telephone box (Grid Ref: ST806596) to walk down towards some small industrial units and then join a footpath that heads downhill with views of Avoncliff aqueduct below. The wooded path leads to a lane (Grid Ref: ST805598) which heads down to the Kennett and Avon canal.

At the canal re-join the towpath (Grid Ref: ST804599) and head back towards Bradford-on-Avon.  Instead of following the path back to the car park take a left (Grid Ref: ST822604) to visit the 14th century Tithe Barn in the Barton Farm Country Park.  

Now follow the River Avon into Bradford the Town Bridge with its lock-up (Grid Ref: ST826608).  The original bridge was built in the 13th century and when it was widened in the 17th century the lock-up was added.

To return to the car park from here follow the Frome Road to reach the canal at Bradford-on-Avon Wharf.

To download GPX and print map Click “Learn More” below:

To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 156 – Chippenham & Bradford-on-Avon; and Outdoor Explorer Map 155 – Bristol & Bath

Toilets:
There are toilets at the start of the walk at Bradford-on-Avon wharf and at the pubs and cafes on route.

Refreshments:
Avoncliff: Cross Guns pub
Somerset Coal Canal, Monkton Combe: Angelfish Restaurant.
Monkton Combe: Wheelwright Arms.
Freshford: The Inn at Freshford
Bradford-on-Avon Wharf: Canal & River Trust Cafe; The Barge Inn; Mr Salvat’s 17th century coffee room.

Additional Information:
A narrative this walk with pictures, historic information and other points of interest can be viewed on my associated Two Dogs and an Awning website.

© Walking Moonraker (2020)

All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access. 
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.

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