For 87 miles (140 km) the Kennet and Avon Canal winds its way between Bristol and Reading. It was the longest and most important canal in Wiltshire. Authorised in 1794, it was completed in 1810 under the supervision of John Rennie. It was the last to decline and was navigable well into the twentieth century. No regular traffic travelled along it after the 1930's and eventually closed to traffic in 1951.
Due to public pressure an organization, formed in 1955, which became the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, with local authorities and British Waterways, gradually brought the canal back to life and in 1990 the canal was reopened by Queen Elizabeth II at Caen Hill Devizes.
Once vital to the economy of Wiltshire's limited industrial development, the canal is now the longest linear parkway in southern England and one of the county's most important green corridors. Wildlife has re-established itself on and around the water and the leisure activities it offers. The trust offers boat cruises from Pewsey and Bradford-on-Avon plus numerous private charter cruises (including horse-drawn-boats) are available. There are day and holiday hire facilities on day boats, rowing boats, narrow-boats and electric boats. The towpath is a public right of way.
Looking west. The abutments of the former bridge carrying the Midland and South Western Junction railway from Andover to Andoversford can be seen.
At the end of the straight stretch of canal and just visible in the image are the moorings at Lower Foxhanger's.