We are planning on dropping down the Avon and going into Bristol harbour to finish off the outward cruise on the Kennet and Avon canal. Watching the water pouring over the weir in Bath after xmas made me think that it might just be a good idea to see what the river was like below the Bath locks and to see what, if any, suitable mooring spots there might be.
Somewhat better pics than mine of the River Avon from Bath to Hanham lock.
Met up with Jim at the Bath park and ride and then moved my car down to Keynsham with the plan that we should walk back along the tow path to Jim's car at the park and ride.
Well that should have been straight forward but it proved to be a bit more of a challenge than expected. The walk started well enough with cool but pleasant weather and the river and tow path meandering through very pleasant countryside.
We crossed the Bristol and Bath railway line, now a cycle/walking pathway, and continued to Swineford where apparently the towpath changed sides of the river. The symbols on the OS map were a bit vague but we were confident that if there was a lock, we should be able to cross at it as one set of gates would have to be closed.
In this we were wrong as we could find no way of even seeing the lock let alone getting to it. Walking into a small industrial estate we had a very pleasant encounter with a car driver who told us that 'many people come looking to cross the river here but they can't'. She suggested re-tracing our steps to the railway but this did not appeal to us so we suffered the noise and fumes of the road to pick it up further on towards Saltford.
At Newbridge we decided that we 'would just have a look' at the river as it heads up towards Bath. This didn't turn out to be very rewarding as a walk so we turned back just before the first lock. On the way we came across a memorial to Haile Selassie which pointed the way to a fascinating story of how he came to spend five years in Bath at Fairfield House when in exile in 1936 after the Italians invaded Ethiopia during WW2.