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Introduction to this blog
Following the Kennet Navigation Act of 1715 the River Kennet was partially canalised between Reading and Newbury. Some sections of the navigation shared the 'old' route of the river, whilst new sections were dug to avoid some of the more tortuous detours and mills. Today the Kennet and Avon Canal is regularly used by canoeists and kayakers (most famously as part of the annual Devizes to Westminster race), but for anyone who'd like to escape from the uniformity of the slow water, this guide focuses on some sections of the river that are less often paddled.
The waters described here are all Grade 0/1, sluices frequently block the route, and there's plenty of other natural and man-made obstructions, but don't let that stop you from enjoying a more interesting day out than you would by sticking to the canal.
This guide has been created to promote the right to paddle the River Kennet, and to give you some ideas as to where to do so if you are so inclined.
The blog was inspired by the Canoeing and Kayaking The Bristol Avon blog and The River Avon blog (see links), and shares the sentiment that our rivers are a resource that may be responsibly enjoyed by all (despite what some people may tell you).
Canoeing and kayaking are 'Assumed Risk' activities that may carry attendant risks. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks, and be responsible for their own action and involvement.
Apologies for some of the spacing between the text, photos and captions. I just gave up on trying to reconcile the difference between the supposed WYSIWYG edit mode and a published post.
Finally thanks to Gary, Mark, Keith, Jen ("Don't grab the tree...don't grab the...OK. I'll go and collect your paddle.") and Rachael ("Keep your distance from your mother...Keep back...OK. I'll go and collect your paddle too.") for your company and help on the sections we paddled together.