THE KENNET AND AVON CANAL RUNS 140 KM, linking the Bristol Channel and London. Completed in 1810, this canal was the culmination of 80 years’ work as the River Kennet and River Avon were joined by the canal. Despite the best of intentions, the canal never really flourished as an industrial waterway after the Great Western Railway route was opened between the two cities, and traffic on the canal declined dramatically. The canal soon fell into disrepair and it wasn’t until 1963 that the British Waterways commenced restoration work alongside a newly formed trust. The canal is now part of the National Cycle Network, with the entire Somerset section of the path suitable for either an afternoon stroll or a more strenuous cycle ride. For a pleasant walk and introduction to the magnificent architecture adjacent to the canal, a good starting point is Sydney Gardens, situated next to the Holburne Museum. The walk towards Bathampton takes in splendid views of the canal boats now cruising with relaxed holidaymakers, and an ideal midpoint stop (before returning) is the George Inn, which sits beside the canal. If you decide to walk towards the centre of Bath, you’ll discover elegant cast-iron bridges sweeping over the canal and the architectural beauty of Cleveland House, one of the canal’s most famous features.