Unique river-level perspective of the Bath’s famous honey-coloured Georgian architecture on a paddle through the city’s industrial heart to spectacular Pulteney Weir and Bridge.
This is route 84 in our latest book “Paddle Boarding South West England:100 places to SUP, canoe, and kayak in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Bristol“
Start on the jetty alongside Weston Lock and paddle 250 metres along the Weston Cut past the Locksbrook Inn to join the river Avon where it makes a wide meander. Along its banks you’ll notice a mix of green space, reclaimed buildings and warehouses, and cyclists whizzing along the Bristol and Avon Railway Path that runs parallel to the Avon for most of this route. On reaching the Victoria suspension bridge, the Riverside Complex on the south bank is a good coffee stop with easy exit on the bank just beyond the bridge. Continue towards the city centre past quays used by tour boats then pass under the main road and rail bridges. To the right, where the river sweeps left, you’ll see the lock gates of the Kennet and Avon Canal, then the spire and riverside garden of impressive St John the Evangelist church come into view. Once under the arch of North Parade Bridge, look over to the left at the green parkland of Parade Gardens, then continue to the weir. From here, enjoy unique views of the Colonnade and elegant Pulteney Bridge, one of only four bridges worldwide with shops across the full span on both sides. To dip in the warm waters that first made Bath popular with the Romans, paddle up to edge of Parade Gardens to find a hidden outlet from the Spa – the extra river weeds growing in its vicinity are a giveaway.
Bath’s special blue space
The City of Bath is of Outstanding Universal Value for the following cultural attributes: The Roman remains, especially the Temple of Sulis Minerva and the baths complex (based around the hot springs at the heart of the Roman town of Aquae Sulis, which have remained at the heart of the City’s development ever since) are amongst the most famous and important Roman remains north of the Alps, and marked the beginning of Bath’s history as a spa town.
Need to know
Distance 7.6km return
Access restrictions No licence required
Starting point Weston Lock, BA1 3JW. Grid ref. ST 7249 6491 (51.3826, -2.3966)
Launching Jetty, Weston Lock gates at Weston Cut, short walk from parking
Parking Roadside parking along Brassmill Lane, Newbridge, BA1 3JW
Pitstops Tasty street food vendors and great beer, Electric Bear Brewing Co Taproom, tel. 01225 4424088; good coffee at Coffee#1 Riverside, tel. 01225 448377
Tours Bath City tours with Original Wild tel. 01225 582181
Getting there Approach Bath from NW on A4 (Bristol Road), then follow L fork signed Newbridge/Weston, over bridge, and turn R into Brassmill Lane (signed industrial estate) and look for parking spot
Special points Paddle only on normal river conditions, avoid the river after high rainfall due to fast flow and danger at weir
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