8 of the best pubs to visit along the Kennet & Avon Canal
- Credit: Archant
From Reading to Bristol, the Kennet & Avon Canal acts as a popular destination for pleasure boaters and holiday makers alike. Due to popular demand, we’ve assembled a list of our favourite pubs to quench your thirst in along the way.
Located in a top area for walking, cycling and canal boats, the Butt Inn is the perfect spot for a bite to eat and a relaxing stroll before retreating to your narrowboat for the night. If you happen to pass by on a Tuesday evening, you can take part in curry night – where you can choose from beef, chicken or vegetable curry accompanied by Bombay aloo, onion bhajis and poppadoms and dips for only £8.95.
If you’re looking for a traditional pub full of character, the Rowbarge is a superb choice. There are six different cask ales to choose from and the shelf behind the bar is crammed with malts. To accompany your drink in the hot weather, there is a selection of tasty meat dishes on the BBQ menu and iFootpath have created a Rowbarge Canal river trail to work off those extra calories you’ve eaten at lunch!
- 1 Winifred: a 1980s hire boat refit with reclaimed wood
- 2 Boat test: “Oyster Catcher” the permanent house boat
- 3 Weekend visits: a trip down Basingstoke canal
- 4 4 Interior Design Ideas for Your Narrowboat
- 5 Boat test: 'Whitsuntide No2' hybrid 52ft canal boat by Trinity Boats
- 6 Stormin' Norman: singlehandedly navigating the waterways, aged 86
- 7 Linking Lichfield: the Lichfield Canal restoration
- 8 Stretching your narrow boat: process and advice
- 9 Cruise Guide | Grand Union Canal, Part 2 | Braunston to Marsworth
- 10 The waterways heritage spotter: narrow gauge railway tracks
The close proximity of the canal and the quirky roof terrace allows diners and drinkers to enjoy the relaxing views of narrowboats drifting by. On the menu there are many traditional English staples to choose - from beer battered cod to ham and leek short crust pie. The name of the pub derives from the ‘locks’ of the canal, the ‘stocks’ from the gardens of the nearby Old Globe Inn, and we think you can guess where ‘barrel’ originates from!
This picturesque Georgian Inn has been accommodating hungry and thirsty travellers from the canals since the end of the 18th century – and with a reputation for tasty pub grub and fine ales, we can understand why. When the sun is shining, the Dundas Arms has a pretty garden to enjoy a picnic – blankets are provided free of charge and homemade scotch eggs, salads and quiches are on the menu.
If you are arriving by boat, you cannot miss the Barge Inn as it is located right beside the towpath! In previous years, Honeystreet was bustling with boat builders and working barges. These days, you can relax outside the pub whilst sipping Honeystreet Ale and watching the narrowboats idly cruise by this lock-free stretch of canal.
If you are looking for a country venue with a friendly atmosphere and great food, the Somerset Arms is an ideal location. Any meat, veggies and dairy produce on the menu are all sourced locally and there is a great selection of traditional British meals to choose from. We like the steak and ale pie! To accompany your meal, there are four cask ales and an extensive wine list on offer.
With a location overlooking Saltford Lock, the Jolly Sailor’s beer garden is a great place to catch up with friends, dine alfresco and watch the narrowboats pass by. There is plenty of choice on the menu but we like the Cornishman’s fish stew (the Jolly Sailor’s signature dish), and the homemade pie of the day best.
Although it is not the easiest place to find, the Cornubia is well-worth seeking out. Located in the heart of Bristol and only a short distance from the docks, it’s a quirky old pub with a wide range of real ale and cider, pies and pasties, board games, memorabilia, live music and friendly staff.
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