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Bradford-on-Avon - Kennet and Avon Canal - Avoncliff - Bradford Walk

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Bradford-on-Avon is all stone, the golden limestone for which this corner of the West Country is so well-known. The town's architectural heritage includes a grand tithe barn, a diminutive Saxon church and a lock-up on the Town Bridge, whose majestic arches span the River Avon. A gentle 1½-mile stroll alongside the River Avon brings the walk to the neighbouring hamlet of Avoncliff.

This stretch of the walk passes through the Barton Farm Country Park, where the sharp-eyed visitor could well spot kingfisher or heron, moorhen or coot along the river. Avoncliff is a delightful spot, where a rather grand aqueduct carries the Kennet and Avon Canal across the Avon's waters. Overlooking the whole scene is the Cross Guns Inn, a picturesque hostelry whose gardens run down to the riverbank. 

From Avoncliff, the walk follows the Kennet and Avon Canal back to Bradford-on-Avon. This stretch of canal is busy with passing traffic, as a steady procession of colourful narrow-boats make their way from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon. The towpath stretch of the walk ends up rather appropriately by Bradford Wharf and Lock, where the Lock Inn Cottage has become perhaps the best-known café in the area. The ever-popular 'All Day Breakfast' served at the Lock Inn has attracted reviews and features in many a magazine and newspaper, both locally and nationally. 

From the Lock Inn Cottage, it is just a short stroll back into the centre of Bradford-on-Avon, where the interested visitor should make for the town's museum, located above the library. The museum's displays chronicle the life and history of this ancient town, whose wealth and prosperity were based on the West of England cloth trade. Overall, this is quite simply a perfect riverside ramble, with barely a gradient in sight.   

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