Helen and Jenkyn Knill

Day trip along the Kennet and Avon Canal

Helen Knill and her husband Jenkyn Knill run Lady Lena canal boat cruises. Helen shares her experience of hidden gems along the Kennet and Avon canal. Their latest venture, Sir John Knill Waterbus, aims to provide water travel to people of all abilities.

The Kennet and Avon canal is one of the hidden gems in the crown of Bath. Due to it’s tricky to navigate towpath, it has been a difficult place to access for buggy and wheelchair users, as well as for family-friendly days out. Encouraged by the increasing popularity from visitors, the Canal and River Trust improved the surfaces last year, which has been a great success!

Since we began running ‘Bath Electric Boats’; we noticed that the canal was not accessible to all visitors. This sparked our hunt for our electrically powered and accessible boat, which we started running in the early summer of 2018. On weekends, between April and the beginning of September, the Sir John Knill Waterbus offers hourly trips between Bathampton and Bath; with more frequent times during school holidays.

The best things about a trip along the Kennet and Avon canal are the amazing views from the waterbus (which sits higher up on the water than the narrow boats). Just sit back, relax, and take in the stunning countryside and sights over historic Bath whilst enjoying the fresh air!

Our helpful and knowledgeable drivers point out many areas of interest during the route and will enlighten you about life on the canal. Wheelchair users are given priority at the front of the boat for the best views and assistance dogs are welcome on board.

The route includes ‘hop on and hop off’ opportunities so you can visit local museums, such as the wonderful Holburne Museum and Gardens or the picturesque waterside pubs and restaurants in Bathampton.

From one boat to another, ‘Cafe on the Barge’ is a must for your afternoon tea and biscuits or even just to feed the birds that flock to the canal. All venues are accessible by wheelchairs and buggies alike. The Bath-end provides an opportunity to watch boats navigate their way through a flight of six locks and then finish the experience with a chance to enjoy a cup of tea and some homemade cakes at ‘The Pump-House Cafe’. Free accessible parking is available for up to four hours at Bathampton. You will have to pay for parking elsewhere in Bath unless you are staying locally.

Whether you’re a local, a regular visitor or it’s your first time, the Sir John Knill Waterbus is a fantastic and different way to experience Bath.

For more inspiration on days out around the UK, see other Days Out blogs

Find out how to download the brand-new edition of the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain

About the Motability Scheme

The Motability Scheme exists to give customers, their families and carers greater freedom to get out and do the day-to-day things they need and want to do, by enabling them to exchange all or part of their mobility allowance for leasing a car, scooter or powered wheelchair.

If you’d like us to send you more information about the Motability Scheme, request an information pack below or find out how to join.

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