Great West Way launches new canal guide


The Great West Way has launched a new guide to the Kennet & Avon Canal. The guide is part of the Great West Way’s suite of maps, specifically promoting the waterway and its neighbouring attractions. A new three-way partnership between the Canal & River Trust, Great West Way and the Kennet & Avon Trade Association has come together to launch the campaign.

The map and a review of the journey so far and the way ahead for the Great West Way, was launched at a virtual press event last month. Nigel Huddleston, Tourism Minister, spoke about the development of the Great West Way and his priorities for tourism development. Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain and Visit England, gave an update on how they are using the Great West Way initiative to help drive additional domestic and international visits and spend as part of the UK’s tourism recovery and Richard Parry Chief Executive, Canal & River Trust, officially launched the map and campaign.

The campaign includes the Great West Way Kennet & Avon Canal map which pinpoints the many places of interest, including waterside activities, waterside business, accommodation, attractions, places to eat and drink along the canal, to help visitors plan their visit.

The touring route between London and Bristol, launched in 2018, encourages travellers to use different forms of transportation to explore including rail, road, on foot, by bike or on a boat using its many waterways. The Great West Way encourages visitors to travel the route, to access areas off the beaten track, as well as visit the many iconic attractions, heritage sites and areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Fiona Errington, Head of Marketing at Great West Way said, “The launch of the map is very timely as the nation enters the first stage of lighting the national lockdown restrictions. Responsible travel and advice on how to visit the Great West Way safely and responsibly are highlighted, including the “We’re Good to Go” logo which is the official UK mark to signal that a business has implemented Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines.”

Kennet & Avon Canal


Guide to the Kennet and Avon Canal

The map highlights the Kennet & Avon Canal is one of the best ways travel along part of the Great West Way, with time to take in some magnificent sites from the Caen Hill Lock Flight to a World Heritage Site and historic battlefield – plus 21 conservation sites, 14 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and many spectacular landscapes.

Hire a bike and cycle along the towpath, or take a walk and get close to nature. Visitors can canoe, kayak or book one of the numerous boat trips. Passing through the countryside, market towns and pictureqsue villages, the canal offers an abundance of natural beauty, canal structures, fabulous vistas and heritage galore.

To support the launch of the map, Great West Way will run an integrated digital and PR campaign. 100,000 copies of the map will be distributed at key outlets along the canal and also via Great West Way Ambassadors and Official Tour Operators; Press & PR; VisitBritain offices and handed out along the canal.

Richard Parry, Chief Executive at Canal & River Trust said, “The popular Kennet & Avon CAnal is a key element of the Great West Way – a ‘slow travel’ mode of exploration, offering all the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time on, or by, water, taking people to the many attractions along its length. As people merge from lockdown, they might be thinking about taking a holiday, booking a short break or simply seeking a change of scenery. The Kennet & Avon Canal offers a relaxing way to explore the London to Bristol route and we hope visitors might find the map both inspiring and useful.”

Emma Fearnley, Chairman of Kennet & Avon Trade Association said, “As our waterside business re-open, the launch of this new map and guide will help our members tempt the inquisitive to a route less travelled. From Reading to Bristol, the Kennet and Avon canal is yours to enjoy.”

For more information on ‘The Journey So Far and The Way Ahead’ review, Kennet and Avon Canal guide and press releases, please visit the Great West Way’s website.