The Kennet & Avon
We have come to realise that it does not matter what time of year you visit the Kennet & Avon canal it always holds something new and always reveals something else to fall in love with. The canal seems to welcome the changing seasons and, in her own special way, adapt to each one to maintain her beauty and her serenity.
The leaves have fallen from the trees and left golden patterns on the water yet this has just enhanced the evergreen hedgerows. The bare bows have revealed views of rolling downs and the rural expanse that surrounds the canal and with the onset of cooler days the views are now of isolated cottages with wisps of smoke curling up from their chimneys.
Somehow a touch of early frost seems to make the environment feel cleansed and refreshed, the water seems to take on a crystal appearance as long defined shadow cast themselves over the canal with the low bright sun.
This beautiful world that is so remote from the rest of life never sleeps, summer birds have migrated to warmer parts, no more swifts and swallows swooping and wheeling over the canal, no butterflies fluttering by or crickets buzzing in the hedgerows, but now it welcome winter visitors, a robin perching on a gate post watching this slow moving world, brightly coloured chaffinches or goldfinches and lapwings congregating in flocks on the wetlands. Look out for deer and maybe hear the high pitch whistle of the stags as they compete for a mate.
An early morning stroll reveals so many massive intricate spiders’ webs, fascinating designs and structures that can only be seen thanks to the gentle morning dew lying on them. Hedgehogs scurry around looking for last minute morsels before curling up to hibernate and squirrels dart about the now bare trees as if they are looking for something, or maybe playing chase with the shafts of light from the morning sun.
The Kennet & Avon really is a magical place and the time of year is no barrier to enjoying it to the full. Summer, winter, spring or autumn there is always something very special to enjoy, discoveries to be made, and memories that will last for a lifetime.