Friday, January 4, 2013

Anglophile Friday - Canals of England and Highclere Castle

Kennet & Avon Canal

Considering the fact that all of England would fit inside Wisconsin, it shouldn't surprise me that you can't go a couple miles in England without something interesting slapping you in the face. For example, I was going to do a post on Salisbury Cathedral (which I'll save for another time), and in my great online search, I soon came across this map of some of England's many canals. My introduction to the canals was when we were in Skipton, North Yorkshire - the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Wouldn't it be fun to spend a summer traveling the canals of England by narrowboat! (well, maybe not a whole summer.)



"You may not have heard of the Wilts & Berks Canal [see map above] as it has been derelict for nearly a century. There are ambitious plans to bring the waterway back to life. Its called the Wilts & Berks because it is said that a lazy draughtsman could not be bothered to write in full the county names!

"Swindon is mid point of the waterway which linked the Thames at Abingdon with the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham.

"A further link was made from Swindon to the Thames & Severn Canal at Cricklade (the North Wilts Canal). There were also branches to Chippenham, Calne, Longcot (near Shrivenham) and Wantage. The waterway now is located in Wiltshire Swindon and Oxfordshire since Local Government boundary changes in the 1970s. The Wilts and Berks Trust is committed to returning this historic waterway to a navigable state."

So it's about 1 1/2 hours (by car) from Bath to Reading, and about an hour from Newbury to Salisbury. And, it's about a half hour from Reading to Newbury, home of Highclere Castle...

...known to many of us as
Downton Abbey


Don't forget: Sunday night, January 6 - Season Three begins!

I'm sorry I got offtrack, but I can't help it. Take a look at that map. Bath. Cirencester. Oxford. And those amazing canals. So much to see and do. And then Downton Abbey appears out of nowhere!

I'll try to stay on topic next week.


'Oh, Matthew!' and 'Lady Mary'
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and at

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Have a great weekend, everyone!


Unknown said...

What's a weekend? lol
and please tell me you " get " that so that I know you're a true fan!
Great post as always my friend
Big hugs,

Samantha said...

Yes, canals, narrowboats! Email me your address, I've got a fabulous novel to mail to you. It's a bit sappy and romance-y but I love it and it's very 'English'! xx

Unknown said...

LOL.. just couldn't help yourself with the whole Downtown Abby, huh? Well, I can't really blame you.. that castle is pretty spectacular! :)

Eileen H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri D said...

I am so excited for Season 3 to begin!! Love Downton Abbey!

Traveling in a boat on those canals would make for a nice vacation - probably not a whole summer. At one time, however, when I was single and tired of the dating scene...(that's another story! LOL) I decided I would save my money, buy a house boat, and live on the water. It never happened (I met Joe), but that is the direction I was headed at one point of my life! (silly kid!)

MadSnapper said...

i love those long narrow boats and narrow canals, i first saw them on Andrew's blog, they are amazing. me to on the summer on them

Eileen H said...

I love to see the narrowboats on the canals. You may remember that George the Lad a fellow blogger, took us across the aqueduct also known as the stream in the sky on the north Wales border last summer. It’s the world’s tallest canal boat crossing. You would love it!

Suzan said...

I have already seen season 3 of DA and just saw the last one shown in England on Christmas Day!
WOW!!! You will NOT be dissappointed!! Love it!

Life Happens said...

Beautiful pictures. I still have not seen the show but have heard great things about it! I may need to start!

Have a great weekend.

Sunny Simple Life said...

How lovely. I really hope I can visit England someday. I think I would feel I was home.

Yenta Mary said...

Not only do I love the photos, but I always learn something on Anglophile Friday ... :)

Anonymous said...

Ah beautiful England how stunning a place she is! I was fortunate enough to visit back in the 80's, and it is such an amazing culture and world. I definitely felt more comfortable in my own skin during those years abroad. Happy Friday to you Judy!

Ruth Kelly said...

I would love to ride the canals in England.

Debra Hawkins said...

You know what kills me? That most pictures of England look like they come right out of a story book. Oh how I miss it.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

I Love all your beautiful site seeing posts!!

SImple and Serene Living said...

I've already watched season three, but I might watch it again I love it so much. I would love to cruise up and down the canals.\Hugs,

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Oh, I love English castles... and canals!! Sigh! I need to get back for a visit! Love seeing all this British beauty from you!

Amy Burzese said...

Once again, you've given me the England travel bug. Patiently waiting on Sunday evening.

Denise said...


J_on_tour said...

It always amazes me how your Anglophile posts (and indeed all the others too ) are so full of variety and to the point. A few pictures, a map & some interesting text as I learned a lot when I read this the other day. Strangely enough I'm more familiar with the places on the left hand side of the map as opposed to all the other parts of the post ... I've yet to see an episode of Downtown (it looks like an amazing building from the outside), although I have observed several people expressing unease & discomfort when they needed to escape to watch the programme ...haha.


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