Devizes offers a fabulous paddling ground for sit on top kayakers with access to the water right off the main wharf, where you’ll also find the Devizes Canoe and Kayak Club.
The Devizes canal network is extensive. It was restored to former glory in 1970 and 2003 and offers picturesque paddling routes perfect for exploring by sit on top kayak. The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through the town with the Kennet and Avon Trust Museum can be found at the Wharf.
For those who fancy taking on the Devizes to Westminster route themselves you’ll need some determination, preparation under your belt and encouragement is always handy. There are a few obstacles to navigate along the way, and you’ll need to have your licenses up to date for paddling inland waterways. By and large, however, the route is scenic and worth a punt if you have time to spare.
Having been around for 60 years there are plenty of paddlers, international and domestic, who’ve completed the route, while a good many others haven’t managed it! Covering the 125 mile distance in your standard sit on is fine, but it would be so much easier with something longer and touring orientated. If there’s decent storage to boot then all well and good as you’ll need to carry everything with you for the trip.
How to get there:
Devizes is just off the A361 and well sign posted from all major routes.
The Devizes put in at the Wharf in Devizes has a Canoe and Kayak Club. You’ll need to be a member or pay a visitors fee to make use of the facilities.
Other water users, especially if you choose to complete the route to Westminster will need to be taken note of. If you’re just staying local to Devizes then paying attention to local conditions is always good advice
Ins and Outs:
Put in right off the main Wharf in Devizes town.
Well-trodden inland waterway made up of interconnected stretches.
If you’re thinking of paddling in and around Devizes, but fancy a break from time to time, then the royal spa town of Bath is close by and worth a look.
The Devizes Wharf, leading to Kennet and Avon Canal, is a small put in located in the market town close to Chippenham, Trowbridge and Bath. Associated with kayaking since the inception of the Devizes to Westminster race, which started 60 years ago, it’s a great location for boats of all types – including sit on tops.
A small market town, complete with county boundary straddling castle, Devizes has more than 500 listed buildings, historical churches and the foreboding Devizes County House of Correction – established in 1817.
Boasting an active canoe and kayak club the town’s paddling heritage is tangible with the 125 gruelling race taking place every Easter, with much international acclaim.