Caen Hill Locks, Devizes, Wiltshire

On the Kennet & Avon Canal not far from Devizes in Wiltshire, Caen Hill Locks is one of the longest continuous flights of locks in the country, and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. 29 locks give a rise of 237 feet over 2 miles – quite some feat of engineering and a pretty spectacular sight, especially with the painted narrowboats afloat on the waters. There are 16 locks at the steepest part alone; a staircase of locks!

This might be daunting to boaters as it can take up to 6 hours to get through all 29 locks, but there’s help on hand. The locks are operated by volunteer lock keepers who are there to get craft through as quickly as they can and to conserve water – if it was a free for all it could get rather messy!

Caen Hill Locks is a nice place to hang out so people go there to soak up that whole relaxed waterside air. There’s a Welcome Boat where you can find out about the history of the locks and pick up an activity sheet before you head off for a spot of pond dipping, a bankside picnic, a stroll along the towpath or wander through the Diamond Jubilee Wood.

All information correct at the time of writing

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