The Canal Around Swindon
Significant sections of the Canal in water may be walked from Templars Firs in Royal Wootton Bassett towards the garden centre near junction 16 of the M4 - see the route on maps elsewhere on this web site. The Trust is in discussions with Highways England about a Canal tunnel under the M4 near the road tunnel currently under construction. As Wichelstowe develops, the Canal from the tunnel will be joined to the section in water south of Waitrose and will also be joined to the section at East Wichel. Details about the trip boat and the water leaks at East Wichel are covered elsewhere on this web site under general news.
Plans are in hand for an extension eastwards from East Wichel with a new lock before going under Croft Road. The Canal will then travel eastwards north of the M4 passed Coate Water Reservoir which was built for the original Canal in the early 1800s. The Trust is in discussions with Swindon Council and developers of the New Eastern Villages, north of Wanborough, with a view of the Canal route passing under the A419 near junction 15 of the M4 and connecting with the original route between South Marston and Shrivenham.
The Mouldon Hill Country Park in north west Swindon is open for walks. The Canal towpath forms the western edge of the Park and, although the Canal itself is overgrown, it is a wildlife haven.