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BRADFORD ON AVON TO FRESHFORD
General:- 6.5 miles. As you walk along the Avon valley it soon becomes apparent how many different modes of transport are squeezed into a narrow area. Road, river, canal, railway and footpath all fight for space and nowadays I doubt if the council would grant planning permission for it, yet it doesn't spoil the scene! There is one steep hill just after Iford Manor, don't let this deter you, stop for tea at the Manor before tackling the hill.
Bradford on Avon is worth a visit on it's own. This old wool town is full of interesting side streets and alleyways so save a bit of time for it after the walk is finished.
The aqueduct has a curious flat section in the central arch and it looks as if it is about to collapse but it has always been this way. Just upstream on the far bank is the remains of a large water mill used to process rag for papermaking, the wheel itself can be clearly seen.
Iford Manor is a gem. Sadly the house itself is not open to the public but the Italian gardens are and they make a welcome break so pop inside.
The section from Wp13 to 14 entails walking down the drive of a private house. Don't be deterred, it is the correct route and a public right of way. For many years the owner of the adjacent field allowed access to avoid walking down the drive but after a change of ownership permission was withdrawn. The stupidity of this is apparent when you exit from the bottom of the garden into the same field!! I make a point of apologising to the house owner if I see them but much as I am tempted to use the field I use the drive to avoid further dispute. GPS length 5.92 miles).
How to get there: Go to Bradford on Avon town centre and turn off to railway station @ ST 8254 6075. Park in the station car park.