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What we do

The Bruce Branch of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust offers affordable canal holidays to disabled, disadvantaged or older people – along with their family, friends or carers. Our purpose-built, wheel-chair-accessible boats are based at Great Bedwyn Wharf, near Hungerford. We’re ideally situated for a pleasant cruise east towards Hungerford, Newbury and Reading, or westward through Bruce Tunnel and Honeystreet and on to the Caen Hill Flight at Devizes.

The boats are available for weekly hire for self-catering, self-steer holidays. We ask that the Team Leader for your group has had at least one week of previous canal boat experience – otherwise we ask you to join us on one of our training weekends in the Spring. We also offer day trips, crewed by our voluntary helpers, when we have a boat available.

Our boats

The Bruce Branch has a fleet of four wide-beam boats. Hannah sleeps 12, Rebecca and Diana 10, and Rachel six. Each boat has the highest quality accommodation and the ultimate flexibility for people with a wide variety of special needs. They all have a fully equipped galley with cooker and fridge, microwave, central heating and flushing toilet. The extra width of the boats provides excellent manoeuvrability for wheelchair users and they have all been designed to give wheelchair users the opportunity to steer by using the tiller.

Built in facilities:

  • Wide-access
  • boarding ramps
  • Low-level bunks
  • Specially fitted showers and W.C.s
  • Large, low-set windows
  • Scissor-action hospital bed on The Rebecca

Additional equipment available on request:

  • Transfer hoist
  • Shower chair
  • Commode
  • Cot sides
  • Perching stool

We also have a narrow-beam boat, Lady Hilda, which sleeps eight. Lady Hilda is available for hire by community groups.

Volunteering

The Bruce Branch Boats are maintained and run almost entirely by volunteers – and we’re always looking for more help. There’s no commitment. Do as much or as little as you like, as and when you can. Plus, you’ll get to join a friendly team, meet like-minded people, and enjoy tea and cake and a chat!