You might find this local information useful. Hungerford Bridge and the Lock
Hungerford - is surrounded by open common land, rich in flora and fauna. The town is also a good spot from which to explore the Berkshire Downs and the canals whether by foor or on a boat trip.
The waterfront between Hungerford Bridge and the Lock is very attractive, with trips along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Dunmill Lock aboard the traditionally painted motorised barge 'Rose of Hungerford'.
At Kintbury, a charming village three miles from the town, horse-drawn barges provide pleasure trips for visitors along the canal.
It is a quaint market town based on the Crossroads of England between Oxford and Salisbury, London and Bristol. It is known for its beautiful and independent antiques shops, small bespoke international businesses and the canal with its boat rides.
"Hingwa's Ford", as the town was originally named came into being before the era of King Alfred and has placed a prominent part in British history with many monarchs, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Charles I and William of Orange staying at the historic Bear at Hungerford. The town's character has hardly changed since the days of Georgian enlightenment, meaning that the Industrial Revolution hardly having an impact on the tranquil scenery and character of the town.
The North Wessex Downs - offers a spectacular and unique landscape that lies at the hub of the chalk landscapes of southern England.
It embraces the high open sweeps of arable farmland of the Marlborough Downs with their beech wood topped knolls and sheltered chalk river valleys, the intimate and secluded woodland of Chute and Savernake Forests, and the low lying land of the Thames Basin Heaths with a rich mosaic of woodland, pasture, heath and common land.
Historically, the Kennet and Avon Canal comprises three waterways, the Avon Navigation from Bristol to Bath (opened in 1727), the man-made canal section from Bath to Newbury (opened in 1810), and the Kennet Navigation from Newbury to Reading (opened in 1723).
Hazardous Sea Route
The sea route between Bristol and London was hazardous during the 18th and early 19th centuries, not only because Atlantic storms and the rugged coast line took their toll on the small coastal sailing ships of the day, but also because a succession of conflicts with France and her allies, frequently made British cargo ships navigating the English channel, the prey of both privateers and warships of the French navy.
Transport by road
As transporting large volumes of goods by road was not viable at the time, both entrepreneurs and traders alike dreamt of a day when Bristol and London could be linked by a safer yet still viable alternative to the hazardous sea route they were of necessity forced to use when transporting their goods.
The river Avon had been navigable from Bristol to Bath during the early years of the 13th century but construction of mills on the river forced its closure
At the centre of a pre-historic complex in the Marlborough Downs stands Avebury, the largest stone circle in the world. This circle features one of the most impressive henges in Britain as well as remains of a stone avenue.
Originally erected about 4,500 years ago, many of the stones were re-erected in the 1930s by Alexander Keiller. The circles and henge enclose part of the village. The Avebury landscape is a World Heritage Site.
At the heart of pre-historic Avebury is the henge. Compared with other henges it is massive and though erosion and vandalism have reduced it considerably it still remains an impressive spectacle. Its construction was spread over several centuries beginning about 3000 BC when the Cove and the earliest stage of the Sanctuary were built. It would be another 600 years before the final form was achieved when the avenues were added about 2400 BC. It consists of a circle of land surrounded by a ditch and bank, the bank being outermost. The area covered by the circle is about 28.5 acres and the circumference is approximately 0.8 of a mile. Around the outside of the circle once stood 98 large sarsen stones some of which weighed as much as 60 tons and perhaps more. Within this large outer ring are the remains of two smaller stone circles one of which originally consisted of 27 stones and was about 320 feet in diameter (northern circle) and the other which was about 340 feet in diameter and consisted of 29 stones