Savoring England’s Most Pleasant Contact Sport in Bradford-on-Avon
As I cautiously nosed my small canal boat toward the gate, praying not to hit the sparkling long boat already nestled in the lock, I noticed a sporty but stern-looking older Englishwoman standing next to the gates. She wore her long experience as comfortably as her sensible shoes and her presence made me even more nervous. Inevitably, I bumped the boat’s bow on the (thankfully) forgiving gate. “Sorry,” I sniveled. “I’m new at this.”“Not to worry,” she answered, unsmiling, but not unkindly. “It’s a contact sport.”With that bit of wisdom, my nerves calmed and our cruise through Wiltshire’s Kennet and Avon canal was off to a hearty start. After sinking slowly to reach the water level below, the gates opened onto our canal boat adventure, a slow-paced tour of the countryside unlike any other.