Canal Boat - - The Cruise Guide -

pick of wa­ter­ing holes on the

Alling­ton. 01622 717251. River­side just above the lock. Large and busy fam­ily-friendly Beefeater restau­rant and pub with real ale and wa­ter­side ter­race.

Buck­land Road, Maid­stone. 01622 761045. West of town bridges. Set in former Style & Winch Brew­ery, spe­cial­ist real ale and cider pub, many lo­cal brews.

Vic­tory East Far­leigh. 01622 726591. Just across the rail­way cross­ing from Far­leigh Bridge. Fam­ily pub with real ale, food, gar­den with play area and fine view over river.

Bull Ton­bridge Road Barm­ing. 01622 7292224. 5 mins north of Barm­ing Bridge. Fam­ily pub with real ale, gar­den, sea­sonal food.

West Far­leigh. 01622 814717. 15 mins south of Te­ston Bridge. 15th cen­tury pub re­cently re­fur­bished un­der new own­ers with restau­rant, real ale and gar­den

Rail­way Wa­ter­ing­bury. 01622 812911. Just across the rail­way cross­ing from Wa­ter­ing­bury Bridge. Vil­lage pub with real ale, gar­den, live mu­sic sev­eral nights a week.

Maid­stone Road Net­tlestead Green. 01622 816916. 10 mins north west of Hamp­stead Lock. 17th cen­tury pub, real ale, food (in­clud­ing lunchtime carvery) and gar­den.

An­chor, Yalding. 01622 814359. Near River­side above Twyford Bridge. Wa­ter­side bar and restau­rant in 14th cen­tury thatched build­ing with real ale, food all day and gar­den.

Ton­bridge Road, East Peck­ham. 01622 871345. 10 mins north of Stil­stead Bridge, right into Ton­bridge Rd. Fine old 16th cen­tury pub with real ale, food and gar­den.

High Street, Ton­bridge. 01732 358957. Just north of Big Bridge. Black & white half-tim­bered town pub with real ale, food and out­side pa­tio seat­ing.

Pub­de­tail­sare­like­ly­tochangeat­short­no­tice: youaread­vised­to­phonea­head­tobesure Med­way. A long tun­nel at Strood was one rea­son for the canal’s ul­ti­mate fail­ure: it was very ex­pen­sive to build and the com­pany never made a profit from the boats that paid to use it. The canal was open only a few years be­fore the tun­nel was sold and a rail­way built through it.

As the tide­way nar­rows to­wards Alling­ton, look out for Ayles­ford with its beau­ti­ful 13th cen­tury bridge.

The tidal reaches end at Alling­ton Lock, which is usu­ally op­er­a­tional from three hours be­fore high wa­ter to two hours af­ter­wards (when those times fall in day­light hours).

Once through the cav­ernous lock, there are plenty of moor­ings, a café at the Old Toll House and the wel­com­ing Malta Inn. There are two boat­yards, while those vis­it­ing on foot can take a one hour voy­age on trip boat that op­er­ates be­tween Alling­ton Lock and Maid­stone. Don’t miss the Kent Life mu­seum near the lock (see in­set).

At the lock, the river un­der­goes a com­plete change of char­ac­ter. The ups and downs of the tide­way are re­placed by a calm river nav­i­ga­tion, which

Malta Inn

Cel­lars Ale­house

Tickled Trout

Hop Pole

Man of Kent

Old Che­quers

An­other an­cient bridge at Te­ston

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