The route of the Coal Canal started at the junction with the Kennet & Avon Canal at Limpley Stoke and ran west to Midford where another branch of the canal was built to continue on to Radstock. However, the southern branch wasn’t economically viable as a canal and was soon replaced with a tramway. The northern branch continued from Midford on to Combe Hay where it climbed through the locks to the summit level. The canal then hugged the contours of the Cam valley as it travelled through one tunnel and two aqueducts, and under several bridges to its final destination at the Paulton/Timsbury Basins.
Work to restore the canal to navigation has started at Brassknocker Basin, Limpley Stoke where there are several moorings, a café, boats for hire and general boat services. The work here could easily be
continued. The other end of the canal at Paulton has seen several hundred metres of canal dug out. The two basins have been put back into water, the dry dock has been excavated and the entrance bridge rebuild. Over the next year there will be a lot of work on this section that will see it partially restored to its former glory.
The canal is 10.5 miles long and runs over private land for its entire length involving about 70 landowners. There are some large and expensive projects along the route, but there is a growing appetite for restoration.