The River Severn (Afon Hafren) is the longest British river, at 219 miles long (354km),and could be described as a holiday destination in itself. With walking holidays, cycle tracks, boating, canoeing, and angling the river is popular with a wide range of visitors to Wales and the Border Counties. It rises on Plynlimon at a height of 2,001 feet (610 m) close to the borders of Ceredigion and Powys in the Cambrian Mountains, Wales. For some 15 miles it tumbles through the valleys until it reaches Llanidloes where it is joined by the rivers Clywedog and Dulas, the first of many tributaries that feed and swell this great river. From Llanidloes it then flows through the heart of Wales passing through the towns of Caersws, Newtown, and Welshpool before reaching the border of Wales and England. In England it flows through the counties of Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, through beautiful and tranquil countryside passing the towns of Shrewsbury, Ironbridge, Bridgnorth, Stourport, Worcester, Upton, Tewkesbury, and Gloucester on its way to the Severn estuary. It then discharges into the Bristol Channel which in turn discharges into the Celtic Sea.
The River Severn is not only famous for its length it is also renowned for having the second largest tidal range in the world — about 15 metres (50 ft) - and its very own tidal wave. During the highest tides the rising water is funnelled up the estuary into a wave (known as the Severn Bore) that travels upstream against the river current. The largest bores occur in spring, but smaller ones can be seen throughout the year. Being the onset of the flood tide it is accompanied by a rapid rise in water level which continues for about one and a half hours after the bore has passed. River surfing enthusiasts even attempt to surf along on the wave, which can be 2 metres (7 ft).
The Severn is popular with anglers as it contains nearly every native species of freshwater fish in the British Isles - including salmon, trout, eels, barbel, chub, grayling, pike and roach - together with the rare twaite and allis shad. For centuries the river has also been fished for the local delicacy, elvers. There are an abundance of fisheries and angling clubs along the river bank from Gloucester in the south to Llanidloes in the north.
Walkers appreciate the Severn Way as the longest riverside footpath in Britain, marked along the route of the River Severn from its source in the Welsh Mountains to the sea at Bristol. You have the choice of peaceful, easy walking along stretches of canal towpath, with idyllic miles interspersed with waterside pubs and unspoilt villages, or the more energetic might prefer the forests, hills and valleys of the Welsh uplands close to the source of the Severn on the slopes of Plynlimon.
Boating enthusiasts also enjoy the River Severn, whether they choose powered boats or prefer to row the boats themselves. The lower reaches of the river between Sharpness and Bristol are often 'not recommended' for inland waterway craft but safe passage is possible for boats which are suitably prepared and equipped for a short sea voyage with skippers or crew members who have experience and knowledge for the journey. But the stretch between Sharpness and Gloucester is not a problem as it is bypassed by the Sharpness and Gloucester Canal. From Gloucester through Tewkesbury, Upton, Worcester to Stourport, the river is popular with both narrowboats and motor cruisers and the five automated river locks are manned during the daytime hours. Above Stourport, the river is popular with canoeists and rowers. Small powered boats can be launched using the slipways at Shrewsbury to cruise a short stretch of the river..... ....
Review River Severn in Wales.