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River Severn

The River Severn is managed as a navigation from Gladder Brook, upstream of Stourport, down to Gloucester where it connects to the Gloucester and Sharpness Ship Canal. 

Things to do nearby

Facts & Stats

42.6 miles

(67.6km)

The length of the River Severn that is navigable.

5 locks

1503

First Act

This has been an active transport route since Roman times. Its first Act was passed in 1503 and many more followed in attempts to tame the longest river in Britain.

From Gladder Brook to Gloucester

It also connects to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal at Stourport, the Droitwich Barge Canal at Hawford, the Warwickshire Avon at Tewkesbury and to the Worcestershire and Birmingham Canal at Worcester. 

There is a right of navigation upstream of Gladder Brook as far as Pool Quay, Welshpool, and the former Severn Navigation Restoration Trust worked for many years to encourage improvement for navigation of this part of the river. The Trust’s final chairman has an article covering the Trust’s work.

The river below Gloucester is navigable, but tidal. The Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal (under restoration) connects to the (now closed) Maismore Channel of the river at Over on the outskirts of Gloucester. The former Coombe Hill Canal (closed and now a nature reserve) connected to the river near Apperley.  

This has been an active transport route since Roman times. Its first Act was passed in 1503 and many more followed in attempts to tame the longest river in Britain. Nineteenth century improvements and adjoining new canals increased the use of the waterway.

Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 93′ 6″ (28.49 metres) – Bevere Lock
  • Beam: 20′ 0″ (6.1 metres) – Worcester Bridge
  • Height: 20′ 3″ (6.2 metres) – Worcester Bridge (at summer level – river levels can fluctuate)
  • Draught: 6′ 1″ (1.85 metres) – cill of Lincomb Lock

Navigation authority

Branch

Useful Info

The locks on the Severn are operated by lockkeepers (restricted hours).

Waterways in Progress Grant: Wilts & Berks Canal

£13,960 was awarded the Shrivenham Canal Park Project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants.