Walking is one of the nicest ways to explore the beautiful canals and rivers. Whether you fancy a 10 minute stroll or a vigorous all-day hike, by walking along the towpaths you’re guaranteed relaxing views of the water.
Canals and rivers offer accessible walking routes at all times of year. Aside from lock flights, your path is level and there’s little chance of getting lost! The unfolding scenery of a canal-side stroll also takes some beating. Where else could you find such a mix of wildlife, architecture, countryside and of course, the thing that brings it all to life, narrowboats.
But, perhaps the best part of a walk by the canal is the near-obligatory rest at a waterside pub. Sit back with a refreshing drink and watch the world float by. It’s all part of the canal experience. Or why not pack a picnic and enjoy an al fresco lunch anywhere you like? Remember, any extra calories consumed can always be walked off on the return leg.
Joining one of the guided walks that regularly take place along the canals and rivers is a great way to explore new places and meet new friends.
The mighty River Severn is Britain’s longest river. It runs from the Welsh mountains, through the beautiful Shropshire and Worcestershire countryside and down to the flatlands of the Severn estuary.
The course of the river is mostly rural, but it does flow through the ancient cities of Worcester and Gloucester. At Worcester, it is overlooked by the magnificent red sandstone cathedral. At Gloucester, the historic docks are a link to its freight-carrying heritage.
It is famous for its tidal bore, the second highest tide anywhere in the world. At very high tides, the water is forced from the wide estuary into the narrower channel upstream, forming a wave or bore that travels inland as far as Gloucester and beyond.
The different sections of the River Severn are very different in character, offering something for everyone. The Canal & River Trust looks after the River Severn from Stourport to Gloucester. This section of the river is ideal for pleasure-boating, and is busy with narrowboats, motor cruisers and inland waterway boats.
Above Stourport, it is suitable for canoes and rowing boats. The section from Gloucester to Sharpness is dangerous for boats, and is bypassed by the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. The section below Sharpness is not recommended for inland craft, unless they are equipped for a short sea voyage and have experienced crews, or else with the help of a licensed River Severn pilot.