River Severn

River Severn

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River Licensing Information

License Authority

Canal and River Trust

Further Information

Licence required from Stourport to Gloucester. The section from Pool Quay near Welshpool and Stourport does not require a licence. The section below Gloucester is tidal and therefore does not require a licence.

The longest river in Great Britain, the River Severn flows for 220 miles from source to mouth. It’s a popular spot for paddlers looking for multi-day trips or long touring adventures.

As well as being Britain’s longest river, it also has one the largest tides in the world at a massive 15 metres. It is only beaten by the Yangtse in China.

The river rises in the hills of mid-Wales and flows through picturesque countryside. As you paddle you’ll pass through chocolate box villages in the Cotswolds and pretty countryside.

The Severn is a navigation managed by the Canal & Rivers Trust between Stourport and Gloucester. Above Stourport it can be navigated as far as Pool Quay, Welshpool.

Below Gloucester, the river becomes tidal and so you must be aware of the changing tide before you head out for a paddle. This section is also quite exposed. Please check the weather and tide forecast before heading out.

Wildlife on the River Severn

Not just a picture-perfect paddle in terms of the villages and towns you’ll paddle through, the River Severn has several nature reserves. These support a variety of different bird life and even the endangered 5-spot ladybird!

The banks of the Severn are home to many species of birds including ducks, swans, snipe and moorhen. Magpies, swallows, robins and other birds are often also seen in this area.

Animal species you can see at various points of the year include water voles, mink, otter and rabbits. Around the Alney Island area is a rather large colony of rabbits.