GLOUCESTER AND COTSWOLDS TOWNS ALONG RIVER SEVERN FROM STOURPORT
You can do this route from :
Stourport on Severn.
The River Severn offers easy, lock free cruising (all the locks are done for you) passing through many picturesque villages and stunning views of the Severn Vale.
A very relaxing cruise to simply watch the world go by and see these Cotswolds Towns with plenty of time for sightseeing
Stourport – canal town with a fun fair
Worcester – Cathedral, Civil War Museum, Royal Worcester Porcelain and excellent shopping
Tewkesbury – Norman Abbey, medieval alleyways, tea shops and pubs
Gloucester – Cathedral, National Waterways Museum, antiques and shops
Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holidayRead our cruising notes.
The River Severn is prone to rapid rise and fall in water levels following heavy rainfall, so always check on the CRT website for current conditions.
Remember to stay in the centre of the channel whenever cruising the Severn, but pass other approaching vessels on the right-hand side (port-to-port). Vessels heading downstream (towards Gloucester) should generally have right of way over those travelling upstream
It’s best to approach a mooring with the boat facing into upstream. This will allow you to hold the boat stationery, have better control at very low speed and prevent the boat being swept past your stopping point. So, if you’re heading down stream, you’ll need to pass the mooring and turn your boat around. The River is wide so there is plenty of room for manoeuvering.
When mooring allow for the tide by having slack in your mooring ropes, but tie the boat up firmly .
With the Severn, the locks are not operated by boaters themselves, but by lock keepers who operate the locks using automated hydraulic systems. When the water level under your boat is the same as the level you’re moving to, the gates will open.
See Severn User guide in the links below for more information ,
Cruising on the River is very different to the Canals, there is no continuous towpath and therefore no right to land and moor up as you please. The scenery is one of quiet water meadows & prolific bird life. Moor up only at recognised sites . Make sure you leave your ropes slack when mooring to allow for the tide.
Leave the Stourport basin and turn left down the River Severn.
You begin your journey on the River Severn, and cruise south towards Astley Burf, where there is a pub/restaurant overlooking the River, called The Hampstall Inn. There is a garden and children's play area. Cider and bar food are available.
The River meanders along, past Lower Astley Woods and Shrawley Woods to your right, and just beyond Mutton Hall a wide curve takes you to Holt Heath, where there are a couple more pubs – The Wharf Inn and The Holt Fleet Hotel. Children are welcome at both.
You can moor here for the night at Holt Fleet it is 2.5 hours cruising to here. The village is about half a mile to the west of the River.
Continue on passing the quiet countryside passing the entrance to the Droitwich Canal.
Soon you will approach Worcester. There are various moorings by the racecourse on the left, and just after Worcester Railway bridge.
Worcester has a splendid cathedral dating from 1074, & museums, art galleries and half timbered buildings. The museum at the Royal Worcester Porcelain works is well worth a visit, as it contains the most comprehensive collection of Worcester Porcelain in the world.
Passing the Diglis Basin is the end of the Worcester and Birmingham canal.
The small towns of Kempsey and delightful towns like Upton upon Severn are psssed amongst quiet countryside, which is situated on the riverbank with various pubs close by.
There is moorings at Upton on Severn on the right before Upton Bridge. This delightful town is well provided with fascinating old timbered and early Georgian buildings. The best area is near the river . During the summer this vibrant town is host to a series of music events, www.uptonjazz.co.uk and uponbluesfestival.co.uk.
As Tewkesbury approaches, turn left just after King John's bridge, avoiding a shallow spit projecting from the junction with the River Avon.
Boaters not wishing to purchase the short term licence to cruise on the Lower Avon Navigation may tie up just below big Healing's Mill to visit Tewkesbury, there is a small charge for mooring here
The Avon Lock is operated by a resident Lock-keeper, & is only open from 9am to 6pm, or until 8pm in May-August. In the winter you can use the lock yourself. He is also closed for lunch between 1-2pm. last locking 15 minutes before closing time. You will need to buy a Lower Avon navigation trust licence to cruise on the River Avon but your crusie today is along the River Severn.
You can moor up in Tewkesbury it is 5.5 hours cruising to here.
Time to explore the historic town of Tewkesbury with its many attractive & ancient buildings including of course, it's cathedral-like Abbey, which is reckoned to be one of the finest Norman churches in the Country. The abbey was completed about 1120, and is splendid both inside & out. Its magnificent and beautifully decorated tower stands at 130 feet high and 46 feet square, and is the largest Norman tower in existence.
The most unusual buildings in Tewkesbury are the row of medieval shops near the Abbey, in fact most of the medieval aspects & character of the town have survived to this day.
One of the more unusual aspects of the town is the maze of small alleyways leading off from the main street. There is a couple of museums, and the Tourist information office can tell you more about other attractions.
The Battle of Tewkesbury fought here in 1471 was the penultimate battle in the War of the Roses.
There are many pubs and hotels in Tewkesbury.
Back on the Severn, you will go through Upper Lode Lock, then onwards to Deerhurst and Apperley, two tiny villages to the left of the canal. Just beyond Apperley is Haw Bridge, beside which is The Haw Bridge Inn and The Riverside Inn, so if you want to moor here for the night, you are ideally placed for some real ales and food. The Riverside in does not allow dogs, but both allow children.
Cruising on, you may catch a glimpse of the spire of Ashleworth Church to your right, as you pass nearby the tiny village.
The next stretch of River is reasonably straight as you cruise into the suburbs of Gloucester, mostly to your left. Beware in the very narrow East Channel for oncoming boats. You can phone ahead so that the lock (Gloucester lock) can be made ready for you, and to be warned if there are any other boats in the East Channel, tel 01452 310832
There are many, many pubs and restaurants in Gloucester, among them The Fountain Inn, The Dick Whittington, The Linden Tree, and The Tall Ship. To see all that Gloucester has to offer, see tourist information link below .
Turn just after the Gloucester Lock and moor it is 5.5 hours to here.
Visit the 11th century Gloucester Cathedral, resting place of King Edward II, home of the majestic Great East Window and recently a hugely popular film and television location. Most famously it has been used to shoot scenes for the Harry Potter series of hit films, as well as Sherlock, Wolf Hall and Doctor Who. Why not explore the magnificent fan-faulted cloisters and see if you can spot them? The historic Gloucester Docks just a short walk away were used to shoot scenes for the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass starring Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. With its dramatic waterfront, converted warehouses and an array of restaurants and bars, it is easy to see why Gloucester Docks and Gloucester Quays are places to be for locals and visitors.
The Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter Museum and Shop is located in the original building used by Beatrice Potter in her story The Tailor of Gloucester – a real-life mystery based on the city’s John Pritchard.
The Glorious Glosters – the most decorated regiment in the British Army – are celebrated at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, while there are thousands of fantastic exhibits at the Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery, Gloucester Folk Museum and Gloucester Waterways Museum.
Visit the viewing chamber in Eastgate Street for a fascinating look back at centuries of history with the site including Roman remains, the base of a 13th century tower and a place where in Tudor times animals were cleaned up before they went to market.
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It only takes 2 days or 14 hours to cruise back to Stourport, so do some sightseeing in Gloucester, or back at Tewkesbury or Worcester.
NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.
Maps and Guides
Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.