River Avon: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Avon.

  • The River Avon is the UK’s 19th longest river, at just over 120 km.
  • It flows from its source near Chipping Sodbury in the Cotswolds, to the Severn estuary.
  • The River Avon Trail stretches for almost 40 km from Bath to Pill in north Somerset. The trail can be walked or cycled and some sections allow horse riding.
  • The River Avon flows through Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset. There are several other rivers with the same name in the UK, as well as several in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Bradford on Avon is about 12 km southeast of Bath. The town’s Norman bridge has a small round building on it, once used as the town prison.
  • Changes from low to high tide can raise the river’s level in Bristol by up to 10 metres. The expression ‘ship shape and Bristol fashion’ comes from ships navigating the river at low tide.
  • The Avon flows through Bath, one of England’s most beautiful and historic cities. The 45 metre long Pulteney Bridge is one of few in the world that has shops along both sides.
  • The 18th century Dundas Aqueduct crosses the River Avon near Limpley Stoke. It carries one of the last remaining sections of the Kennet and Avon Canal.
  • The river is an important area for several breeds of dragonflies. One of these is the scarce chaser dragonfly which is found in only a few other areas in England.
  • The Avon Gorge has become a symbol of Bristol and is one of the most spectacular stretches of the river. The gorge stretches for over 2km and is over 90 metres deep in places.
  • The Clifton Suspension Bridge over the gorge was the site of one of the first modern bungee jumps, in 1979.

What next? Discover some facts about other famous rivers.

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