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Canoes, kayaks, guiding and coaching.

Afon Hafren - River Severn

Afon Hafren - River Severn changes considerably in character along its course, and if you undertake an extended journey you will need to be prepared for a wide range of river conditions.

Pool Quay is the highest point on the navigation. The river is narrow and twisting,generally fast-flowing, and often has vegetation, including trees, obstructing the channel.

The river widens below the confluence of the Vyrnwy at Melverley, but there are numerous riffles and rapids, and the banks continue to be lined with vegetation. In Shrewsbury, there is river traffic, and a weir, which must be portaged. Below Shrewsbury, the river is swift, with riffles, fast water at bends and islands, small rapids and one major (grade 3+) rapid at Jackfield, just below Ironbridge.

The river changes character below Stourport, with large motorised craft, locks and weirs on the following section.

Depending on the level of the river, it may be possible for novices to take a short trip upstream from some launch points, paddling back to the start point. For all other locations, and downriver trips, see our recommended skill and experience to hire canoes and kayaks.

For mileages, campsites and other information 

For unaccompanied hire on the River Severn above Stourport, 

paddlers should be able to:

  • Lift, carry, launch and land the canoe/kayak safely. This may involve getting up and/or down steep muddy banks;
  • Paddle a straight course, keeping forward momentum;
  • Change course safely while the boat is moving;
  • Move the canoe or kayak sideways;
  • Stop the canoe or kayak with a short distance without losing direction.
  • Recognise rapids or weirs from a safe distance;
  • Recognise submerged rocks, strainers and other hazards;
  • Assess rapids and hazards, to make in informed choice whether to paddle or portage;
  • Recogise a safe eddy;
  • Break out of the current;
  • Hold position in the flow and ferry-glide into an eddy;
  • Break into the current;
  • Get into/out of the canoe/kayak safely in deep and shallow fast-flowing water;
  • Move canoes past hazards by safely using lines;
  • Understand the dangers of an unintentional 'swim', and trying to wade, in fast water;
  • Swim safely to the shore;
  • Empty a swamped canoe or kayak using safe handling techniques;
  • Climb back into the canoe from deep water in the event of a capsize, and help others to do so.

 

For unaccompanied hire on the River Severn between

Stourport and Gloucester, paddlers should be able to:

  • Lift, carry, launch and land the canoe/kayak safely, This may involve climbing in and/or out at high walls, or getting up and/or down steps and/or steep muddy banks;
  • Paddle a straight course, keeping forward momentum; 
  • Change course while the boat is moving;
  • Move the canoe or kayak sideways;
  • Stop the canoe or kayak with a short distance without losing direction.
  • Learn the rules of navigation and observe them when in river traffic;
  • Recognise locks, weirs, outfalls,sluices and other hazards from a safe distance and identify a safe landing for portage or inspection;
  • Identify the safe route past a weir, or into a lock;
  • Recognise strainers and tree hazards;
  • Assess hazards, to make in informed choice whether to paddle or portage;
  • Recogise a safe landing or eddy;
  • Hold position in the flow and ferry-glide into an eddy;
  • Break into and out of the current;
  • Get into/out of the canoe/kayak safely in deep and shallow fast-flowing water;
  • Move canoes past hazards by safely using lines;
  • Understand the dangers of an unintentional 'swim', and trying to wade, in fast water;
  • Swim safely to the shore;
  • Empty a swamped canoe or kayak using safe handling techniques;
  • Climb back into the canoe from deep water in the event of a capsize, and help others to do so.

Afon Hafren - River Severn Route Planner

Distance from confluence with Afon Vyrnwy (approx)

Points of Interest

Facilities / Accommodation etc.

Confluence with Avon Vyrnwy.  Launching.

St Peter's 15th Century Church,

a short paddle up the Vyrnwy from the confluence with the Severn.

Church House camp Site 01691 682754

0.75 miles

Edgerley

Royal Hill Inn 01743 741247

1.75 miles

Buckley Farm riverside camping for canoeists, basic facilities at the farm. 

Mr and Mrs Davies 01743 741336 

Montford Bridge

Shop in village. 

Pub: The Wingfield Arms. 

Wingfield Caravan Park and Camping, river right upstream of bridge.

Severn House Campsite, river left downstream of bridge.

Frankwell, Shrewsbury

Landing, access across footbridge to shops, restaurants, WC.

23.75 miles

Shrewsbury Weir

Compulsory portage if passing this weir.

Launching, WC.

26.25 Miles

Uffington

Inn

35.75 miles

Riverside Inn

Accommodation and restaurant.  Landing for patrons.

38.75 miles

Cressage Bridge

Village, Inn.  Launching by arrangement.

Buildwas Bridge

46 miles

Ironbridge

Historic Town, Hotels, B&B;s, Pubs, Museums, WC, Buses.

46.25 miles

Jackfield Rapid

Grade 2-3 inspect from left bank.

48.25 miles

Coalport

Coalport Youth Hostel 0845 3719325

Woodbridge Inn and restaurant 01952 882054

Bridgnorth

Falcon Hotel (near to landing point) 01746 763134

Historic Town.  Hotels, B&B's, Pubs, WC, TIC, shops

Severn Valley Railway

57.25 miles

Quatford

Pub

60.5 miles

Hampton Loade

The Unicorn Inn, Camping 01746 861515

Severn Valley Railway

63.25 miles

Highley

Inn

Severn Valley Railway

65.5 miles

Arley

Shop, Tea Room, Inn

Severn Valley Railway

Bewdley

Beware powered craft beyond this point

Historic Town, B&B's, Hotels, Museum, Pubs, Shops, Cafés

71.25 miles

Lickhill Manor Caravan and Camping Park 01299 871941

73.25 miles

Stourport

Junction with Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.

Start of Canal and River Trust Navigation: licence needed beyond this point.

Historic Town.  B&B's, Hotels, Pubs, Shops, Cafés.

75 miles

Lincombe Lock

Lock Keeper 01299 822887

Inn

80 miles

Holt Lock

Lock Keeper 01905 620218

82.5 miles

Bevere Lock

Lock Keeper 01905 640275

Inn

Worcester

Junction with Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Diglis Lock

Lock Keeper 01905 354280

Historic City, Hotels, B&B's, shops etc. Cathedral

Buses and Trains

87.75 miles

Confluence with the River Teme

93 miles

Upton on Severn

Historic Town, B&B's, Hotels, Pubs, Shops, Cafés

102.75 miles

Tewkesbury

Confluence with the River Avon

Beyond here the river is tidal

Historic City, Hotels, B&B's, shops etc. Abbey

Upper Lode Lock

Lock Keeper 01684 283138

Lower Lode

Lower Lode Inn and Camping 01684 293224

Apperley

Inn

Haw Bridge

Inn, Camping

Upper Parting

Take the left arm to reach Gloucester

Gloucester

Lock Keeper 01452 318000

Historic City, Hotels, B&B's, Shops, Cathedral.

Gloucester and Sharpness Canal

You can extend your journey as far as Sharpness by transferring onto the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal