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  Canal Holidays River Avon Stratford upon Avon canal

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Inland canal and river boating

River Avon

Small cruisers, with a height limit of 10 ft, and narrowboats can lock up from the River Severn at Tewkesbury (see details) and follow the meandering River Avon for some 40 miles as far as Stratford upon Avon.

Narrowboats can venture much further inland by accessing the extensive inland canal network at Stratford.

The River Avon passes through some of the most scenic parts of Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

It involves working through 17 locks (most of which are unmanned) but a reward is to moor opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford.
Map of River Avon

The navigation from Tewkesbury to Stratford upon Avon was opened in the 17th Century but over the centuries it fell into neglect.

That boating is possible today on the River Avon was due to the voluntary restoration work by the members of two charitable trusts.

Tewkesbury lock From Tewkesbury to Evesham the river was administered by The Lower Avon Navigation Trust .

From Evesham to Stratford upon Avon was administered by the Upper Avon Navigation Trust .
Tewkesbury Lock

In 2009 the two trusts were amalgamated to provide a single navigation authority for the river - the Avon Navigation Trust.

The new trust is a charity supported almost entirely by revenue from license fees and donations.

Navigating the River Avon

  • Access to the navigation is from the River Severn by locking up at Tewkesbury (see details) or from the narrow canal at Stratford upon Avon.

  • The picturesque River Avon has many meanders and the passage is interupted by many locks.

  • Most of the locks have to be worked by yourself but at busy holiday periods, members of the trust may be on hand to help you.

  • In summer, boating on the River Avon is very popular with cruisers, hired narrowboats and experienced narrow canal boaters alike.

  • Finding a mooring can be difficult at these times.

  • The navigation is well signposted and in favourable conditions offers few problems. But remember, there is always a river current.

  • The River Avon is prone to flooding and at these times, boats should moor up and wait for water levels to drop.

River Avon worcestershire warwickshire locks
Places to Visit

avon tewkesbury There are attractive river side villages, and the towns of Tewkesbury, Pershore, Evesham and Stratford upon Avon to visit.  It is possible to moor opposite the Royal Shakespeare theatre at Stratford.

Detailed boating books for the River Avon are available and may be purchased from local bookshops or at Tewkesbury and Evesham locks.

Fishing and sailing are popular pastimes.    (see also canal boats, canal holidays, stratford upon avon canal, ports of call and severn boating links)

Index River Severn Sharpness Canal Severn Estuary Bristol Channel Tides Skipper's Reference Ports of Call Canal Boats Severn Links