The Severn Way
210 miles from the River Severn's source in Powys to Severn Beach near Bristol
By Terry Marsh
Guidebook to walking the Severn Way, a 210 mile (338km) walk through the Welsh borders. Beginning near the source of the River Severn in Powys, mid-Wales, and finishing in Bristol, the history-rich route is described over 22 stages (ranging from 3 to 14 miles), passing through the counties of Powys, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
SeasonsMay to September should avoid the usual periods of flooding and the muddy aftermath they bring.
Centresmain centres are Worcester and Gloucester. Other centres are Newtown, Welshpool, Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Stourport and Tewkesbury, plus numerous small villages and hamlets.
Difficultya regular walker should find no difficulty following the Severn Way. Once descended from the Hafren Forest and the upper Severn, easy river walking ensues all the way to Severn Beach. Equipment and clothing for day walking is adequate.
Must Seeflowing through the most superb landscapes and past appealing towns and villages, the River Severn pulls together threads of history, trade, commerce, civil war and the lives of ordinary folk. It is the longest river in the UK.
The 220 miles of the River Severn, the UK’s longest river, run from the heights of Plynlimon in mid-Wales down to the Bristol Channel at Severn Beach, through the historic counties of Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
As well as a largely downhill walk through peaceful landscapes such as the superb Hafren Forest, easily accessible from the pretty towns along the route, the Severn Way, which follows its course, is also a packed with historical and geographical interest.
The Severn Way can take more than three weeks to walk. There is however, much to be said for tackling the Way over a number of visits. For example from the source at Plynlimon to Shrewsbury; Shrewsbury to Bridgenorth; Bridgenorth to Tewskesbury; Tewkesbury to Severn Beach,
Divided into four sections that correspond with the four main counties (Powys, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire) through which the River Severn flows, this guidebook offers all the information walkers need to make the most of their backpacking trip, from source to sea.
The Severn: Source to sea
About the route
Weather and when to go
Getting there and transport
Preparation and fitness
Maps and GPS
Using this guide
Stage 1 Rhyd-y-benwch to the source
Variant start Eisteddfa Gurig to the source via Plynlimon
Stage 2 Source of the Severn to Llanidloes
Stage 3 Llanidloes to Caersws
Stage 4 Caersws to Newtown
Stage 5 Newtown to Welshpool
Stage 6 Welshpool to Crew Green
Stage 1 Crew Green to Montford Bridge
Stage 2 Montford Bridge to Shrewsbury (English Bridge)
Stage 3 Shrewsbury (English Bridge) to Atcham
Stage 4 Atcham to Ironbridge
Stage 5 Ironbridge to Bridgnorth
Stage 6 Bridgnorth to Upper Arley
Stage 1 Upper Arley to Stourport-on-Severn
Stage 2 Stourport-on-Severn to Worcester
Stage 3 Worcester to Upton-upon-Severn
Stage 4 Upton-upon-Severn to Tewkesbury
Stage 1 Tewkesbury to Gloucester Docks
Stage 2 Gloucester Docks to Upper Framilode
Stage 3 Upper Framilode to Frampton-on-Severn
Stage 4 Frampton-on-Severn to Sharpness
Stage 5 Sharpness to Oldbury-on-Severn
Stage 6 Oldbury-on-Severn to Severn Beach
Stage 7 Bristol Link: Severn Beach to Bristol
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Useful contacts
Appendix C Facilities along the Way
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Dr Terry Marsh is a Lancashire-based award-winning writer and photographer who specialises in the outdoors, the countryside, walking and travel worldwide. He has been writing books since the mid-1980s, and is the author of over 100 titles.
Terry holds a PhD in Historical Geography and a Master of Arts degree (with Distinction) in Lake District Studies, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot), a member of the National Union of Journalists, and an Honorary Life Member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.