The Bristol Avon could be just 19 miles long as this is how far it is between its source at Acton Turville in South Gloucestershire to the Severn Estuary. However, it has chosen to take a slightly longer route through Wiltshire and takes a 75-mile course to the sea at Avonmouth. This extended journey makes the Bristol Avon the 19th longest river in the UK.
Along its journey, the Avon meets a number of tributaries including the River Marden, Somerset Frome, River Chew, and smaller streams such as the By Brook, Brinkworth Brook and the River Trym. You will know many more!
Two of the region’s major cities, Bristol and Bath, are situated where they are because of the river. Today, populations living within these two cities exceed 500,000. Communities initially settled alongside the Avon for the supply of drinking water, as a defence in battle and for trade, to name but a few reasons. The city of Bristol has a rich nautical heritage which is still celebrated today. There are also numerous towns located along the length of the river including Malmesbury, Chippenham, Melksham, Bradford-On-Avon and Keynsham as well as smaller settlements at Saltford, Avoncliffe, Freshford and Claverton which will be familiar names to many train passengers.