Gloucester & Sharpness Canal
The Gloucester & Sharpness Canal was once the broadest and deepest in the world. Even today, it stands out from other navigations because of its sheer scale and impressive engineering.
Its immense swing-bridges and ornate bridge-keepers’ houses add to its unique identity. It connects Gloucester to Sharpness, allowing boats to bypass a treacherous stretch of the River Severn. From the canal, there are spectacular views of the Severn Estuary, the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds.
The tidal parts of the Severn are alive with wildlife, especially coastal birds. At Slimbridge, the headquarters of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, vast flocks of thousands of migrant birds visit each winter.
At Gloucester Docks, you can get a real sense of the canal’s cargo-carrying heritage. Listed warehouses have been converted into shops and leisure facilities, and the marina is still busy with boats. The Gloucester Waterways Museum tells the story of the canal and has a fascinating collection of historic boats.
Find out about the fascinating Sharpness Port, including operating times and charges.