The Severn Bore
The Severn bore is a tidal bore or wave, seen on the tidal reaches of the River Severn in south western England. It is the second largest bore in the world, the largest being the Qiantang River in East China.
It is formed when the rising tide moves into the funnel-shaped Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary to the south west, from where the surging water forces its way upstream in a series of waves, as far as Gloucester and beyond. The bore behaves differently in different stretches of the river; in the lower, wider parts, it is more noticeable in the deep channels as a slight roller, while the water creeps across the sand and mudflats. In the narrower, upper reaches, the river occupies the whole area between its banks and the bore advances in a series of waves that move upstream. Near Gloucester, the advancing water often overcomes two weirs, and sometimes one in Tewkesbury, before finally petering out.
The bore, in its largest wave formations can be quite dangerous, with the risk of people being swept into the river as it passes. Caution is advised before getting too close to the edge of the bank!
A prime viewing point is on the bank of the river at St. Peter's Church, Minsterworth.
Bores are given star ratings of 1 - 5, with 5-star bores usually the highest. However, they will vary in height depending upon prevailing conditions. They can come before or, as is often the case, later than advertised. Click here to view times and bore ratings.