Awre and the River Severn

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Awre is a small village, pronounced 'oar', with a history going back before Saxon times. It lies below the River Severn's famous great horseshoe bend and consequently is surrounded by water on three sides. Once it boasted an important harbour and although all trace of this is lost now, salmon fishing is still carried out by local people.

In the mid-13th Century, the main river channel that runs down the estuary switched its course and began to erode away the shore, riverbank and land on the Awre side. As a result of this erosion, it is estimated that Awre lost about one third of its territory and even today, the parish boundary is set about three quarters of the way across the estuary as if the parish is hoping that one day, its lands will be restored. One legacy of this period is the lost village of Woodend, which was a small hamlet lying half a mile south of Awre. This used to be some way from the river but as erosion increased, the waters gradually began to edge closer until, in the 'Great Floods' of 1741, Woodend was finally swept away. All that remains of this lost village today is a scatter of bricks and stones which can be seen at low water on the sands.

The walk starts in Awre, but heads straight for the river. The rest of the walk follows the banks of the river as it encircles the village, where there are fine views of the estuary. The last part of the walk heads inland again back to the village.

England - South West England - Gloucestershire - Severn Estuary

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