Purton - Purton Hulks - Sharpness - Purton

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There is a lot to see on the short section of the Severn Way that this walk takes in, between Purton and Sharpness Docks. The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal starts from Sharpness where it joins the River Severn, and the first section lies very close to the river. The banks of the Severn have historically suffered from erosion by the tide, and there was a risk of the river eroding into the canal embankment. A quick solution needed to be found , so several ships that had reached the end of their working life were beached on the shore and allowed to fill with silt to create a barrier to protect the canal. The various boats now form one of the largest collections of historic inland waterway craft in Britain.

The ships are dotted on the banks of the river along the whole section of the walk, although most of them are at the beginning. The path then switches over to the canal, and further down you will see the remains of the Severn and Wye railway bridge, that was primarily used to carry coal from the Forest of Dean. In 1960 in thick fog and strong tides, two barges missed the entrance to Sharpness docks, and collided with bridge, causing a huge explosion. The remaining piers on the bridge were pulled down several years later, and all that remains today is two towers either side of the canal. If the tide is out, you may also see the remains of the Arkendale in the middle of the river up stream from the bridge, which was one of the barges involved in the accident.

The walk takes a more inland route to return. It doesn’t have the historical interest , but it is still a pleasant walk, with great views over the river as you return to Purton.

England - South West England - Gloucestershire - Severn Estuary

Features

Birds, Good for Kids, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Pub

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