Purton to Severn Bridge

Purton to Severn Bridge

On the Eastern side of the Severn, this area holds hidden treasures and stunning views. Discover the sunken ships hidden within the riverbank at Purton Hulks, the UK’s largest ship graveyard, a unique place to get up close to ships over 100 years old. The timber lighter ships were beached to protect the canal bank from erosion, and today 80 boats lie within the banks.

For a different vantage point, gaze over the estuary from Sharpness. A scenic place for a picnic, spot the Severn Bridges in the distance and boats gliding over the water at high tide. Oldbury-on-Severn is a small, picturesque village with a thriving community spirit. From the banks of the estuary, views stretch to Aust, Gloucester, the Severn Bridges and Oldbury power station. The moored boats add a splash of vibrant colour to the landscape. Ducks, migratory birds and waders can be seen amongst the coast and wetlands. At Aust cliff, striking layers of red and black rock stand out against the landscape. This is more than just a colourful cliff; it tells the story of the rising seas engulfing an ancient desert between 221 and 195 million years ago. Look out for fossils of sea reptiles, urchins, sharks and shells on the beach below but be sure to only collect fossils from fallen cliff debris!

A windswept stopping point for migratory birds, Severn Beach & New Passage offers incredible views over the Severn Estuary and the Royal Portbury Docks. The Portbury Docks are the most central in the UK and were established in 1239 to make use of the strong tidal current which the Severn Estuary is famous for. Walkers can make use of the New Passage Heritage Trail, originally the site of a ferry that used to cross the Severn in the 19th century.

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Purton Hulks ship bow (Photo credit Mark Kent, 2011)

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