7 ways to enjoy the water in Gloucestershire

Being beside water is proven to boost our wellbeing - and Gloucestershire residents can enjoy wonderful waves, riveting ripples and let the sound of splashing make them smile along some of the best waterways in the county.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Take time to reflect with a plethora of waterside activities in Gloucestershire - with research from the Canal & River Trust showing that spending time by water can boost wellbeing.
Take time to reflect with a plethora of waterside activities in Gloucestershire - with research from the Canal & River Trust showing that spending time by water can boost wellbeing.
In partnership with National Waterways Museum Gloucester  |  canalrivertrust.org.uk
National Waterways Museum Gloucester

Discover the 200-year history of Gloucester Docks and the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. Housed in Llanthony Warehouse, you can explore interactive exhibits, as well as browse the museum shop and enjoy a bite to eat in the tea rooms. There’s also a chance to take 45-minute boat trips along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal on a Dunkirk Little Ship, Queen Boadicea II.

Gloucestershire is blessed with wonderful rivers and canals meandering through the county. 

SoGlos has teamed up with the Canal and River Trust to highlight some of the best ways to enjoy the waterways - with and without getting wet!

Visit the National Waterways Museum Gloucester

Find out all about the 200-year history of Gloucester Docks and the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal inside the museum's magnificent Grade II listed grain warehouse. 

With fun, interactive exhibits you'll discover the intriguing stories of dockside communities over the years - plus there's a cosy café and museum shop to browse, too. 

Take a boat trip on Queen Boadicea II 

All aboard for a 45-minute boat trip! From March to October each year, visitors can jump on the Queen Boadicea II, a Dunkirk Little Ship, which merrily sails along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Boat trips run from Tuesday to Saturday until the end of October from just outside the National Waterways Museum at Gloucester Docks

There's no need to book in advance, just turn up. The boat sets sail at midday and 1.30pm and dogs are welcome to join the fun.

Try paddleboarding with Discover Paddling

Jump on a paddleboard to explore Gloucester Docks from a fresh perspective. Launching from Llanthony Warehouse or Saul Junction Bridge, for a leafier route, you can paddle your way to inner peace on the waterways.

Discover Paddling organisers also host yoga classes on paddleboards at Over Bridge in Highnam for that extra dose of zen. 

Explore Purton Ships' Graveyard

Known as the Purton Ships' Graveyard, this hauntingly dramatic site, between the River Severn and and Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, contains well-worn scheduled ancient monuments that certainly have the wow factor.

Admire the historic boat wrecks that were beached here throughout the 20th century to see how they have protected the banks of the River Severn from erosion over the years.

Soak in waterside views at Saul Junction

This great meeting place for ships and crews from around the world is the spot where the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal meets the Stroudwater Canal.

Popular with boaters, there are many lovely walks along the idyllic waterways to Saul Junction Marina and Saul Junction Visitor Centre run by the Costwold Canals Trust. Enjoy wildlife spotting or try the Stables Café for wonderful waterside views while enjoying a sweet or savoury treat or two. 

Attend a Cotswolds Canals Connected event

This project linking the Stroudwater Navigation Canal with the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal at Saul Junction is igniting a love of water with a series of activities and events along the Stroudwater Canal. 

Most popular is the Stroud Raft Race, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Other events include nature storytelling and educational engineering exhibitions.

Witness the Severn Bore

Watch in wonder as the Severn Bore tidal surge races up the Severn Estuary. Attracting surfers from around the globe, the natural spectacle is caused by the tide from the Atlantic Ocean powering up the Bristol channel - and often attracts big crowds.

There are a couple expected later this year in September and October 2022 - so get the dates in your diary!

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