If you’re a fan of natural phenomena and you’re visiting the Forest of Dean you have to see The Severn Bore, one of Britain’s finest. The giant surge wave can be viewed in many places on the River Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world, being as much as 50 feet (approx. 15.4m).
The shape of the Severn estuary is such that the water is funnelled into an increasingly narrow channel as the tide rises, thus forming the large wave. The river’s course takes it past Avonmouth where it is approximately 5 miles wide, then past Beachley and Aust, then Lydney and Sharpness where it is approximately 1 mile wide. By the time it reaches Minsterworth it’s less than a hundred yards across, and stays that way all the way to Gloucester.
As well as the width of the river decreasing rapidly, the depth does too , thus forming a funnel shape. As the incoming tide travels rapidly up the river , it is routed into an ever decreasing channel and the bore is formed.
What was once a spectacle watched by anglers and the odd local out walking is now a major attraction drawing people from all over the UK and beyond, not just to observe but to surf and kayak for miles on the foaming water, most famously a couple of years ago when a group of surfers dressed as Star Wars Stormtroopers travelled up the river to promote the release of the Star Wars film, Episode 7, some of which was filmed at The Forest of Dean’s atmospheric and picturesque location Puzzlewood.
On Friday last hundreds of spectators lined the riverbank in Gloucestershire between Newnham and Over to catch a glimpse of the first and only daytime five-star bore this year. If you missed it don’t worry though they’re a regular event and you can see the timetable here.
Enjoy yourselves, stay safe, and make sure you keep your eyes on kids and pets.