The River Avon
The River Avon flows in a mainly south-westerly direction for almost 100 miles from its source at Naseby in Northamptonshire to its confluence with the River Severn at Tewkesbury, passing the towns of Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Evesham, Pershore and Tewkesbury. During its journey, it glides alongside country estates and fine old churches, past former watermills and riverside inns and by old ford and ferry crossings.
Ancient towns and picturesque villages along its length are steeped in the nation’s history. Three decisive battles were fought near the banks of the Avon; Naseby, in 1645, where the king’s cause in the Civil War was doomed, Evesham, in 1265, during which Simon de Montfort was slain and Tewkesbury, in 1471, where the Lancastrian dreams were shattered.
On a Starline Narrowboat holiday the river stretches for some 40 navigable miles between Tewkesbury and Stratford upon Avon, through the Vale of Evesham, Pershore and Tewkesbury.
A cruise along the River Avon is a little more active than the River Severn with 17 locks, which are mostly unmanned.
There are many places to visit along the River Avon:
Tewkesbury is an attractive, historic town dominated by timber-framed buildings and is renowned as having one of the best medieval black and white townscapes in the country and has much to delight the visitor, including; Tewkesbury Abbey, Tewkesbury Museum, Shopping, Pubs, Bars and Restaurants.
The historic town of Evesham, on the banks of Shakespeare's River Avon, is the "'capital" of the Vale of Evesham, lying between the Malvern and Bredon Hills and the Cotswolds in the Heart of England.
Evesham Abbey - the ruins of this Benedictine Abbey are situated in a pleasant spot on the banks of the river Avon. The Abbey Park, which borders the river, is an increasingly popular recreational area for picnickers, who enjoy the sounds of the brass or silver bands that play in the Victorian bandstand every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer. The Almonry Heritage Centre - this grade II listed building’s eleven rooms contain a unique collection covering every aspect of life in Evesham and the Vale, from prehistory to World War II.
Sitting on the banks of the River Avon is the elegant market town of Pershore which is renowned for its Georgian architecture, so much so the Council of British Archaeology designated it as a town of architectural importance. But it is the Abbey that commands attention; it was founded in 689 by King Oswald and in 972 King Edgar granted a charter which granted lands to the Abbey. Most of the Abbey's architecture is from the 13th century and today it is dominated by the tall pinnacled tower. In summer the tower is often open. Climb to the top for a beautiful view of the Vale and Bredon Hill.
Pershore is renowned for its outstanding Georgian façade and many of the buildings are listed.
A short distance away from the town centre stands Pershore Bridge a scene of Civil War skirmishes if you look closely and you will be able to see the scars of battle.
Stratford upon Avon
Stratford upon Avon is situated on the River Avon in the Heart of England and is the famous birthplace of England’s greatest poet and playwright, William Shakespeare. This market town is a perfect combination of old and new, and with its beautiful surroundings, is a fine place to visit for a relaxing holiday.
There are many places to visit and attractions including; The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Town Walk - taking you around the historical sites of Stratford, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage - home of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's sweet-heart and wife, Shakespeare’s Birthplace.
When visiting by boat you have the unique opportunity to moor adjacent to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
For further information on attractions and places to visit Starline Narrowboats offers Guide Books and Maps for sale on the Bookings Form.