Severn Valley is a rural area of mid-western
England, through which the River
Severn runs and the Severn Valley Railway steam heritage line operates, starting at its
northernmost point in Bridgnorth, Shropshire and running south for 16 miles (26 km) to
Bewdley, Worcestershire in
is about 40 km (25 miles) due west of Birmingham in the West
also use of this term to apply to areas around the River Severn as
far south as Gloucester, and as far north as Ironbridge. To the north of Bridgnorth, the area around the river becomes much steeper and
is known as Ironbridge
Gorge. From Bewdley south to
Gloucester, the riverside has a much larger flood plain and
loses its distinctive "valley" hillsides. To the south of
Gloucester, it becomes the Severn
Geology and roads
The Severn Valley between Highley and Arley
The area is typified by a substantial river bed with deep
fast-flowing channels, surrounded by a small flood plain
and rolling wooded hills. Due to the
banks, it is difficult to
build bridges that can bear heavy loads. The only public road
bridges are at Bridgnorth and Bewdley, meaning
that there is no way for road traffic to cross the river for
26 km (16 miles). The two main roads along the valley are
the A442 on the east side from Bridgnorth via Alveley to Kidderminster and the B4555 on the west
from Bridgnorth via Highley to Bewdley.
of these run north-south roughly parallel with the river.
Towns and villages
north at Bridgnorth and running south downstream, the area encompasses
the following locations:
Bridgnorth (both sides — two public road bridges)
Quatford (east bank)
Chelmarsh (west bank — also private waterworks bridge to
Quatt (east bank)
Hampton (west bank) and Hampton Loade (east bank) (connected by the Hampton
Loade Ferry — also private waterworks utility bridge to
Chelmarsh capable of carrying light trucks and small
emergency vehicles; gated and usually locked)
Alveley (east bank — public bridalway/footbridge to
Highley (west bank — public bridalway/footbridge to
definitions continue through Worcestershire and into Gloucestershire as far south as Gloucester.
Arley (both sides
— public footbridge — also railway bridge for SVR)
Trimpley (west bank — river enters Wyre Forest — also private waterworks, electricity and gas
Bewdley (both sides
— two public road bridges — severe flooding common in
riverside footpaths throughout almost the entire length of the
Severn Valley on both sides, including the Severn Way long distance footpath, making it a popular haunt
for anglers and ramblers, often combining a leisurely walk with a
return trip on the Severn Valley Railway.
A number of traditional pubs
cater for the tourist trade.
centre of the area, between Highley and Alveley, is the Severn Valley Country Park, with
level-access and wide flat footpaths for wheelchair users, plus conveniences and a small
During periods of low water, fording the river is occasionally
possible at almost any point along the Severn Valley, which however
has deep, fast-flowing and often non-visible river channels.
The Severn Valley in fiction
The term Severn Valley
is also used to refer to fictional location in horror
based on the works of H.
. However, this fictional location is based
on the Gloucestershire, Severn Estuary and
Cotswolds regions, some 100 km (60 miles) further
south of the real-life Severn Valley.
Railway has featured in a number of films
and television episodes.
References and external links