Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

River Avon

The River Avon is probably, next to the River Thames, the most famous river in England.

It owes most of its fame to its associations with the great playwright William Shakespeare.

In fact, there are several Avons in England, it being one of the country's earliest place names. In the Celtic language, "avon" simply means "river".

Shakespeare's Avon, however, runs for most of its length in Warwickshire, although it rises in Leicestershire, runs for a while in Worcestershire and joins the River Severn in Gloucestershire.

The Avon starts its life near Husbands Bosworth, and for a short way markes the boundary between Leicestershire and Warwickshire, passing at this point the attractive little village of Stanford-on-Avon.

Rugby is an interesting old market town with the famous Rugby School, scene of the novel "Tom Brown's Schooldays" and the birth of Rugby football.

Leamington Spa is one of the most elegant towns in England, and one of its most successful spas.

Warwick, another historic old market town, contains the magnificent Warwick Castle as well as Lord Leycester's Hospital and the towering St. Mary's Church.

Stratford-upon-Avon is where William Shakespeare was born in 1564, and where countless visitors flock to pay homage at the many sites associated with him.

Evesham had a wealthy abbey, of which the impressive Bell Tower remains, near the grave of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who was killed in battle here.

Pershore is another little town which had an abbey.

Tewkesbury, yet another attractive market town, is dominated by the magnificent Tewkesbury Abbey, often mistaken for a cathedral.

It is at Tewkesbury that the Avon flows into the Severn.