Bristol Channel

Introduction

Times of high water

Barry: High water is 30 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth)

Penarth: High water is 15 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth)

Watchett: High water is 4 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Dover

Burnham on Sea: High water is 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Dover

Weston Super Mare: High water is 4 hours and 35 minutes before high water at Dover

Portishead and Avonmouth: High water is 4 hours and 5 minutes before high water at Dover

Sharpness: High water is 3 hours and 35 minutes before high water at Dover

Tidal streams

Sully Sound: In the channel inshore of Sully Island, the flow reaches a speed of 6 knots at springs. This channel can be paddled 3 hours either side of high water - i.e. from 3 and a half hours before high water at Avonmouth until 2 and a half hours after.

Off Barry: The east north-east going stream begins at 6 hours after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The west south-west going stream begins at 25 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs.

Eddy in Sully Bay: During the east-going stream, an eddy forms in Sully Bay, flowing west up to the entrance to Barry Docks.

Between Flat Holm and Lavernock: The north-east going stream begins at 6 hours before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south-west going stream begins at at high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The north-east going stream reaches a speed of 3.8 knots at springs. The south-west going stream reaches a speed of 3.6 knots at springs.

Off the entrance to Cardiff Bay: The north north-east going stream begins at 6 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south south-west going stream begins at 10 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

One mile east north east of Flat Holm: The north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south-west going stream begins at 15 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The north-east going stream reaches a speed of 3.8 knots at springs. The south-west going stream reaches a speed of 3.6 knots at springs.

Between Brean Down and Steep Holm: The north-east going stream begins at 6 hours before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south-west going stream begins at 5 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The north-east going stream reaches a speed of 3.2 knots at springs. The south-west going stream reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs.

Off Bimbeck Island: The north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south-west going stream begins at 15 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The north-east going stream reaches a speed of 4.2 knots at springs. The south-west going stream reaches a speed of 3.3 knots at springs. The tide flows rapidly around the tip of Brean down, where the flow is likely faster due to shallow water. Tide races form at Brean Down and Sand Point.

Between Flat Holm and Steep Holm: The east north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 40 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The west south-west going stream begins at at high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The east north-east going stream reaches a speed of 3.6 knots at springs. The west south-west going stream reaches a speed of 3.1 knots at springs. This information relates to a point around 2 miles west of the direct line between the islands, but. Between the islands the flow is likely to run closer to north east / south west. Races form around both islands.

Offshore Hinckley Point: The east north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The west south-west going stream begins at 15 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs.

Bridgwater Bay: Inshore flows are weak

Weston Bay: [tide]Inshore flows in the bay are weak. The flow is always in a southerly direction due to an eddy forming behind Brean Down.

Around Birnbeck Island: Flows are confused and unpredictable.

North of Clevedon: The east north-east going stream begins at 5 hours before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The west south-west going stream begins at 30 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The east north-east going stream reaches a speed of 5.2 knots at springs. The west south-west going stream reaches a speed of 3.7 knots at springs.

Off Portishead: The north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south-west going stream begins at 35 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The north-east going stream reaches a speed of 4.8 knots at springs. The south-west going stream reaches a speed of 4 knots at springs.

Across the Avon entrance: The east north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The west south-west going stream begins at 45 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The east north-east going stream reaches a speed of 5.2 knots at springs. The west south-west going stream reaches a speed of 3.7 knots at springs.

At the second Severn crossing: The north north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south south-west going stream begins at 45 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The flow reaches a speed of 8 knots at springs. A race forms on the English Stones reef under the eastern spans, which is best avoided.

At the first Severn crossing: The first crossing is the more northerly of the two. The north north-east going stream begins at 4 hours before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south south-west going stream begins at 45 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The flow reaches a speed of 6 knots at springs.

Severn at Sharpness: The north north-east going stream begins at 2 hours before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south south-west going stream begins at 1 hours after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The north north-east going stream reaches a speed of 6 knots at springs. The south south-west going stream reaches a speed of 5 knots at springs.

Eddy between Battery Point and Avon breakwater: An eddy here flows west south-west starting 3 hours before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth).

Notes

Access/Egress

Swanbridge Bay: (ST 167 674) g Car park by the water.

Barry - The Knapp: (ST 096 666) g Plentiful parking along the road by the beach.

Penarth: (ST 190 711) g Parking along the Esplanade by the beach. If this is busy, there is a large free car park off Cliff Parade 500 m to the south.

Brean Beach: (ST 296 585) g Car park at the north end of the beach by Brean Down. Best near high water.

Anchor Head: (ST 308 622) g Slipway behind the Captains Cabin Pub, parking just north of here.

Weston Super Mare: (ST 316 616) g Melrose car park, just north of the pier. The walk will be long and potentially dangerous at low water. Anchor head may be a better option.

Clevedon: (ST 401 716) g Parking along the seafront. A small concrete slip allows access to the water at most states of the tide.

Blue Anchor: (ST 031 436) g Parking spaces along the road that runs along the beach. The carry to the water will be long at low tide.

Watchett: (ST 071 435) g Small car park near the slip into the drying harbour. The outer harbour slipway is usable three hours each side of High Water.

Sand Bay South: (ST 328 633) g Car park at the southern end of the bay, best at high water.

Uphill: (ST 310 584) g Uphill car park on the beach. At lower water, it may be possible to walk south and embark onto the River Axe where it flows through the tidal flats.

Flat Holm: (ST 222 651) g Best landing on a beach to the north east. Visits require prior notification, phone 029 2087 7912, link

Steep Holm: (ST 232 607) g Landing beach at east end. Contact the Bookings Secretary on 01934 522125. link

Sharpness: (SO 667 019) g Parking at the picnic site. Land well outside the lock gates. Usable only near high-water, possibly on spring tides.

Limpert Bay: (ST 020 663) g Large gravel parking area by the beach.

Lavernock Point: (ST 187 682) g Narrow lane leads to a track to a shingle beach. Small car park 130 from the beach.

Burnham on Sea: (ST 303 488) g Slipway with large car park nearby. Permit required from information office next to the slipway.

Suggested trips

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