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Bristol Harbour

Bristol Harbour is the harbour in the city of Bristol, England.  The harbour covers an area of 28.3 hectares.  It has existed since the 13th century but was developed into its current form in the early 19th century by installing lock gates on a tidal stretch of the River Avon in the centre of the city and providing a tidal by-pass for the river.  It is often called the Floating Harbour as the water level remains constant and it is not affected by the state of the tide on the river. Click here for facts about Bristol, UK.

Between Bristol Temple Meads railway station and Hotwells, the harbour and the River Avon run parallel at a distance of no more than 1.0 km apart.  Downstream of Bristol Temple Meads railway station, the floating harbour meanders through Bristol city centre, Canon’s Marsh and Hotwells.  At Hotwells, the floating harbour rejoins the tidal River Avon, via a series of locks, and flows into the Avon Gorge. Click here to read about The Centre.

Bristol Harbour was the original Port of Bristol, but as ships and their cargo have increased in size, it has now largely been replaced by docks at Avonmouth and Portbury.  These are located 11.3 km downstream at the mouth of the River Avon.