River Avon (Bristol)
The River Avon rises in Gloucestershire and flows through Wiltshire to the Severn Estuary, a distance of 75 miles (121 km) although there are just 19 miles (31 km) as the crow flies between the source and the estuary. From its junction with the Kennet and Avon Canal at Bath, the River flows for 12 miles through Keynsham towards Bristol using the natural river bed along with six locks and weirs to overcome a drop of 30 feet (9 m). At Netham Lock in Bristol, boats from the River Avon gain access to Bristol's Floating Harbour. Here, the Avon is diverted via a weir and lock along the Feeder Canal to the harbour which has lock gates at the other end. This maintains deep water at all times, hence the name Floating Harbour. As a result of this, the Floating Harbour is a successful pieces of dockland regeneration, with much of the area occupied by residential, office and cultural premises and the water area heavily used by leisure craft. Downstream of central Bristol the river passes through the deep Avon Gorge spanned by Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge. The river is tidal and navigable by sea going vessels at high tide but dries to a muddy channel at low tide.