Europe is small in terms of size in relation to the other continents. Yet in terms of wealth it is ranked highly, and many of the region’s most successful cities are located on famous rivers. The may not been the longest rivers in the world but they are some of the most recognisable. Dublin in Ireland is located next to the River Liffey where it is joined by the River Poddle before entering the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay. Dubliners have been using the Liffey for centuries extracting its water to drink and also to use for recreational activities
Although the river only flows for 132 kilometers it is known around the world for being part of Ireland’s most famed export, Guinness. It is part of folklore that one can taste the Liffey when drinking a Guinness, and although the validity of this claim has been challenged, the river has played an important role in the capital city’s development. Just across the sea from Dublin is the British city of Liverpool which sits proudly alongside the river Mersey. In fact the region is known as Merseyside, and it refers to the estuary of the River Mersey as it flows into the sea.
The length of the Mersey is only 112 kilometers long and forms in Stockport where three rivers, the Goyt, the Tame and the Etherow meet. However the river soon widens so that at its estuary it is almost 5 kilometers wide. Merseyside is known around the world for the Beatles, Liverpool FC and the Gerry and the Pacemakers hit record “Ferry across the Mersey”. A small river it may be but one with a global reputation.
The largest river in the United Kingdom is the River Severn which flows for 354 kilometers from its source on Plynlimon in the Cambrian Mountains of mid-Wales, to its mouth at the Second Severn Crossing in the Bristol Channel. The river flows mainly through the English counties of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Shropshire with its drainage basin covering an area of 11,400 squared kilometers. The river is famed for the Severn bore which occurs mainly during spring time.
The river experiences the second largest tidal range in the world of 15 metres. This sudden displacement of water results in a huge wave of water travelling back up the river and is known as a tidal bore. Locals now eagerly await the event with some attempting to surf the wave. The most well-known river in the United Kingdom is the Thames which rises at Thames Head close to Cirencester in Gloucestershire and then flows for 350 km until entering its mouth in the Thames Estuary. It is the second longest river in the UK but the longest body of flowing water in England.
It has had huge historical significance over the years as the nation’s capital has been located either side of it towards the end of its course. The siting of the City of London Port on the River was a major reason for the city becoming the capital of the country. It is a tidal river with the influence of the sea’s tides being felt as far up river as Teddington Lock which is 90 kilometers up from the estuary. The history of the city is showcased along the river. The House of Commons, The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle all overlook the river.
Annual events such as the boat race and the Henley Royal Regatta brings the river Thames to the world’s attention every year. The river may not be as magnificent in its geographical form as other ones flowing around the world, but it is as well-know. The shape of its later course running through London is as recognizable as any river’s route.