There are many rivers called Avon in Britain , and in fact the world over, but this particular River Avon is a relatively smallish and quiet one that flows for a total of 96 miles (154km) through the counties of Warwickshire and Worcestershire , dissecting the towns and villages of Stanford-on-Avon, Rugby , Newbold-on-Avon, Kenilworth , Leamington Spa, Warwick, Alveston, Stratford-upon-Avon, Welford-on-Avon, Bidford-on-Avon and Evesham, before it joins the River Severn at Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire .
You may have noticed a theme with the names of the towns on the river, and one in particular may ring a bell [Other bell ringers may include Avon ladies . ] . That is Stratford-upon-Avon , the birthplace of one William Shakespeare - thus the river is also known as Shakespeare's Avon or more simply, the 'Stratford Avon'. These other monikers have more than likely stuck because the river's proper name is a bit of a linguistic nightmare. The name Avon derives from the Celtic word for river, which was pronounced ah-von [This gave us both the modern Welsh 'afon', and the Irish 'abhainn' (pronounced ah-vun ), and it is also interesting to ]Continued page 2/10