Alney Island Nature Reserve

Alney Island Nature Reserve is an 80-hectare serene nature reserve in central Gloucester, located on the banks of the River Severn. Close to the Gloucester Quays, is a perfect place to steal away for a dog walking, bike ride or bird watching amid grasslands and riverside scenery.

The grasslands have a number of routes to explore, including hard paved paths for cyclists and pedestrians, with 2 Sustrans cycle routes passing directly through the site. The area is a designated floodplain and usually floods yearly, so some of it may not be accessible on your visit after a spot of bad weather! It is, however, one of the best places to view the Severn Bore, where the natural phenomena reaches its highest peak.

The land is managed through hay cutting and grazing with rare breed cattle, therefore it’s likely you will meet cattle on your walk, so please keep your dog under close control. The resident herd of cows are so used to people they barely look up as you pass by! When we visited at the start of November, there were no cows at all in the nature reserve.

It is also home to the English Heritage’s Over Bridge, built in 1825-30 by the great engineer Thomas Telford. The bridge is completely pedestrianised and no vehicles can access it, so stroll across with your dog for a different viewpoint! Even though the River Severn flows through Alney Island Nature Reserve, we strongly recommend that dogs DO NOT enter the water as the currents are strong and the river is deep, so keep those paws on dry land.

Access For mobility scooters and prams, the nature reserve level surfaced circular path can be accessed from either The Alney Island Nature Reserve Car Park (GL1 2FA) or the footbridge by the Docks. See a map here. Unfortunately, not all the circular pathway is accessible for wheelchairs as one of the gates cannot be opened with a RADAR key. Telford Bridge has steep slopes, so a mobility scooter is more suitable.


Alney Island Nature Reserve Car Park
West End Parade


Park for free at the Alney Island Nature Reserve Car Park (GL1 2FA), or paid parking is available Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays at Castlemeads Car Park (GL1 2NH). Free street parking is available on Horseshoe Drive (GL2 8BZ).

Paws for thought

Cows are often grazing in the reserve, so please keep dogs under close control

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