What Are the Three Longest Rivers in the United Kingdom?


Quick Answer

The three longest rivers in the United Kingdom are the Thames, Mersey and Severn rivers. The Severn River runs a total distance of 220 miles, while the River Thames covers a distance of approximately 213 miles, and the Mersey River covers a distance of 70 miles. Of the longest rivers traversing the U.K., only the River Thames resides entirely within the nation's borders.

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Full Answer

The River Thames, perhaps the most iconic river in England, begins its long course in Gloucestershire. It then journeys through nine separate counties in England, including Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent, Buckinghamshire and the greater London area. This river eventually empties into the North Sea. Like many rivers, its surface level fluctuates, rising and falling several meters depending on the presence or absence of rainfall. The River Thames divides into three distinct segments, which are the Upper River, Middle River and Lower River. The Mersey River begins in Liverpool and forms from three distinct tributaries. This river, once among the most polluted in England, now enjoys clean water and provides home to marine life forms. The Severn River forms from seven major tributaries. It traverses southwestern England and runs through Wales, eventually emptying into the Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

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