The Bristol Channel (Welsh: Môr Hafren, meaning 'Severn Sea') is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn (Welsh: Afon Hafren) to the North Atlantic Ocean. It takes its name from the English city of Bristol, and is over 30 miles (50 km) across at its widest point.
Long stretches of the coastline of the Bristol Channel, on both the South Wales and West Country sides, are designated as Heritage Coast, including Exmoor, Bideford Bay, the Hartland Point peninsula, Lundy Island, Glamorgan, Gower Peninsula, South Pembrokeshire and Caldey Island.
Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
Swimming across the Bristol Channel is part of the Original Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. The swim route for the Bristol Channel should start or finish in North Devon.
The Original Triple Crown was defined as a solo unassisted crossing of the English Channel, North Channel and Bristol Channel in the United Kingdom. To date, there have only been two swimmers who have completed the Original Triple Crown: Ted Keenan and Kevin Murphy:
- 1973: Kevin Murphy crossed the English Channel on 11 August 1968 in 15 hours 55 minutes, the North Channel in 1973 in 13 hours 54 minutes, and the Bristol Channel in 1973 in 13 hours 54 minutes.
- 1975: Ted Keenan crossed the English Channel on 13 August 1972 in 18 hours 11 minutes, the North Channel on 11 August 1973 in 18 hours, 27 minutes, and the Bristol Channel on 17 July 1975 in 14 hours 26 minutes.
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