A tidal bore is a hydraulic jump in translation, propagating upstream as the tide turns to rising and the flood flow advances in a funnel-shaped river mouth under spring tide conditions. This study focused on the unsteady turbulence induced by a breaking tidal bore. Detailed free-surface and velocity measurements were conducted with a high temporal resolution using non-intrusive free-surface measurement probes and acoustic Doppler velocimetry sampled at 200 Hz. The laboratory data were systematically compared with an earlier series of field measurements conducted in the breaking bore of the Sélune River (France). Key findings include the agreement, in terms of dimensionless instantaneous free-surface and velocity data, between laboratory and field observations as well as the existence of a transient recirculation region near the bed.