The Wye Valley and Symonds Yat
Capturing the hearts of travellers for over 250 years this long established tourist route is named after the valley that its river created.
At the very tip of south Herefordshire and essentially a village, Symonds Yat has become a popular visitor destination and today has many tourism businesses operating from both sides of the River Wye which it straddles.
Famous for its spectacular natural scenery and heavily wooded gorge, it is a gateway from Gloucestershire to Herefordshire and a real Wye Valley icon, delving on into the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
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The Wye Valley
The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)spans the border between England and Wales and is an internationally important protected landscape.
Cited as one of the most beautiful and scenic landscape areas in southern Britain, it certainly lives up to this accolade.
Popular with walkers, canoeists and nature lovers its picturesque scenery is enjoyed by visitors from all around the world. Renowned for its dense native woodlands and captivating wildlife, the beautiful River Wye, meanders through this predominately rural area.
Dipping in and out of the Welsh and English borders, the River Wye is the fifth longest river in the UK. Running from mid Wales to the Severn estuary, covering 134 miles, it attracts an abundance of anglers with its superb salmon fishing. It’s a spectacularly beautiful feature of all the three areas of Herefordshire, The Marches and The Wye Valley the River Wye. Canoeing is extremely popular along this remarkable waterway and it is a great way to see the riverside villages and notable landmarks. Ramblers can enjoy a variety of walks, including the much-loved Wye Valley Walk with its stunning panoramic views and wildlife havens. The region’s numerous rivers remain hugely integral to the picturesque communities built along them. Make the Rivers Dore, Lugg, Arrow, Teme, Leadon and Frome part of your next visit to the area.
The Wye Valley Walk
With 136 miles of river and hill walking, this wonderful long distance walk takes you through glorious orchards, ancient woodlands and natural meadows full of wild flowers; A real nature experience teeming with wildlife, red kites, butterflies, bats and buzzards.
Look out for the stunning Tintern Abbey, Goodrich Castle and Hereford Cathedral as you travel, and take in the historic border towns of Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye to the South, Hereford City, and on to Hay-on-Wye in the West.
The Wye Valley is no stranger to screen tourism and attracts scores of avid fans and followers. Look out for the Scandinavian-style chalet overlooking the river wye where the Netflix sensation ‘Sex Education’ is filmed, the series having had over 40 million views within its opening month in January 2019.
With its magnificent natural landscapes and beautiful wooded expanses, Symonds Yat in South Herefordshire straddles the River Wye, stretching into the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley AONB. It attracts adventurers and is ideal for walking, cycling, climbing and river pursuits. Cross the river on one of the two ancient hand-pulled ferries or dare to traverse the Indianan Jones style suspension bridge at Biblins. Investigate the nearby ‘King Arthur’s Caves’ where archaeological discoveries include the remains of a sabre-toothed tiger.
Dotted along the banks are plenty of visitor attractions including a maze, butterfly zoo, oriental gardens and plenty of restaurants and pubs to quench your thirst in. Or enjoy one of the pleasure cruises for the best views of the valley from the water.
The waters have cut a deep gorge into the limestone rocks, creating towering cliffs, a magnet to climbers, and forming Symonds Yat Rock; a 120 metre high viewpoint from where you might see the resident Peregrine Falcons.
Looking for somewhere to stay, take a peek at our comprehensive Accommodation in Herefordshire section.