Exploring down the tumbling waters through the pastel woodlands and charming towns is one of the many reasons tourists visit Wye Valley. Whether you’re experienced in a canoe or kayak or this is your first time, as long as you have your sense of adventure (and don’t mind getting a bit wet!), anyone can do it. Canoe hire is a great way of experiencing and getting a real taste of everything that Herefordshire has to offer, from the beautiful scenery to the historic landmarks.
There are plenty of places across Hereford where you’ll be able to get more information about canoeing or kayaking in the Wye Valley where you’ll also have the chance to hire either them for as long as you want – whether that’s for a couple of hours during the day or the full day. They will also include all the equipment you need, as well as any tips if you’re a beginner, so there’s no need to panic if it’s your first time.
To make things easier, however, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular routes and how to best enjoy kayaking or canoeing down the river wye. Spend the afternoon gently paddling down the river of Wye Valley or take a couple days kayaking all the way from Hereford to Symonds Yat – whatever you choose, we can guarantee that you’ll have a spectacular time.
Kayaking the river wye from Hereford to Ross on Wye is a popular adventure for many tourists; however it’s quite long one so be prepared! This 2 day canoe trip passes through some of the most beautiful sceneries in England with touristic stops along the way. Starting in the historic market town of Hereford, you’ll pass by Hereford Cathedral; home to the famous Mappa Mundi and the Hereford Magna Carta from 1217; it’s a great place to understand and take in all the culture that Hereford has to offer.
Halfway between Hereford and Hoarwithy, you’ll pass Holme Lacey where you’ll find some food and refreshments to enjoy outside overlooking the beautiful river Wye. Unfortunately, between Hereford and Hoarwithy, there are few other pubs alongside the river, so we recommend stocking up on some snacks before continuing with your journey. If you do fancy a bigger meal, you can stop off at Hoarwithy where you can enjoy some well-deserved food in a traditional country pub.
In the morning, it’s time to get back on your canoe and continue your journey down where you can end your day with a refreshing pint and some traditional country food at one of many Hereford’s pubs.
If you don’t fancy the whole trip from Hereford, but are still up for an adventure, we would recommend driving to Hoarwithy and getting a canoe for the last half of the journey. This shorter, but equally idyllic adventure, takes roughly 4 hours. This is a great half day canoe trip for those who want a peaceful journey drifting along the river while taking in the amazing scenery and wildlife.
After about 2 miles, you’ll pass Sellack footbridge which sits charmingly in the Herefordshire landscape. Should you want to visit the bridge for longer, there’s a short 4 mile walk around which gives some great insights into the rural side of Herefordshire. If not, the river continues flowing through the countryside passing through various farms and small villages.
Keep paddling and you’ll eventually reach the historic town known for its picturesque location and famous Market House where local traders come and sell goods. There are lots of things to do whether you’re travelling solo or as a family, from visiting the independent boutiques, to walking around the majestic Goodrich Castle.
If you love the idea of reconnecting with nature, but camping is not your idea of a good holiday, then it might be worth having a look at glamping. Not sure what it is? Glamping is similar to traditional camping, but you don’t have to sacrifice on your home comforts. It offers you a more luxurious stay while giving you the full country experience. In other words, this means that you have real beds, spacious rooms and heating (which, trust us, is a huge benefit when it starts to get a bit colder…), while having nature right on your doorstep.
White House Glamping is our glamping site where you can privately relax tucked away in the great outdoors. Each of our 5 luxury tipis are fully accommodated with proper bedding and electricity, as well as your own outdoor eating area so you can have all the privacy you want. It’s a peaceful getaway surrounded by some of the most idyllic views of Herefordshire. The retreat is situated in the heart of Herefordshire just moments away from the famous river Wye and the secret pebble beach.
After days of exploring the rural countryside, you deserve nothing less than a good night’s sleep. For more information, see more information here: https://whitehouseonwye.co.uk/.
If you’ve got some extra time, we definitely recommend extending your stay and travelling to Symonds Yat or Monmouth. Both are historic and popular tourist destinations in Herefordshire where you can enjoy the scenic views of the Valley.
The journey is roughly a day’s trip assuming you’re stopping along the way. Your start point will be in the market town, Ross on Wye, where you’ll follow the river passing through the rural countryside and find yourself in front of Goodrich Castle, one of the finest medieval castles in the UK. Here, you’ll be able to book tickets in advance to walk around the castle where you can enjoy spectacular views overlooking the river, as well as learning all about the history.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stop and eat, there are various pubs along the river route. The Inn on Wye is a popular lunch destination which you can access from the footpath. Otherwise, you can continue your journey towards Symonds Yat and head to Lower Lydbrook where you can get some food and refreshments. Though, if it’s a sunny day out, we recommend that you opt for a picnic instead and enjoy the views – trust us when we say it’s well worth it! Head downstream and visit Welsh Bicknor where you can walk around the Church before sitting down to feasting on your picnic.
The river continues towards Symonds Yat where you’ll find yourself under the famous Symonds Yat viewpoint known as one of the best places to spot Peregrine Falcons and other birds of prey. Make sure you take some binoculars with you and see if you can spot any interesting creatures! After about an hour or so paddling through the never ending stunning scenery, you’ll reach Symonds Yat; home to a great variety of adventure activities. This is a perfect destination for families, couples – even solo travellers – where you can spend the day exploring the caves, visiting the museums or simply taking in the picturesque views that this historic destination has to offer.
Read More: While your in Symonds Yat, why not visit some of the filming locations for the hit Netflix show ‘Sex Education’?
If you’re still up for some more river adventures, Monmouth is only a few more hours in a canoe from Symonds Yat but, in our option, totally worth the visit. Known for its iconic 13th century gatehouse bridge and independent retail sector, we also suggest you take a look at its Shire Hall, the Regimental Monmouth Museum and the Acne Hill Vineyard. On top of that, you have countless pubs and bars to suit all tastes.
With nature right on your doorstep, there’s no better way of way to experience the great countryside than canoeing the river Wye. It has become a charming Herefordshire landmark where you can explore the natural beauty and idyllic views. As you can see there’s various routes you can take to soak up everything that Herefordshire has to offer; so what are you waiting for? Wye Valley canoeing is a must!