Category: Wye Valley

tintern abbey

Best things to do in Wye Valley 

Best things to do in Wye Valley 

The beauty of Wye Valley is that there is never a dull moment. Whether you’re on a family holiday, a couple’s retreat or a solo getaway, you can experience everything that Wye Valley has to offer, from the beautiful views, the numerous historical landmarks to visit and the various sports activities. With so much to do, however, where do you start?  

Here’s a few of our favourite things to do in Wye Valley to help you get started… 

Grab a canoe or kayak for the day

With nature right on your doorstep, Wye Valley offers various adventurous activities for you and your family to take part in. One of the best (and most popular ways) to see the area is embarking on a river adventure down the River Wye. As the 5th longest river in the UK, the River Wye extends through the border of England and Wales and has become an idyllic Herefordshire landmark. Trust us when we say, there’s nothing like being on the open water, with the sun shining down on you and the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. 

As it’s a relatively popular activity for tourists, canoe hire is available almost anywhere in Wye Valley. You’ll be able to get information about canoeing and kayaking; find out what’s best for you; and discover the best river routes – the best things about canoeing and kayaking is that you can decide how long you want to spend on the water so, whether it’s 20 minutes, or a 2 day trip, the choice is completely yours. 

canoeing the river wye

Hoarwithy to Ross on Wye route

A popular, and not too long, river route is Hoarwithy to Ross on Wye which is roughly 4 hours long. This a great way to take in the breathtaking scenery and wildlife that lives in Wye Valley. You’ll pass through various idyllic farms and villages until you eventually reach the historic Ross on Wye, famous for it’s market house. Take this opportunity to stroll around the charming town, visit some great boutiques and discover Goodrich Castle.

We do recommend taking a few essentials on the water with you; including snacks, water and waterproof clothing – especially if you’re going for a longer trip.

If you’re new to water sports, and a bit nervous about going on the water alone, there are also plenty of guided tours that you can take part in. Not only do tour guides offer exceptional knowledge about the area that you’re paddling in, but it’s also a great way to meet people who share the same love for the outdoors, as well as ensuring a safe and successful adventure.

So, whether you’re canoeing pro, or completely new to it, canoe or kayak hire is a great way to experience everything that Wye Valley has to offer…and it’s always great fun (so long as you’re fine with getting a bit wet!). 

Put on your walking boots and explore the local footpaths 

Offering beautiful riverside trails, woodland paths and some of the most mesmerising viewpoints, the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley area is a popular destination for walkers. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll, or a day long hike, there are various walking trails that you can take part in – all including some of the best views that the Herefordshire has to offer. However, make sure you put on your walking boots as some of the walks can become quite steep very quickly and muddy – especially with the weather that the UK often brings…

There are hundreds of local footpaths throughout the area which you’ll be able to easily find, but take a look at some of our favourite walks below.

Wye Valley Walk

Wye Valley walk is one of the many great trails in the area. It’s a popular route that follows the path of the River Wye, passing through the idyllic open fields and charming woodlands. Eventually, you’ll reach Symonds Yat where there are countless traditional country pubs, exciting attractions and, of course, the famous Yat Rock. We recommend taking a stroll around the charming Symonds Yat and seeing everything it has to offer – exploring the dark caves is a must!

If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, the trail continues but quickly changes pace as you begin hiking up the steep woodlands and narrow valleys around Leys Hill and Howle Hill. 

Throughout the trail, you’ll also pass through various Herefordshire landmarks and villages, including Goodrich Castle, Welsh Bicknor, and English Bicknor – these are just a few of the many fascinating places that you can take time to explore along the way. 

Chepstow Circular Walk

tintern abbeyFor a really historic and interesting day out, you can take a scenic circular walk following the Wye Valley from Chepstow to Tintern. On this trail you’ll see some fantastic historical sites like Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey.

This trail starts from Chepstow Castle – the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain which is perched on a cliff above the River Wye. Not only is it a great way to see how the castle evolved throughout history, but the trail also features lovely scenic views, as you walk alongside the river and through the peaceful woodlands, as well as a visit to the historic Tintern Abbey.

Other historical points of interest include; Eagle’s Nest Viewpoint, the Devil’s Pulpit & viewpoint, and Abbey Mill. On the way back, you’ll return past Wyndcliff walking alongside the river and back to Chepstow.

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

Home to various wildlife, the Forest of Dean is a breathtaking forest to explore. For a slightly different trail, take a look at The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail. Just a few minutes drive from Symonds Yat, the trail takes you through the woodlands where you’ll find various sculptures interpreting the artist’s vision of the forest environment.

The sculptures are placed within the woodland for you and your family to seek them out – though, if you want to make life easier, you can also pick up a map at the beginning of the walk which guides you to all the sculptures. It’s a perfect opportunity to explore the enchanting woodlands of the Forest of Dean, as well as discovering compelling art along the way.

Try your best shot at Wye Valley Archery 

It may seem like an intimidating game, but archery is a great outdoorsy activity for the whole family – not matter what the weather. 

Wye Valley Archery offers a custom built field archery course for all levels – whether you’ve done archery before and know how good an activity it is, or you’re completely new to the sport and want to learn a new skill. The place offers very welcoming and knowledgeable trainers who will teach you everything you need to know about the sport. 

Not only is it fun for all ages, but there’s also numerous benefits to the widely popular sport; mentally and physically. You’ll get to try out and tune the various bows, learn how to shoot (safely) and then start practicing.

Within the several acres of woods and fields, the archery range has also set up various life-sized model animals, from owls to bears, with their ‘kill zone’, which you’ll be able to target yourself – either competing with your friends and family, or doing it solely.  

Take in the views of Herefordshire from a different angle 

views from wye valleyIf you’re still looking for something a bit different to your average walk, then why not enjoy a rock climbing adventure in the mesmerising Wye Valley where you can reach amazing viewpoints of Herefordshire. 

Rock climbing has become a seriously popular activity for tourists visiting the area, and locals of Wye Valley. Not only is it a great, energetic activity that will get your endorphins running, but it also helps build confidence and trust making it a great team activity. Whether you’re an experienced rock climber, or a newbie, rock climbing will challenge you unlike any other activity. 

While there are plenty of places that you can go, Symonds Yat is a popular destination for rock climbers. The limestone cliffs offer various routes that will challenge every climber, from beginner to expert. Each place you go to will also offer training and guiding from an experienced instructor who will help develop your climbing skills and make this, perhaps scary activity, into an exhilarating one. 

If you head to Symonds Yat, take the time to Yat Rock for some spectacular views. If you’re a fan of the Netflix series ‘Sex Education’ keep one eye open for Otis’ house. You can read exactly where to find it in our guide here.

Walk with fascinating creatures at Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo 

For something less intense, the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo is one of the most exciting Wye Valley attractions. It is super interesting and fun day out for all ages. The butterfly conservation provides an indoor space where you can walk with free-flying, exotic butterflies from all around the world. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn all about butterflies, from egg to adult, and discover their lives in close-up.

Watch as they come out from their chrysalides, and sip nectar from the various exotic plants. More importantly, you can finally learn the answers to all the questions you’ve ever wondered about butterflies and even find out all about how you can attract them to your own garden. 

Conclusion

And there we have it. We’ve given you plenty ideas of things to do during your visit to Wye Valley.

With the endless opportunities for adventure, along with the numerous historical landmarks and outstanding natural beauty, Wye Valley is an excellent getaway for everyone – be it families, best mates, couples or individuals. 

For many, visiting Wye Valley is also a place where you can leave all the stress from your normal day-to-day life behind, and recharge. It’s the perfect opportunity to put your work away, and focus on simply having fun.

Additionally, staying at our glamping site, you’ll be nearby to all sorts of attractions, as well as being steps away from the charming River Wye. For more information on our tipis, read on here: www.whitehouseonwye.co.uk

tipi in wye valley

river wye

Plan A Canoe Trip In The Wye Valley –…

Plan A Canoe Trip In The Wye Valley – Down The River Wye

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.

canoeing the river wye

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.

Hereford to Ross on Wye Canoe

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. 

river wye from above

Hoarwithy to Ross on Wye 

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. 

River Wye Canoe Camping and Glamping 

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.

pippin tipi

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/

bed inside a tipi

Extend your trip: Canoeing Ross on Wye to Symonds Yat or Monmouth 

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. 

yat rock views
The view from Yat Rock in Symonds Yat

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!

Otis house from sex education wye valley

Sex Education Locations Filmed In The Wye Valley –…

Sex Education Locations Filmed In The Wye Valley – Maps Included!

I’m not sure if you’ve heard us ever mention this but Sex Education was filmed in the Wye Valley and we’re very excited by it. Not only is this right on our doorstep but it is also one of our favourite Netflix shows.

The TV show is basically a giant advert for the Wye Valley as that’s where it is filmed. The shots have got many people captivated and asking where it is – we’re proud that the series showed off our wonderful part of the world. In fact the river that is featured in the show is the River Wye which runs through our glamping site.

We tried to visit some of the top spots that we know were filmed near our glamping site in the Wye Valley. We’re going to share with you the locations of the top filming spots, including maps and our journey to find them.

Where Is Sex Education Located?

The Netflix series Sex Education is location in the Wye Valley which spans across both England and Wales. Top locations include Tintern, Symonds Yat and Monmouthshire. We’ll run through the top spots where key scenes are filmed.

Sex Education House Location (Otis’ House)

Otis house from sex education wye valley

The location of the Sex Education house that Otis lives in is in Symonds Yat. The cute red house sits above the valley with fantastic views. In real life it is actually a B&B so you could go and stay there (but obviously you’d rather come glamping in our tipis 😉 ).

This was our first stop, we arrived in Symonds Yat East and parked at the bottom of the hill. Although the map below makes it look like there is a road that goes right up to the house, it is a private road. In order to get next to the house, you have to take the public footpath down from either Yat Rock or from the path that starts from the road about 30 metres up from the Happy Cow Cottage and is opposite some lime kilns.

Here it is on the map. Take a look at the reviews, there are many funny ones talking about ‘Dr. Milburn’ – god I love the internet.

While you are there, make sure not to miss Yat Rock. It’s a short walk from Otis’ house and it has some stunning views.

yat rock views

The Woods

The stunning shots of Otis and Eric cycling to school through the woods are filmed in Bargain Woods, Whitestone. There are also many shots in the hills around Llandogo. We’re big fans of these shots, they really capture the beauty of the countryside around this area. Here is the map:

 

The woods where many scenes were shot is Fedw Wood near Devauden, Monmouthshire.

The Moordale School Location

The high school scenes are shot in the disused University of Wales campus in Caerleon. Although the school often seems American it is in our very own Wales. We didn’t get to visit this location so we’re unsure how accessible it is. 

The location for Moordale High School is here:

The Bridge

Tintern bridge in sex education

 

There are many bridges featured in the series.

Wireworks Bridge at Tintern is where this scene is filmed between Otis and Maeve: 

There are many other scenes filmed here too. We went along to Tintern (which is worth a trip in itself – visit the Abbey and walk around the town) and you’ll find the bridge just along the river from the Tintern Abbey. It is very easy to find so we recommend taking a trip here:

 

 

 

Redbrook Bridge is in a scene between Jackson and Viv in series 2. On one side of the bridge is England and the other side is Wales. The bridge Cross the River Wye of course.

Brockweir Bridge also makes an appearance in the TV show.

 

The Shop Where Adam And Ola Work

browns store llandogo

 

The shop where Adam and Ola work (and Remi lives) in season 2, is in LLandogo. It is very easy to find. We actually happened to stumble across it just driving through. If you’re a fan of the show then you won’t miss it! 

Apparently they used the same sign for filming as it is in real life – I bet that’s good for business.

It’s great to stop for some crips or drinks for your picnic. 

 

 

 

 

Maeve’s Caravan

This one was pretty tricky to find. There is no information online about it (until now!) but we recognised the area and had a gut feeling of where it might be. That gut feeling turned out to be correct – we couldn’t believe it. The caravan site is on a private farm and is normally used to house fruit pickers who work on the farm. We don’t recommend going here as you won’t be able to access the site and doing so without permission would be trespassing. It is located near Walford in Ross-on-Wye.

Other Locations

There are some other locations that we didn’t get to visit on this trip such as:

Amie’s House

Amie’s home is Bigsweir House in Gloucester. It is a private property and it is most notably the location for the party in series one.

Other Locations

Other locations that were featured in the show include:

  • Dean Forest Railway is a location that is visited in series 2
  • St Briavels Castle is where Jackson and his mum have a heart to heart whilst overlooking the River Wye

Where is it filmed?

Is Sex Eduction filmed in Wales?

Many people think that this is all filmed in Wales, and while they are almost correct, it is not completely true. Otis’ house is in Symonds Yat which is firmly in England as are other locations like Maeve’s caravan (Ross-on-Wye) and Amie’s House (Gloucester. There are many places filmed in Wales in Monmouthshire.

Sex Education Filming Locations In Symonds Yat

There are many Sex Education scenes that are filmed in Symonds Yat. Otis’ red house is filmed on the banks of the valley that runs through symonds yat. Eric and Rahim visit an arcade in season two which is a leisure park that is in Symonds Yat West.

Ross-on-Wye Sex Education Location

at yat rockThe filming location for Sex Education in Ross-on-Wye is a private caravan park and it is where Maeve lives in the series. We haven’t been able to track down the exact location where this is but we’re pretty sure it is near Walford and is a Caravan site for fruit pickers.

There you have it! All of the top filming locations from the hit Netflix show Sex Education. Now, who’s ready for a road trip to try and find them?