tintern abbey

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

Rich Edwards
Founder of White House Glamping. Lover of all things nature and outdoors!

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