Hereford to Symonds Yat (3 days)

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A great 3 day journey from the Historic town of Hereford...

This is a great 3 day overnight canoe trip that begins in the historic market town of Hereford, the first day is a biggie with 18 miles to cover so if that's a bit of a stretch then we can launch you at Mordiford which cuts the distance on the first day by half.  Normally you would meet us at Symonds Yat West (your finish point) and then we transport you up to Hereford to begin your trip but at the moment we are not running shuttle buses due to Covid restrictions so we meet you at Hereford Rowing Club(unfortunately as we are not currently running our shuttle service due to social distancing, most customers find calling for a cab when they get off the water at the end of the trip works well, alternatively some leave a car at the end point of the Paddocks Hotel) you then have a 9 mile paddle through some lovely countryside to reach Lucksall Park Campsite where you have a spot of lunch in their cafe before getting back on the water for another 9 miles down to your over night stop at Tresseck Park Campsite in the village of Hoarwithy some 12 miles up river of Ross on Wye, Tresseck Park Campsite is overlooked by the Tuscan Style St Catherine’s Church, built on the hillside above, it's a great place to stay the night.

Shortly after getting back on the water on day 2 you will see Sellack Suspension footbridge and Strangford bridge (demolished railway bridge) another mile further, after another mile you will see Fawley Chapel on the left bank and shortly after that How Caple and the Inglestone Estate, for 2 miles downstream the salmon pools are indicated by red and green discs fixed to the trees, please observe and paddle on the green side of the river. Another mile further and you will be at ‘Hole in the Wall’ formerly the PGL canoe centre on the left bank with private access just above the rapids. Just after that is Foy, you will see an elegant suspension bridge, built after an earlier structure was swept away by floods in 1919. The current is restricted by small islands and the channel varies according to level, church on right after 400 m.

Then its only a mile or so to Backney Common where a simple metal cross sits on the left bank. This commemorates an act of bravery by the rector of Brampton Abbotts in 1904, who died whilst saving his son and his daughters friend from drowning. Demolished railway bridge (pic) is then just 400 m downstream at Backney. Be aware of obstructions and weeds caught up on the bridge. Then Ross on Wye and your overnight stop is only another 3 miles downstream, and if you are looking to camp then then Ross Rowing Club is ideal for camping and the first stop as you reach the town, there is a long curve on the river from the motorway bridge to Wilton Bridge and The White Lion another good overnight spot for camping and B&B, the public landing spot is on the curve after The Hope and Anchor pub (more camping and B&B) on left a few hundred meters before Wilton Bridge.

The market town of Ross-on-Wye sits attractively on a rise above the river, with a backdrop of wooded hills, interesting features to visit include the market house, plague cross and museums. Car parking is nearby. Leaving Ross you pass under Wilton Bridge and a 13th Century castle on the right just before the bridge. Use the middle arch of the bridge and the channel to the right of the island. The river then winds it way through fields and woodland until after 5 miles you reach Goodrich Castle, an impressive Norman fortification set against the skyline on the right, it is managed by English Heritage and open daily throughout the year, its also a great place to park and begin a walk along Coppett Hill and back up the section of river that you are about to paddle down.

Not long after Goodrich Castle you will reach Kerne Bridge (pic) where it’s best to pass through the large middle arch and be careful to avoid any fallen trees and navigate the island and river bend. Kerne Bridge public landing stage and access to the Inn on the Wye is 10 mins and 800 m further down river on the left, you will recognise the sloping wheelchair access. It’s another 2 miles before you reach Lower Lydbrook where you will need to go to the left of the island to avoid the over hanging trees. There is a picnic spot on the left with access to public toilets. Half a mile downstream on the right you will see Welsh Bicknor Church and Wye Valley YHA, followed by a railway bridge that is now used as a footbridge and part of the Wye Valley Walk, from now on the river is an important fishing stretch and we advise that you pass through quietly and do not land.

Symonds Yat Rock is another 2 miles further with Bowens Field on the left just before the river bends underneath Yat Rock (pic), you will see the viewing area 150 m up the limestone cliffs on the left as you paddle underneath, and maybe hear and see the Peregrine Falcons that nest in the area. The next stretch of the river runs north through fields with Coppett Hill on your right, it is a great place to see deer and many forms of wildlife. You are now not far from Huntsham Bridge, which indicates a mile or so to Symonds Yat.

Once you reach Symonds Yat you are looking for our access point which is signposted and will be on the right bank on a beach opposite a large rock as you travel down river this will also indicate the 13 mile stage of the day the finish of your River Wye adventure all you need to do now is to carry your canoe off the water to the Wye Canoes/Wye Adventures flag and return your KIT to a member of staff. All you have to do now is plan another exciting Wye Valley Adventure, if you need any suggestions our staff are on hand for advice.

Activity Information Facts:

  • Minimum Age – 4 Years Old
  • Fitness Level – Easy/Moderate
  • Difficulty – Easy, suitable for novices, you will be required to carry your 34kg canoe between you and your paddling partner (we can assist groups with young children), we can sometimes help at the launch stage but if you capsize on route you will have to recover your boat yourselves as we are not there with you! you will also need to remove the canoe from the river at the end of each day. 
  • Stops on route - Nothing on day 1 so you will need to take food and drink with you, and be discrete if you stop on private land and take all your rubbish with you, we have a leave no trace policy. On day 2 about 2 hours into your trip is the Inn on the Wye and a further 30 minutes down river is the public area of Lower Lydbrook which has public toilets, picnic area, Forge Hammer Pub and a few hundred metres further downstream is the Wye Valley YHA which also sells food and drink. (Please bear in mind that we don't allow anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs to paddle our boats for obvious safety reasons, people under the influence or seen drinking alcohol whist in the boats will be removed from the river without refund and possibly without transport back to their cars).
  • Meeting time – 8.30am
  • Meeting place - Hereford Rowing Club
  • On river time – 30 mins after meeting time
  • Duration – 5-6 hours paddling each day
  • Off water time - 5pm each day (we must receive a text by 6 pm to confirm off the water)
  • Time of Year – Unguided – March-December, Guided – All Year Round
  • Location - Lower Wye Valley
  • Adult:Child Ratio Unguided, 4-9 yr olds 1:1 adult to child ratio, 10-18 yr olds 1 adult:2 youths
  • Adult:Child Ratio Youth Group Guided, 1 Instructor/Guide:10 Youths + 1 free staff position
  • Adult:Child Ratio Standard Group Guided, 1 Instructor/Guide:12 persons.

Please book online and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to call us on 01600 890027.

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