Why Symonds Yat is the best wye valley walk for the whole family
Wye valley is home to a popular long distance walking trail called the Wye Valley Walk – all 136 miles of it! Now don’t get me wrong, we enjoy a good walk, but 136 miles is a little too far for casual walkers like ourselves! If you are looking for something a little more manageable, then look no further than Symonds Yat.
Symonds Yat is a small town that straddles the river Wye, close to Monmouthshire. It is a popular tourist destination and has some great walking trails ideal for the whole family. The area has some unique features that really do make it the best place to enjoy a wye valley walk. Here’s our recommendations on how to make the most of it:
Customise your Wye Valley walk to suit your ability
Because Wye Valley is a popular tourist area, all the walking paths are well looked after; they have good, even surfaces and are reasonably wide. There are several well marked routes to choose from, many of which cross paths. This makes it fairly easy to adapt your route to suit your own needs, whether it be to avoid the steep hills or use a specific starting and finishing point. We would recommend picking up the Forestry Commission walking map of the Symonds Yat area. It only costs £2 and includes all the main trails.
Use Biblins suspension bridge to cross the river
Biblins bridge is a suspension footbridge across the river Wye. The bridge dates back to the 1950’s but was refurbished in 1997, which is reassuring as it does have a bit of a bounce as you cross! From the middle, it offers marvellous views down the river and is great for a quick game of pooh sticks!
Top tip: there is a hand carved picnic table at the west side Biblins bridge which makes a lovely spot for a rest and a nibble.
Take a ride on the hand ferry to cross back
If you decide to walk further up the river, you will find a hand Ferry to cross back on. It costs around £1.30 per person to use and operates throughout the day. The ferry can accommodate around 15 to 20 people. It’s something a little bit different that you don’t often see, so its well worth a trip.
While you are there, enjoy a bite to eat at the Saracens Head Inn
If you haven’t packed a lunch, then the Saracens Head Inn is the place to go. They offer great home cooked food at reasonable prices – I would recommend the Brie and Cranberry Sandwich! It also has an outside deck which overlooks the river, and they welcome muddy boots!
Spot the peregrine falcons at the top of Symonds Yat Rock
If you are feeling fit then head up the track to the peak of Symonds Yat. The trails here do get steep, and are a little thinner than most of the other walking routes, but it’s definitely worth the walk for the spectacular views. At the top, you can find a nice picnic area and a viewing circle where you can see out across the valley and the meandering river. There are also a pair of nesting peregrine falcons, so you may get lucky and glimpse them too!
We stayed at Bracelands Campsite for the weekend, which was our starting point for this Wye Valley Walk. Our walk covered around 6 miles.