A fantastic 3 day, 2 night river expedition with overnight stops in Ross and Symonds Yat West...
Paddling through 3 counties (Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire) and 2 countries (England and Wales) it begins in the picturesque village of Hoarwithy some 12 miles up river of Ross on Wye, Tresseck Park Campsite (where you will launch from) is overlooked by the Tuscan Style St Catherine’s Church, built on the hillside above, it's a great place to stay the night before you embark and we can meet you there the night before and transport you back to there at he end of your trip if you want. If you decide to arrive on the day of your trip then we will meet you at our location riverside behind the Paddocks Hotel HR96BL, we meet you here at 8.30 am on the morning of your proposed trip where you can park and where you will get off the water at the end of day 2, so you don't have to take KIT for 3 days just 2 and it also means that you have your car on night 2 so you can expand your choice of accommodation although close by (walk-able) at Symonds Yat West is River Wye Camping or the Ferrie Inn, Paddocks Hotel, Old Court Hotel or just a short drive away is the lovely Doward Park Campsite and if you fancy a little glamping then Tipi Adventure or Forest Holidays Cabins.
We will provide you with a 60 ltr dry barrel each for your KIT and sort out paperwork etc at Symonds Yat West before transporting you up river to Hoarwithy. Please be aware there there are no formal stopping points between Hoarwithy and Ross and no where to get anything to eat or drink so you must take a packed lunch for day 1 and be considerate if you need to stop, always take rubbish with you.
After a paddle and safety briefing from one of our experienced instructors you will set off from Hoarwithy, after 2 miles 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 West.
Once you reach Symonds Yat West 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 day 2 of your trip and where you will be reunited with your car. Here we will lock up your boat safely for the night and provide you with helmets and a rapids safety briefing for day 3, then it's off to your chosen accommodation for the evening.
We think that day 3 of this trip that this is probably one of the finest sections on the whole river and the first thing you will notice at the start of your final day are the fun rapids about 15 minutes after leaving our beach area, should you be nervous about running the rapids you can either portage them or we can raft boats together for additional stability but they are great fun.
After the rapids you will be the carboniferous gorge with steep cliffs on either side and paddle past Biblins Youth Campsite and under the suspension bridge, then past the Seven Sisters viewpoint and Hadnock Island and into Wales.
You are just 30 minutes from Monmouth where should you want to you can end your trip but we always advise people if they can to carry on past Monmouth and to continue down river through spectacular scenery and back into England to finish at Redbrook.
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. On day 3 nothing until the end of the trip at Redbrook where there is the Boat Inn. (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 times – 8.30 am
- Meeting place - Riverside, behind Paddocks Hotel, Symonds Yat West, HR96BL
- On river time – 90 mins after meeting time (30 mins for paperwork, briefing, kitting out, 30 mins to travel to launch site, 20 mins to get boats off and get on water)
- Duration – 5-6 hours paddling each day
- Off water time - 5 pm 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.