Your trip begins in the picturesque village of Hoarwithy, overlooked by the Tuscan Style St Catherine’s Church, built on the hillside above. After leaving Hoarwithy you will see Sellack Suspension footbridge 2 miles down river 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’ 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 400m.
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 400m 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 if you like you can land on the gravel bank 50m downstream of the bridge to inspect the fast water for obstructions and fallen trees. The public landing stage is 800m 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 Welsh Bicknor Youth Hostel, followed by a railway bridge that is now used as a footbridge, 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 150m 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 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 and unfortunately the finish of your River Wye adventure.