Take on our 1 day Challenge and paddle 24 miles through 3 counties and 2 countries (England and Wales) if you dare...
This trip should not be undertaken lightly, travelling over 24 miles in a day is quite a task and requires an early start (8am on the river, 7am meet up) and plenty of effort if you are to reach your target. Many groups undertake this challenge and successfully make it without any trouble but you must be prepared to be on the river at 8am in the morning and be prepared to maybe eat and drink in the boats rather than stop for lunch. You will be travelling at about 2-3 miles per hour in low water conditions, so you must be prepared for a long day, we advise that you take hats, sun cream, waterproofs, spare warm clothing, towels, etc, and plenty of food, lots of water and definitely torches and mobile phones so that we can check on your progress during the trip.
Ross on Wye to Redbrook, 24 miles, passing through 2 countries & 3 counties
Herefordshire (England), Monmouthshire (Wales), Gloucestershire (England)
The market town of Ross 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 where its 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. Its 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 and The Courtfield Arms. Half a mile downstream on the right you will see Welsh Bicknor Church and 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.
Yat Rock is another 2 miles further with Bowens Field on the left just before the river bends underneath Yat Rock, you will see the viewing area 150m up the limestone cliffs on the left., and maybe hear and see the Peregrine Falcons that nest in the area. The next stretch of the river runs north through fields with Coppetts Hill on your right it 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 Ye Old Ferrie Inn which will be on the right bank as you travel down river this will also indicate the 13 mile stage of the day and over half way. This is where we are based and probably where you parked up before beginging your trip. The Ferrie Inn which dates back to 15th Century is one of the oldest buildings in the area and after a few hours or days on the river it’s the perfect place to relax and sample the excellent local food & drink while watching the world pass by. At this stage if we haven’t done this already we will provide you with helmets and a further safety briefing for the grade 2 rapids that are 15 minutes downriver.
After passing through the rapids you will be in one of the best parts of the Wye Valley, with it steep carboniferious gorge walls you will see Seven Sisters viewpoint on your right not long after passing under the suspension footbridge at Biblins Youth Campsite. The next landmark will be Hadnock Island which is just before you enter Wales, the Island is best passed on the left and is approx 5 miles from Redbrook. You will know when you are entering Wales as you approach the dual carriageway and will see the Wyastone Estate.
As you approach Monmouth you will see the town on the right which includes a ruined castle, a market, the Nelson Museum and the Navel Temple high on Kymin Hill. Monmouth derives its name from the Monnow river which is bridged by a unique 14th century fortified gate house. You can land for a rest at the second set of steps on the right just after the rowing club and before the bridge. After the bridge the river is very shallow and best channel is on the left of the river, you will then see the Monnow river joining the Wye on the right. Beware of underwater obstructions from the demolition of the two railway bridges. For the last couple of miles you are back into the Wye Valley gorge and there are plenty of rocky shallows in this stretch of the river. It will only be a short while before you reach Redbrook, landing is on the left after the disussed railway bridge pictured above. Redbrook has a number of shops and an nice pub on the opposite bank to the landing stage. It was at Redbook that the last recorded act of piracy took place on the River Wye when men came down from the Forest of Dean and captured two barges. There is no record of their arrest. Here you can take your boats out of the river and leave them on the bank while you wait for us to collect you. While you are waiting why not walk across the old railway bridge for a drink at The Boat.
Activity Information Facts:
- Minimum Age – 4 Years Old
- Fitness Level – Moderate/Difficult
- Difficulty – Suitable for fit novices
- Meeting times – 7.30 am
- Meeting place - Riverside, behind Paddocks Hotel, Symonds Yat West, HR96BL
- On river time – 60 mins after meeting time (30 mins for paperwork, briefing, kitting out, 10 mins to travel to launch site, 20 mins to get boats off and get on water)
- Duration – 7-8 hours paddling each day
- Off water time - 5 pm
- Time of Year – Unguided – March-December, Guided – All Year Round
- Location - 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.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us on 01600 890027