The Wye Valley starts in Hereford and then makes its way down through the country of Herefordshire then into Gloucestershire, before finishing in the Welsh town of Chepstow in the county of Monmouthshire. It is a popular place to visit thanks to its unparalleled beauty, which changes with the seasons throughout the year, meaning that each time you visit the area it looks and feels different.
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Wye Valley was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 50 years ago back in 197, although it has attracted tourists for many hundreds of years prior to this. The area combines the best of both England and Wales and warmly welcomes thousands of visitors each and every year from not only the UK but also from further afield.
A great viewpoint of the River Wye can be achieved from the small village of Symonds Yat and is in fact claimed by some to be the best view in all of the UK. It is at this point that the river takes a U bend around Coppet Hill and Huntsman, and in the distance are views of the rest of the county of Herefordshire and the Welsh mountains.
The river has a reputation for some of the best salmon fishing in the whole of the country thanks to how high in nutrients the water is. Because of this, the river has been granted Site of Special Scientific status. Visit the river at any time of the year and you will likely see lots of plant and animal life, including swans and kingfishers.
The Woodlands of the Wye Valley are said to be some of the most spectacular in the entire UK and there are more than 4,300 hectares of it. The woodlands are made up of mainly broadleaf trees consisting of beech and oak. The smaller leaf trees there include lime, cherry, and ash.
History of the Wye Valley
The area is rich in industrial history and along the route in Wales is the World Heritage Site of Blaenavon Industrial Landscape. Here you are able to take a trip a mile or so underground with a real life minor and learn all about the history of this industry.
It is easy to explore the Wye Valley and can be done so by a number of modes of transport, including canoe, bicycle, car, and foot. In fact, there is a 52 mile long walk that runs alongside the river and meanders all the way through the valley. This provides a really good opportunity to take in the beauty of the area at your own pace.
Some of the villages and towns that sit within the valley and are worth a visit include Llandogo, Clearwell, Fownhope, Coleford, Whitebrook, Penalt, Redbrook, Holme Lacy, St Arvans, Monmouth, Symonds Yat, Brampton Abbots, Shirenewton, Staunton, Lydbrook, Sellack, Woolhope, Chepstow, St Briavels, Welsh Bicknor, Hoarwithy, Tintern & Abbey, Trellech, Goodrich, How Caple, Mordiford, Brockweir, Ross on Wye, and Hereford. You will not be disappointed by going to any of these places.