Canoeing on the River Wye

Canoeing, Kayak and Rowing on the River Wye

The River Wye is perfect for water activities such as canoeing, kayaking or rowing.   A copy of the ‘Perfect Paddling Guide to the River Wye’ can be downloaded from the Wye Valley AONB website, (

From a gentle family paddle to an exhilarating trip down the rapids you can experience the myriad delights of one of the most unspoilt rivers in the UK.

There are several reputable firms providing canoes and kayaks for all types of activity.

Please make sure that you do use a recognised company and that you adhere to the ‘Canoeists Code of Conduct on the Wye’ which is also available from the Wye Valley AONB website.

In Monmouthshire you have the ‘Monmouth Canoe and Activity Centre’, in Herefordshire ‘Wye Pursuits’ at Ross on Wye, ‘Symonds Yat Canoe Hire’, ‘Wyedean Canoe and Adventure Centre’.  At Symonds Yat ‘Wye Canoes’ and ‘Canoe the Wye’ have everything for the canoeist. In Coleford Gloucestershire ‘Way2go Adventures’ offer a range of courses in river and sea kayaking as well as canoeing and land based activities.

Canoeing River Wye

If you decide to use your own canoe on the Wye you must be careful to use a designated launch site. Sites can be found at Ross on Wye, Backney Bridge, Kerne Bridge and Monmouth.

The river is tidal from Bigsweir down to Chepstow and can be very dangerous, especially below Tintern. If you intend to Canoe this stretch, leave Tintern no later than one hour after high water and travel down without stopping. Inexperienced canoeists are advised to avoid this stretch and should on no account travel below Chepstow, as currents in the Severn Estuary are extremely dangerous and you will need to be an experienced canoeist or kayaker to navigate it.

Remember the Wye can be dangerous and has been the cause of many accidents. It is at its most dangerous when there are strong currents, high water levels or cold weather conditions. Don’t take risks and never underestimate the power of the river. The Wye is a fast flooding river, which can rise after heavy rain at a rate of over 30cm an hour. Also remember to follow the Canoeists Guide to using the river. Copies can be downloaded here.

Source: Wye Valley AONB (