Wye Valley Walking – The Forest of Dean and the River Wye
The Wye Valley is excellent walking territory, offering the dedicated hiker and the afternoon stroller a wealth of interest and variety – from spectacular viewpoints overlooking the Wye to quiet wooded trails. Use public footpaths to wander off the beaten track and you’ll soon discover some of the area’s lesser known beauty spots, the wildlife, and evidence of the area’s rich cultural and industrial heritage – some of the gems which led to the Wye Valley ‘s designation as one of the most outstanding landscape areas in the UK. Two long-distance walking routes cut through the heart of this area: the Wye Valley Walk and Offa’s Dyke Path.
Walk this Wye
This 75 page book has 12 mainly circular walks with OS maps in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty accessible by public transport, ranging from easy to advanced, and from 2 miles to 10 miles. Call the AONB office on 01600 713977 for details and to order a copy by credit or debit card, or send a cheque to Information Officer, Wye Valley AONB, Hadnock Road, Monmouth NP25 3NG.
Wye Valley Walk
The 136-mile Wye Valley Walk, way-marked by the distinctive ‘leaping salmon’ logo, starts at Chepstow Castle, near the mouth of the River Wye, and follows the valley to the source of the river in mid-Wales. The official Wye Valley Walk Guide, available from the Wye Valley AONB unit, will help you plan your walk, and it comes with a free guide to accommodation and services along the route.
The new updated and revised walk published by Cicerone contains detailed route directions and maps. Call the AONB office on 01600 713977 for details and to order a copy by credit or debit card, or send a cheque to Information Officer, Wye Valley AONB, Hadnock Road, Monmouth NP25 3NG.
The Wye Valley Walk Partnership is responsible for managing, maintaining and promoting the walk.
Walking in Offa’s Dyke Path
Step back into the past by following the Offa’s Dyke path, which runs for 177 miles through the Welsh border country. This National Trail begins at Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow and for some of its route it follows the remarkable late eighth century Offa’s Dyke earthwork, Britain’s longest archaeological monument. There is an official guide to the trail, published by Aurum Press in partnership with the Countryside Council for Wales and Countryside Agency. The Offa’s Dyke Association publishes an accommodation guide with public transport information (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wales Coastal Path
The 870 mile (1,400km) all-Wales coast path starts in Chepstow. For information go to website ‘Wales Coastal Path’
Guided walks in Wye Valley
The latest Wye Valley AONB programme of guided walks, activities and courses can be found on the events pages here. Other guided walks can also be found in the Monmouthshire Walking Festival, ‘Herefordshire Walking Festival’, and ‘Ross on Wye Walking Festival’.
Countryside walks are also organised by ‘Monmouthshire Countryside Services’, ‘Herefordshire Council’ and the ‘Forestry Commission’. There are also businesses offering guide-led walking holidays with accommodation and baggage transfer.
Celtic Trails is based in Tintern and runs holidays using both Offa’s Dyke and the Wye Valley Walk. ‘Celtic Trails’.
Walks Resources and Links
The website ‘www.wyewalker.com’ is a very useful resource and has a range of walks for download along the Wye from the Wye Valley AONB in the south to the northern reaches of the river.
Self Guided Walks
‘Puddingstone and Pubs’ A 3 mile circular walk uncovering Penallt’s hidden millstone industry.
‘Picturesque Piercefield’ A 6 mile walk following in the footsteps of the Wye Tourists to discover the picturesque viewpoints of Piercefield Park and the Wye Valley Walk from Chepstow through to Eagle’s Nest.
‘Head for the Hillforts’ A 7 mile walk following the popular route of the early Wye Tourists from Symonds Yat down to the Wye. Cross the river at Biblins and visit Little Doward, King Arthur’s Cave and New Weir Forge.
‘Wordsworth Walk’ A 3 mile circular walk through riverside meadows climbing in the footsteps of William Wordsworth to the Bread and Cheese viewpoint and Cleddon Shoots waterfall.
‘The Angiddy Trail’ A 5 mile circular walk to discover Tintern’s hidden industry with furnace, forge and wireworks, worker’s cottages, limekilns, tidal dock and church.
Source: Wye Valley AONB (www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk)