"Symond's Yat, Wye Valley, Herefordshire" Top 5 Page for this destination Herefordshire by ranger49

Herefordshire Travel Guide: 111 reviews and 399 photos

An area of outstanding natural beauty.

Herefordshire is one of Englands largest agricultural counties with a rich and varied history.

Like many places in the County that I would like to write about Symond's Yat does not have an entry in the VT Database.
That is a pity for not only is it a Site of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in the Wye Valley but it is also one of the most visited of tourist destinations in the UK. The beauty and history of the area first attracted tourists in the 18thC.
Located close to the Welsh border and less than 30 minutes from Abergavenny it is a place I visit frequently. To the east, just on the other side of the river, is the Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.
This was our first winter visit and well worth making the effort to trudge through the snow to see the snowdrops.

The best/easiest walk is along the eastern side of the river using the path created on the bed of the old railway line. The line was an important freight line carrying cargoes previously transported by water as well as passengers.
The river wends its way here through a sheer limestone gorge and is associated with the name Symond's Yat. Symonds was a well known 18thC. Sheriff and Yat the local word for gateway or pass , so - Pass through the rocks. On either side dense woodland, protected by the Forestry Commission, provides a safe environment for wildlife. The children were very excited to discover clear imprints left bt the deer that inhabit the area, but distressed to find a poor, little rabbit frozen to death in the snow.
This path is very popular and in spite of the cold weather we met and passed several other family groups enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
It also forms part of the national cycle track along which the Pregrine trail runs.

A winter walk when foliage on the trees is less dense makes it possible to pick out the many points of interest in the gorge.. Our very imaginative grand children happily pointed out witches' caves, and dragons' dens, bits of deadwood turned into fantastic birds.
We did not however spot any of the pregrines which nest in the gorge. These are best seen in summer from the high point of the Yat Rock where the members of the RSPB together with Forest Rangers guide people to the best vantage points from which the birds may often be seen nesting.

Goodrich Castle is nearby Castle

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Unspoiled natural beauty and centre for healthy outdoor activities.
  • Last visit to Herefordshire: Feb 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (5)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    This looks like a lovely area for hiking -- and crossing the river. I'm not at all sure I would try the Indiana Jones method.

  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Hi Barbara, Just had to check your Symonds Yat tips out again as Gareth & I are venturing up there on Tuesday (plus Goodrich Castle). Hope you're well, Vicki

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Barbara, lovely little page with brilliant photos of this English gem. Great lessons about how to cross the river. :-)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Another lovely page! Great tip about the shade, I like tips like this, so good to know!

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    It looks like you had a great day out, i would love to try that rope bridge.

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