Great Outdoors Tuesday, August 16th Words by: Mark Bowen

Holiday in Herefordshire: where to pitstop if you're canoeing on the River Wye

Great Outdoors Tuesday, August 16th

Holiday in Herefordshire: where to pitstop if you're canoeing on the River Wye

Canoeing the entire length of the River Wye through Herefordshire is estimated to take four whole days for a 57 mile journey. For us mere mortals that is an epic trek that would require some much needed refreshment and recuperation. 

With your creature comforts in mind we've picked out a few choice spots on the banks of the River Wye you might want to stop at while travelling north to south in your canoe.

Byecross Farm campsite, Preston-on-Wye

Byecross Farm is situated at Moccas, Preston-on-Wye, between Hay-on-Wye and Hereford. Camping is available in two old apple orchards next to the River Wye. You will find canoe launching facilities, showers, sinks, hot water and toilets. Plus there's the added benefit of the campsite having ice cold cider and beer for sale. If you fancy making your stay a little more luxurious there are yurts available for hire.

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Wyecamphere, Newcourt Farm, Preston-on-Wye

A campsite below the falls at Preston-on-Wye that is one day's rowing downstream from Hay-on-Wye or Glasbury. Wyecamphere is for the enthusiast camper and canoer and is situated one mile below Monnington Falls to the north of Preston-on-Wye Church which is accessible through the farm yard at Newcourt Farm. Mains water is provided and a portaloo is available from May to September.

The Weir Gardens, Swainshill

Not so much somewhere to stop off but certainly somewhere to enjoy canoeing through if you are heading down the Wye through Swainshill. You will row through The Weir Gardens, a beautiful National Trust property. The tourist attraction's riverside garden is informal and is thriving with wildness and you have the chance to see bees, butterflies, and dragonflies as nature intended, and wild flowers fluttering in the breeze along the river bank. 

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Hereford Rowing Club

If you are heading through the county via the River Wye chances are you will want to stop off in Hereford. You might want to consider stopping at Hereford Rowing Club which has its own campsite on the river banks. An ideal spot for canoeists to camp over night or just as a starting or finishing point for their journey. There are steps down to the waters edge, space for mooring boats, changing rooms, showers, disabled toilets, wi-fi and a bar.

When you launch here you don't have to go too far to get a memorable view of the city with glimpses of its magnificent cathedral.

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Soon enough you will be rowing through parkland and under the rather attractive Victoria Bridge which is popular with cyclists.  

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 Lucksall Campsite, Mordiford

From here there is a shortish stretch of river of about eight miles to Holme Lacy which should take you between two and three hours to row. Before long you will see a floating pontoon on the left hand side which means you are at the Lucksall Campsite. Here, as well as the camp site, you will find a cafe and picnic area and you can also top up on provisions from its shop. 

Tresseck Campsite, Hoarwithy

This campsite is situated next to the river making it ideal to turn up with your canoe and set up your tent. Its sheltered landing site and wooden steps up to the top of the river bank make Tresseck Campsite ideal for launching or recovering canoes. Described as a campsite for ‘real’ campers, expect to find cold running water, portaloos and open campfire facilities.  


If you don't fancy cooking your own food the New Harp Inn is just 200 metres away. The inn also houses the village shop meaning you can stock up on provisions.

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Hoarwithy has an impressive Italianate style church which is well worth a visit. St Catherine's is built on a steep hillside above the village and certainly captures your attention.

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Situated on the south-eastern side of the county, located on the River Wye and on the northern edge of the Forest of Dean, Ross-on-Wye has plenty going for it. It’s a great destination to drop in to if you are in the mood for a sandwich, burger, or coffee. If you are seeking some great views to enjoy this is a location you will love.

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Goodrich Castle

From Ross-on-Wye the Wye will take you past Goodrich Castle which sits high on a hilltop. Viewing it from the river will give you a view seldom seen by landlovers.

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Kerne Bridge

Shortly afterwards you and your canoe will pass beneath Kerne Bridge. There is a public landing point a few hundred metres below the bridge on the left hand side - happy days but it gets busy during the summer. 

If you fancy a bite to eat you might well fancy popping into The Inn On The Wye. This overlooks the Wye and Goodrich Castle and is just a few minutes from Symonds Yat. 

Lower Lydbrook

Another 20 minutes downstream takes you to Lower Lydbrook. There's another chance to take some refreshment on board as The Forge Hammer is located her. Incorporated within it is River Spice Indian restaurant.

If you carry on your journey downriver you will pass Welsh Bicknor on your right and English Bicknor on your left.  At Welsh Bicknor there is a former rectory with a church in the grounds, and a large grassy area ideal for picnics.

Symond's Yat

Symonds Yat is a village and tourist destination which straddles the Wye. Famed for its natural river scenery, Symonds Yat Rock is a limestone outcrop rising some 500 feet from the banks of the River Wye. Symonds Yat West is on the Herefordshire side of the river while Symonds Yat East is on the Gloucestershire side. The only connection between the two banks are two ancient hand pull ferries which involves a ferryman pulling people across the river using an overhead rope, for a small fee.

Other tourist activities in the area include canoeing down the rapids and its traditional pubs. Ye Old Ferrie Inn, for instance, offers a riverside terrace, great views of the river, plus canoe hire. On the other side of the river is The Saracen's Head Inn which is popular with canoeists and those who wish to watch the hand ferry from its riverside terraces.

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 Photo credit: 'Symond's Yat East' by Kristi Herbert via CC-BY-SA

Tile photo credit: Symond's Yat Rapids by Ben Salter via CC-BY-SA.

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