Forest Holidays

Why you should holiday in the Wye Valley

Everything you need to know

Forest Holidays

Team Forestipedia | Sharing all the best tips and secrets of the forest

To help you plan your getaway, we have put together some insider tips and facts about the Wye Valley to make planning your break that bit easier.

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Where is the Wye Valley

Renowned for offering some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain, The Wye Valley is situated on the border between Wales and England with the river Wye meandering though the Welsh and English borders from Monmouth to Chepstow. Expect to see castles, towers, abbeys, and market towns boasting a host of things to do in Wye Valley.

River Wye

View from the River Wye from Symonds Yat Rock

Everything you need to know about the Wye Valley

The Wye Valley offers unspoilt picturesque views leaving little wonder how it was claimed as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), an area of countryside that has been chosen for conservation in England, Wales or Northern Ireland due to its large landscape value. Rising from the mountains in the middle of Wales, the river Wye is one of the most natural rivers in the UK and flows south as it meanders through the Wye Valley.

Take a boat trip along the Wye river at Symonds Yat and head to Symonds Yat Rock to capture the Wye Valley’s most iconic view - great at sunset for the most beautiful sky. Don’t forget to check Wye Valley weather to pinpoint what time the sun sets that day! If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, why not hop in a canoe and float down the river Wye at your own pace – ideal for those picture-perfect moments all before stopping off for a leisurely bite to eat at a riverside pub.

Visit the market towns of Cinderford and Coleford, each within a 30-minute drive from the Wye Valley. Enjoy the picturesque views at Mallard’s Pike Lake in Cinderford, renowned for its beautiful scenic views, a perfect spot for a picnic or a gentle lakeside walk. Coleford is home to the famous Puzzlewood, a maze of pathways winding through deep gulleys of moss-covered rocks. A magical day out for people of all ages! Further afield, the cathedral cities of Hereford and Gloucester have lots of attractions from museums to scenic gardens.

Visit Lydney and hop on the heritage railway. This charity-run attraction is your gateway to 5 local areas offering great walks and local pubs. Just down the road you will find Norchard station where they offer a free carpark and a well-stocked shop selling books, toys, and souvenirs. There is also a museum transporting you back in time where you can learn all about the history of the Severn & Wye Railway and the Great Western & Midland Railway! With all proceeds going towards preserving relics of local railways, why not pop in and show your support?

Wye Valley at Symonds Yat Rock

The Wye river

Wye Valley restaurants: where to eat

The Saraens Head Inn is a family run business offering award-winning food in a traditional pub atmosphere. Still largely preserved in its original form, the building has stood for centuries in a breath-taking position on the east bank of the river Wye. With its cosy fire and comfortable seating this friendly pub is a great place for people of all ages. Using fresh ingredients which are locally sourced whenever possible enjoy a bite to eat in the informal dining room, lounge area, bar or on the riverside terraces – perfect on a summer’s day. We recommend the oven-baked camembert with caramelised apples, Wye Valley honey & fresh bread – delicious!

Just a stone's throw away, Rose Cottage is a great alternative if you’re looking for a quick snack. Homemade and baked freshly enjoy a slice of cake or warm scones with jam and clotted cream. Take in the views of Symonds Yat West upstream whilst downstream you can see The Biblins Rapids. A popular destination amongst tourists due to the ancient hand pulled ferry which operates outside along with a variety of activities available locally.

Wye Valley also has a variety of restaurants on offer that are ideal for family meals and more intimate dining. A short drive away in Ross-on-Wye, known as the ‘gateway to the Wye Valley’ you will find No. 3 Restaurant & Bar offering a relaxed dining experience in a rustic atmosphere. Enjoy pure food indulgence with dishes like twice baked Hereford hop souffle, catch of the day or slow cooked shoulder of Herefordshire lamb. Alternatively, The Cedar Tree at Glewstone Court specialise in fine dining in beautiful surroundings. Sourcing the finest, local ingredients all prepared and cooked fresh daily. In the evening they offer an a la carte dinner menu or a 6-course taster menu along with a selection of rare wines and spirits. We recommend the Wild Boar Loin Stuffed with Pistachio & Apricot, a definite must when visiting the Wye Valley!

Puzzlewood

Puzzlewood in Gloucestershire

Pubs in Wye Valley: our top picks

After a day of exploring, what better way to relax than with a tipple of your choice in a charming little pub. From traditional pubs to modern bars, Wye Valley is spoilt for choice. The Wye Valley Brewery produces award-winning craft beers using the best ingredients, including homegrown hops supporting local farmers. Buying local not only helps support the rural community, but it also keeps their carbon footprint to a minimum so you can sit back and enjoy your beer knowing you’re doing your bit for the environment! Find your local Wye Valley brewery. To all you craft beer enthusiasts, immerse yourself into the Wye Valley Brewery experience where you can witness first-hand the special brewing process and of course no tour would be complete without the taste test!

In the centre of the Wye Valley you will find The Boat Inn, an idyllic riverside pub great for bar snacks with a selection of local ciders and craft ale. Featuring an open fire in the winter months and rock faced waterfall views in the beer garden during summer. This friendly pub has a great atmosphere and is an ideal spot for lunch whilst exploring the area. The car park is located on the far side of the river, but this shouldn’t put you off - the short scenic walk is offers beautiful views. Expect live music, pub food and refreshing drinks!

Famous for its ruined Abbey, Tintern is a picture-perfect location situated south of the Wye Valley. Located in the grounds of this famous landmark you will find The Anchor, steeped in history, with great views of the historic monument and the Wye river. Originally a cider mill and grain store for monks, the building dates to 1101 and is full of character. An ideal pit-stop for that afternoon tipple and a light lunch. Fresh, locally sourced food served in idyllic settings.

Afternoon Tea

After a day of adventure indulge in a cream tea

Wye Valley cottages: plan your staycation

If you’re looking for Wye Valley cottages, then a self-catering cottage lodge could be an ideal option. Nestled on the edge of Wye Valley our cabins at Forest of Dean are sheltered beneath ancient oak woodland or situated in a bright, open meadow at the edge of the forest. Book your break in a hot tub cabin a great alternative to traditional Wye Valley cottages.

Cabins at Forest of Dean

Cabin at Forest of Dean

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