You will need an early start on the first day or arrive the night before.


Day 1 - Glasbury to Whitney - 10miles

Day 2 - Whitney on Wye to Bredwardine - 10miles

Day 3 - Bredwardine to Hereford - 14miles

Day 4 - Hereford to Holme Lacy - 8miles

Day 5 - Holme Lacy to Hoarwithy - 9miles

Day 6 - Hoarwithy to Ross on Wye - 12miles

Day 7 - Ross on Wye to Symonds Yat - 14miles


NOTE: 7 day canoe hire trips can only start on a weekday, or if you would like to start on a Saturday we can take you to the start point on the Friday afternoon before. This enables you to camp there and set yourself off the following morning. Please call 01600891100 to make this arrangement.


Glasbury is the upper reach of the river from where canoeists have little restriction on access. There are a series of small rapids and some shallows initially. Enough to get the heart pumping and to wake you up, so you are switched on for the rest of your journey.


Just above Hay on Wye there is a natural weir, but it is low and shallow so you can pass over it with ease.  Below the bridge is the start of the river for which there is a statutory right of navigation. The first section can be shallow. It seems counter intuitive, but you head north out of Hay on Wye.  After you leave the town you will soon see the remains of a railway embankment running parallel to you on the right.  The ruins of Clifford Castle lay behind the embankment at Clifford.


Shortly after you will pass beneath the private timber toll bridge at Whitney. The Boat Inn provides a good lunch stop. 


From Whitney on Wye at the magnificent brick arched toll bridge you head east, although two big meanders will have you pointing directly west in the first few miles.  There are some deep pools on this stretch. To the south are the hills of Little Mountain, Merbach Hill and Bredwardiine Hill. While to the north are the flatter lands towards Kington. At Turners Boat an ill defined island will mark the start of small rapids that extend as far as Bredwardine.


At the end of this day there is an option to camp at Brobury House at Bredwardine if pre arranged, please see our accommodation page for more details. Alternatively you could start further upstream to get a longer first day and camp at either Turners Boat upstream of Bredwardine or Bycross Farm just below Bredwardine. 


Below Bredwardine is The Scar at Brodbury a high sandstone cliff covered in trees. Watch out for the Sand Swallows that nest in these banks as there can be hundreds of them skimming along the waters surface, hunting for midges.


Further along you will pass Moccas Court, a Georgian mansion with landscaped grounds designed by Capability Brown. Shortly after you may see the abutments of the Moccas toll bridge, the only remains following flood damage in 1960.


You will need to stop at Bycross campsite and examine Monnington Falls before proceeding along the river. At this point the river splits into two around a large island, typically the right hand channel dries up and the full force of the river is driven down a thin channel on the left. It is important to stop and inspect the channel before heading through, to ensure there are no fallen trees that you could come against.  The campsite at Bycross is a good spot to stop off at, and another below the falls at Preston on Wye.


Below Canon Bridge (no bridge) you will pass New Weir (er... no weir) with low cliffs on the left on which is perched a National Trust property boasting a walled garden and Roman cistern. Less than a mile downstream from here is a crossing point for a long gone Roman road which connected with the Roman town of Magnis a mile north of the river.


As you pass Breinton Common you will see Eaton Camp on the right hand bank at Ruckhall. The pub shown on OS maps was the former Camp pub, sadly now closed.


At the end of your day you will be stopping at Hereford. The best place for camping here is at the Hereford Rowing club, or you could choose from the numerous guest house options in the City itself. 


From Hereford you launch near to the city and pass under a number of foot and vehicle bridges, drawing the attention of many jealous onlookers.  From here you get a unique view of the town of Hereford, with glimpses of its magnificent cathedral.  There is only a short stretch of about eight miles to Holme Lacy which takes about 2-3 hours. When you arrive at Holme Lacy there is a floating pontoon on the left hand side which indicates you are at Lucksall camp site, which is the perfect half way stop off en route to Hoarwithy.  At Lucksall campsite there is a nice cafe and picnic area, and a shop for any provisions you may have forgotten like camping equipment or food.


The next stretch from Holme Lacy down to Hoarwithy is about another 2 and a half hours, which feels a long way after a relaxing stop off.  Things to look out for en route are the spectacular sandstone cliffs as the river carves its way through the rock. 


The landscape close to the river continues flat as it meanders through the countryside. It starts to change as the river passes close to Ballingham Hill. As you head east on the River Wye you will see a hill slightly to the left of your route. Capler Camp sits on top. The river turns to the right in a long bend. The river is very straight from here to Hoarwithy as it rests against the bottom of a tree clad hill.


You will pass the remains of a railway bridge along the way. There used to be a railway that ran from Hereford to Ross on Wye and beyond. As you canoe along the length of the River Wye you will never be very far from its route. There are 5 further crossing points with various evidence remaining.


The great benefit of doing this trip is that you stop at Tresseck Campsite at Hoarwithy. This ideal camping location is situated right next to the river and allows camp fires. Allowing you to pitch up with your canoes beside your tent and enjoy the amazing sunsets here whilst cooking a barbeque dinner and sitting around the campfire (no bad singing or banjos allowed).  Hoarwithy has a unique Italianate style church, which regardless of your beliefs, is well worth a visit. For those staying a while The New Harp Inn also offers good food and beer.



From Hoarwithy the river heads south into a long left handed curve which ends with you pointing in a north easterly direction. At the point where the river takes a right handed turn the river becomes very wide and still and you can happily drift along this section taking in the amazing scenery and wildlife.  Around this bend is a place called Hole in the wall, there is a footbridge across the river and the south side of the river is Sellack - well worth the 5 minute walk to see the church.


Around Fawley and How Caple are fishing nurseries - please do not disturb the fish. Landing in this area is discouraged to avoid disturbing the fish fry in shallow waters.  The River Wye takes another switchback turn following which you will pass under Foy Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge. There are some strong currents along this section especially when the river is running low, as the water winds around the shingle beaches.


When canoeing from Hoarwithy to Ross on Wye it is important to remember to bring provisions along with you in the form of a picnic, so you can eat your lunch on the river bank, unlike some of the other sections along the Wye this section does not have anywhere to buy food or drink en route, so make sure you are properly prepared. 


From Ross on Wye your course will take you past Goodrich Castle sited high on a hill overlooking the River Wye and the Wye Valley. Not many people see the castle from this side, and seeing the dark silhouette along the cliffline really makes you appreciate the history of the castle and it's dungeons.


Shortly after you and your canoe will pass beneath Kerne Bridge. The public landing point is a few hundred meters below the bridge  on the left hand side. Stopping at this public launch point during the peak season can be difficult due to the high demand, but the Inn on The Wye is well worth the stop for a pub lunch.


An easier stop off point is at Lower Lydbrook, which is another 20 minutes downstream where there is a picnic area and the Forgehammer pub. For more information on public houses please visit our accommodation page. 


Setting off from Kerne Bridge you will pass through Lower Lydbrook, and navigate around a small island. This is only 25 minutes downstream but you may wish to take a break here as there are refreshments that can be purchased here.  Continuing your canoeing along the Wye 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.  Shortly after is the area where the 18th century Rev. Gilpin first introduced the word 'picturesque' to the English language in describing the surrounding landscape. For him it defined "that kind of beauty which is agreeable in a picture".


When the river starts to turn west you will come through a beautiful valley.  You will find Ship Rock high above your left shoulder. The cliffs that run along the skyline are Coldwell Rocks, home to the Peregrine falcon. The end of the line of cliffs is marked by Symonds Yat Rock. As you come under the rocks there is a shingle beach that backs onto a meadow on the opposite side, which acts as the perfect half way stop off for a picnic or a snack.


From here the River Wye takes a long wide oval course, nearly coming back on itself at Symonds Yat. But before reaching Symonds Yat you will paddle your canoe under Huntsham Bridge (the green bridge) and it takes about 25 minutes back from here.


As you enter Symonds Yat West you will see large boulders on the left, this is the landmark we advise paddlers to remember as our landing point is on the right just opposite them.

Section Distance77 miles
Days7 days
River grades1 and 2
Ability levelIntermediate

Contact Us

The Paddocks Hotel
Symonds Yat West HR9 6BL
01600 891100