1 day canoe HIRE – Ross ON WYE to Symonds Yat

1 day canoe hire costs £60 for a 2 person boat or £70 for a 3 person boat.


The 1 day canoe hire trip is completed in a single day. You arrive at our canoe hire centre at 9.00am and we plan to have you on the river by 10.00am.

The first half of the day you canoe from Ross on Wye to Kerne Bridge and it takes about 2 and a half hours. The second half of the day you canoe from Kerne Bridge to Symonds Yat, which also takes about 2 and a half hours.

We recommend taking a stop off at either Kerne Bridge or Lower Lydbrook for lunch. You can spend up to an hour for stopping off, making the total canoe trip roughly 6 hours in total. So you will be out on the river from 10.00 – 16.00.


The 1 day canoe hire trip is inclusive of canoe hire, equipment hire (paddles, buoyancy aids and dry barrels), transportation to the start point, launch fees, landing fees, maps and a safety briefing. The only additional cost is the parking at the Paddocks Hotel where we are based which is £3 for 3 hours, or £6 for all day (please bring change and pay at one of the machines).



From Ross on Wye your course will take you South down the Wye Valley. Twisting and turning through the countryside with Pencraig Court on your right hand side at the top of the rolling meadows. Goodrich Castle will be in front of you for a period of time sited high on a hill overlooking the Wye Valley. Not many people see the castle from this side and seeing the dark silhouette along the cliff-line really makes you appreciate the history of the castle and it’s dungeons.


You then head in a more Easterly direction towards Walford passing Kerne Lodge and some historic Salmon fishing pools. This is where Robert Pashley was nicknamed the Wizard of the Wye. Using silk lines and cane rods, he is a bit of a legend among fishermen and locals. Anglers come from miles around, paying up to a thousand pounds per day for a ticket to fish here.


You and your canoe will then pass beneath Kerne Bridge. You need to be switched on for this short section of small rapids, not the time for spotting kingfishers. Once you have made your way around a long sweeping left hand bend the landing point is a few hundred meters on the left hand side. Stopping at this 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.


Located at the Kerne Bridge launch site you will also find ‘The Paddle Cafe’. A vintage red fire engine that has been converted into a mobile cafe. Charlie and Boo, who run it, will not only serve you up food and drink with a cheeky smile, but can give you some useful advice on the river and canoeing also.


Half an hour from the Kerne Bridge launch site you will pass through Lower Lydbrook, and navigating around a small island. We always make reference to this island in the safety brief, as you need to be decisive in which side you choose. The left hand side is wide and easy and the right hand side is narrow and fast. Don’t change your mind last minute!


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 lovely church and a former Rectory in the grounds, previously used for the residency of the parish priest. The Rectory is owned by the YHA trust and used as a youth hostel. The surrounding area is very pretty with fantastic views looking down the Wye Valley and a large grassy area ideal for picnics.


Just downstream of Welsh Bicknor you will pass under an old railway bridge. The bridge was part of the Monmouth to Ross line. On the right hand bank the railway used to go through a tunnel under Coppett Hill and headed towards Ross on Wye. On the left bank there used to be a junction where the line met the Severn to Wye railway which was primarily used for exploiting mineral resources from the Forest of Dean. The remains can just about be seen on your left as you pass along the river in your canoe.


Next is the area where the 18th century Rev. Gilpin first introduced the word ‘picturesque’ to the English language, describing the surrounding landscape. For him it defined “that kind of beauty which is agreeable in a picture”. Bowens field can be found on the left hand side, a sloped meadow that heads up to the Forest of Dean often found with sheep roaming around.


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.

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 30 minutes back to us 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.


It’s always a good idea to bring a picnic along with you. We think this is the best option when the weather is fair, as there is nothing better than being totally self sufficient and finding a nice spot to have your lunch. Our recommended place to stop for a picnic would be at Welsh Bicknor, as the vast fields make for the perfect setting. Plus if you can’t find somewhere to buy lunch or overshoot them, you will still have something to eat!


This trip provides plenty of opportunity to see some of the local wildlife.  You are guaranteed to see nesting Swans, Canadian Geese, Buzzards circling on the thermals, a variety of ducks and fish to name just a few.  You may even be lucky enough to spot a Kingfisher, an Otter, or a Peregrine Falcon.  Don’t forget to look out for Herons, it’s our company logo.

Section Distance 14 miles
Days 1
River grades 1
Ability levels All levels