3 day canoe hire trip – Hereford to Symonds Yat

3 day canoe hire costs £60 for a 2 person boat per day and £65 for a 3 person boat per day.



This canoe trip can be completed over 3 days, with 2 overnight stops at Hoarwithy and Ross on Wye.

Day 1 – Hereford to Hoarwithy – 17miles

Day 2 – Hoarwithy to Ross on Wye – 12miles

Day 3 – Ross on Wye to Symonds Yat – 14miles

NOTE: 3 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 make a note of this when placing your booking to make this arrangement.

whats included

The 3 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, car parking at canoe centre, maps and safety briefing. You will need to arrange your own accommodation at Hoarwithy and Ross on Wye, our recommendations for each stop off can be found on our accommodation page.


Starting 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 city of Hereford, with glimpses of its magnificent cathedral. It is likely that by the time you set off it will be mid morning.


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 campsite. Which is the perfect half way stop off en route to Hoarwithy.  At Lucksall campsite there is a nice cafe and picnic area. There is also 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 cliffs are home to hundreds of Sand Martins that swoop past your head picking off May flies and such from the surface of the water.


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 Camper, the former location of an Iron Age hill fort 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. Keep an eye out because there are 5 further crossing points where evidence of this old railway can be seen.


The great benefit of doing a 3 day canoe 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. Relax and enjoy the amazing sunsets here whilst cooking an open fire 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.

hole in the wall

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, 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.

backney common

As you start to approach Ross on Wye you will pass Backney common on your right. Once a thriving hotspot for tourism has now become left alone to the wild. You will pass between another set of disused railway uprights and turn left towards Ross. At this point you will see the welcoming iconic church spire in the distance. Meaning you are only 15mins away.

day 3 ross on wye to symonds yat

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.


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.

symonds yat rock

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.

Section Distance 43 miles
Days 3
River grades 1
Ability level All levels



Canoe the Wye Ltd, Paddocks Hotel Grounds, Symonds Yat West, HR9 6BL