HERE ARE SOME DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PLACES YOU WILL FIND EN-ROUTE
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.
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.
ROSS ON WYE
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.
WIZARD OF THE WYE
Heading in a more Easterly direction towards Walford passing Kerne Lodge there are 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 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.
STOWFIELD RAILWAY VIADUCT
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.
This 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.