The Wye Valley Walk

From Chepstow to Plynlimon

By The Wye Valley Walk Partnership

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The Wye Valley Walk follows the River Wye for 136 miles through the beautiful and varied landscape of the Welsh borders. Typically taking 10 days to walk, the route starts in Chepstow and follows the Wye valley to the slopes of Plynlimon, Powys. The Wye Valley Walk is a perfect mix of river and hill walking, suitable for any reasonably fit walker.



accessible at all times of the year but spring is best for watching birdlife and spring flowers, autumn shows the woods at their best and winter widens the views; the walk can be muddy during rainy spells and the river can flood making certain stretches impassable


Chepstow, Monmouth, Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Hay-on-Wye, Builith Wells, Rhayader


The Wye Valley Walk has some hilly sections but is suitable for any reasonably fit walker
Must See

Must See

Chepstow Castle, Angidy Valley, Tintern Abbey, Symonds Yat, Goodrich Castle, Hereford Cathedral, Hay-on-Wye, Hafren Forest, Plynlimon
13 Sep 2011
15 Jul 2019
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
  • Overview

    The Wye Valley Walk is river and hill walking at its finest, with beautiful and interesting landscape every step of the way.

    This, the official guide to the Way, has been produced in conjunction with the Wye Valley Walk Partnership. The partnership works to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, and team works hard to maintain the area's beauty for future generations.

    Passing sites such as Tintern Abbey, Goodrich Castle, Hereford Cathedral and Hay-on-Wye, the walk is accessible throughout the year and is suitable for all walkers with a reasonable level of fitness.

    The Wye is one of the most important rivers for nature conservation. The Wye and its banks are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) from the source to the mouth, one of the few British rivers to receive this designation.

    You can keep a record of your walk by collecting the WVW passport stamps along the route. Once you have collected six stamps – which must include Chepstow and Hafren you can send from your exclusive badge and completion certificate from the Wye Valley Walk Partnership.

  • Contents

    Lower reaches of the Wye
    Middle and Upper reaches of the Wye
    Wildlife and nature conservation
    When to go
    How to use this guide
    Public Rights of Way
    Your Wye Valley Walk
    Safe walking
    Easy access
    Wye Valley Walk Passport
    The Route
    Stage 1 Chepstow Castle to Tintern Abbey
    Stage 2 Tintern Abbey to Monmouth
    Stage 3 Monmouth to Symonds Yat
    Stage 4 Symonds Yat to Kerne Bridge
    Stage 5 Kerne Bridge to Ross-on-Wye
    Stage 6 Ross-on-Wye to Fownhope
    Stage 7 Fownhope to Hereford
    Stage 8 Hereford to Byford
    Stage 9 Byford to Bredwardine
    Stage 10 Bredwardine to Hay-on-Wye
    Stage 11 Hay-on-Wye to Glasbury
    Stage 12 Glasbury to Erwood
    Stage 13 Erwood to Builth Wells
    Stage 14 Builth Wells to Newbridge-on-Wye
    Stage 15 Newbridge-on-Wye to Rhayader
    Stage 16 Rhayader to Llangurig
    Stage 17 Llangurig to Rhyd-y-benwch (Hafren Forest car park)
    Leaving the Walk Rhyd-y-benwch to Llanidloes

    Appendix A Route Summary and Suggested Itineraries
    Appendix B Tourist Information and Advice
    Appendix C Accommodation and Public Transport
    Appendix D Suggestions for Circular Walks

  • Maps

    The Walk is separated into 17 convenient stages covered by individual maps. Route-finding information is included as well as information about features of interest along the way. Although the route is waymarked in both directions, this guidebook describes the walk from south to north.

    A great deal of effort has been made by Rights of Way officers on the Wye Valley Walk in waymarking, providing stiles, gates and signs. However, signs can be casualties of weather or vandalism and their absence may create confusion. The route is as detailed as possible, and for most of the way walkers should find it easy to navigate using the book and map as occasional reference. Please go properly prepared with the appropriate Ordnance Survey maps and refer to the section on safe walking below.

    Large-scale maps of each stage of the Walk are based on the 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey Explorer series. Please use the relevant ones to accompany the guide when you are walking.

    The full list of current OS Explorer (1:25,000) and Landranger (1:50,000) maps covering the route is as follows:

    Explorer OL14 Wye Valley & Forest of Dean
    Explorer 189 Hereford & Ross-on-Wye
    Explorer 202 Leominster & Bromyard
    Explorer 201 Knighton & Presteigne
    Explorer OL13 Brecon Beacons National Park
    Explorer 188 Builth Wells
    Explorer 200 Llandrindod Wells & Elan Valley
    Explorer 214 Llanidloes & Newtown
    Landranger 162 Gloucester & Forest of Dean
    Landranger 149 Hereford & Leominster
    Landranger 147 Elan Valley & Builth Wells
    Landranger 136 Newtown & Llanidloes

  • Updates
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    Sept 2018

    page 58/59 - Diversion at Lydbrook Bridge which has been closed for some time: A temporary walkway has been added to the bridge which will allow pedestrians to cross. It is anticipated this will open to the public on 24th September 2018.

    Oct 2017

    page 58/59 Lydbrook Bridge Closure and Diverson 2017

    The published route of the Wye Valley Walk is closed where the path crosses the river at Lydbrook Rail Bridge (National Grid Ref: SO 587 176) due to the unsafe condition of this former railway bridge. Download a copy of the map diversion.
    As a consequence:

    If walking upstream: walkers are advised to leave the Wye Valley Walk just east of Huntsham Hill (NGR 567 168) and follow the riverside footpath downstream to Huntsham Bridge (NGR 567 182), cross the Wye using this narrow road bridge and then, turning right, follow the riverside footpath upstream all the way to re-join the Wye Valley Walk at Lydbrook Bridge.

    It is possible to remain on the south side of the river from Huntsham Hill and follow the Wye Valley Walk to the village of Lydbrook but as you cannot cross the river at Lydbrook the options between that point and Kerne Bridge necessitate walking along sections of the busy B4234 with no pavement.

    If walking downstream: remain on the same side of the river at Welsh Bicknor (NGR 587 177) until reaching Huntsham Bridge (NGR 568 182,) cross the river on this narrow road bridge and take the footpath on the left to walk upstream to re-join the Wye Valley Walk just east of Huntsham Hill (NGR 567 168).

    August 2012

    Stage 7 (pg. 81)

    The text should read as follows:

    …Enter the field and head straight across to a stile on the edge of the road. The route turns right and follows the road for approx 50 metres. Cross over the road here (take care of fast-moving traffic) and up the steps onto the floodbank.

    Thanks to Wendy and Stephen Olivant

  • Reviews
    The official guide of the Wye Valley Walk: a comprehensive guide that merits a place in the rucksacks of anyone planning to tackle this trail.

    The Wye Valley Walk is a fine long distance walking route stretching 136 miles from the mouth of its eponymous river in Chepstow to near its source in the Cambrian Mountains. A mix of riverside and hillwalking, the route passes through the Wye Valley AONB, Tintern, Monmouth, Ross-on-Wye, Symonds Yat, Hereford, Hay-on-Wye, Builth Wells, Rhayader, and Llangurig to Plynlimon.

    Cicerone's publication, which is the official guide of the Wye Valley Walk Partnership, provides a useful companion to trail users with plenty of information to enhance the enjoyment of both day and through walkers.

    The book is a 2018 reprint with updates to the first edition published in 20 I I. These changes do appear to have brought the guide up-to-date in key areas such as public transport availability and useful websites, as well as the route itself. This includes details of a significant diversion to the route due to closure of the Lydbrook Bridge in the section between Symonds Yat and Kerne Bridge. Cicerone also offers the useful feature of enabling the purchaser to register on its website for corrections and updates.

    The book itself is primarily a reasonably detailed route description illustrated with colour photographs and 1:25k OS map extracts. The main chapters, based around 17 route sections, are well interspersed with snippets of information on key landmarks and points of history, while there is also a good introductory chapter providing an overview of the walk including its surrounding geography, wildlife and history.Appendices provide some basic information on accommodation, public transport and tourist information, primarily through contact details and web addresses, which provide a useful starting point for planning in these areas. Well written and readable, the book provides a comprehensive guide that merits a place in the rucksacks of anyone planning to tackle this trail.

    Simon Pickering, Strider magazine

    The cover of this book indicates that it is the official guide to the Wye Valley Walk, specifically asked for by the Wye Valley Walk Partnership.

    The 136 mile route follows the River Wye from Chepstow to the slopes of Plynlimon in Powys. The Wye Valley Walk in managed by a partnership of the local authorities in Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Powys and no single author takes credit for the book.

    Work on the route started in the 1970’s and for 30 years each county contributed sections of the route. The final 24 miles opened in September 2002.

    The book highlights the superb scenery that the River Wye and the Wye Valley AONB has to offer.

    Strider magazine, December 2011

    A fully updated ring-bound guide to the Wye Valley Walk. It includes colour maps and is peppered with interesting detail and a full description of the route, from the river mouth at Chepstow to the source on Plynlimon.

    Walk magazine, Winter 2011


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The Wye Valley Walk Partnership

The Wye Valley Walk Partnership works to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area by promoting its economic and social development and its suitability for quiet and informal enjoyment to the public. The team work hard to maintain the area's beauty for future generations.

View Guidebooks by The Wye Valley Walk Partnership