Walking in the Wye Valley

By Mike Dunn

Guidebook to 30 varied walks of 3 - 10 miles, in the valley of the Wye, the most scenic river in England and Wales, between Chepstow in the south and Plynlimon. Landscape ranges from open moorland to wooded gorges and is dotted with the sites of Iron Age hillforts and castles. Centres include Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Hay-on-Wye and Rhayader.



all walks can be enjoyed in any season, although care needs to be taken on the mountain and moorland walks in the upper valley in winter; risk of winter flooding between Hereford and Monmouth


Chepstow, Monmouth, Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Hay-on-Wye, Builth Wells and Rhayader


a number of the walks, especially in the upper valley, require good navigational skills and (in one or two cases) a degree of stamina
Must See

Must See

spectacular river scenery, with huge meanders and a classic limestone gorge; soaring moorlands in the 'green desert' of md-Wales; ancient routes including part of the iconic Monks' Trod; Palaeolithic bone caves and Neolithic burial chambers; and border castles, Tintern Abbey and industrial archaeology
11 Feb 2015
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook includes 30 day walks in the stunning and varied lands of the Wye Valley. From its source on Plynlimon in the Welsh Cambrian mountains, down along the Wales-England border through Hay-on-Why, Hereford and Chepstow to the Severn Estuary.

    The routes in this guide are circular, and range in length between 5 and 15km. Every route description is accompanied by an annotated OS map, and includes details on points of interest along the way to enhance your wandering.

    The Wye Valley is known for its beauty and wide range of scenery; a walkers' paradise at any time of year. From the high moorland near the source, down through gentle green hills, before diving into the woods and limestone gorge near the sea.

    Practical details such as the amount of ascent and timings information are included for every walk, as are details on public transport and parking facilities. Other useful information on the river's history, geology and wildlife ensure that this is an ideal companion to exploring the impressive range of walking the Wye Valley offers.

  • Contents

    Geology and landscape
    Plants and wildlife
    The impact of man
    Getting to and around the Wye Valley
    When to go
    What to take
    Maps and waymarking
    Using this guide
    The Lower Wye: Chepstow to Ross-on-Wye
    Walk 1 The Lancaut Peninsula
    Walk 2 The Wyndcliff
    Walk 3 The Devil’s Pulpit from the east
    Walk 4 Tintern and the Angidy Valley
    Walk 5 Trellech and Beacon Hill
    Walk 6 The Kymin
    Walk 7 King Arthur’s Cave and the Seven Sisters
    Walk 8 Coppet Hill and Goodrich
    The Middle Wye: Ross-on-Wye to Hay-on-Wye
    Walk 9 Sellack and Hoarwithy
    Walk 10 Capler Camp from Fownhope
    Walk 11 Haugh Wood
    Walk 12 Aconbury Hill
    Walk 13 Breinton Springs
    Walk 14 Black and White Weobley
    Walk 15 Arthur’s Stone and Merbach Common
    Walk 16 Kilvert’s Clyro
    Upper Middle Wye: Hay-on-Wye to Newbridge-on-Wye
    Walk 17 Talgarth and Llanelieu
    Walk 18 The Begwns
    Walk 19 Brechfa Pool
    Walk 20 Llewellyn’s Cave and Aberedw Rocks
    Walk 21 Llandeilo Hill and Twm Tobacco’s Grave
    Walk 22 Builth and Banc-y-Celyn
    Walk 23 Cors y Llyn
    Walk 24 Shaky Bridge
    The Upper Wye: Newbridge-on-Wye to Plynlimon
    Walk 25 Above the Elan Valley reservoirs
    Walk 26 Drygarn Fawr
    Walk 27 Gilfach Farm
    Walk 28 The Monks’ Trod
    Walk 29 Llangurig to Llanidloes
    Walk 30 Plynlimon and the source of the Wye

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B Useful contacts

  • Updates
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    July 2015

    Page 36 (Walk 3)

    The northings and eastings for the grid reference for the start and finish of this walk were inadvertently transposed. The correct grid reference is ST 558 993.

    Page 110 (Walk 19)

    The path from the A470 to the edge of the woodland south-west of Boughrood Bridge has been extensively repaired by Powys County Council, with significant drainage works and improvements to the surfacing of the path. One suggestion is to use this path for the initial ascent at the start of the walk, and to descend through the buttercup fields at the end.

    Page 42 (Walk 4) paragraph 4 in the printed edition.
    States "....When this reaches a forest road ignore the path straight ahead..." and suggests a detour because the path " peters out". This is incorrect. Our reader walked that path on 14 February 2017 [today] and it is quite clear emerging at a farm by the bridge at Tintern Cross where the route continues straight ahead along the lane.

  • Reviews

    "Alongside detailed route descriptions for every walk, are annotated OS maps, as well as key information on timing, distance, ascent, where to park and public transport access. In addition, the guidebook provides a range of advice on getting to and around the Wye Valley, where to stay and what to take to make the most out of your walks. The information on the geology, history and points of interest along the way are designed to enhance any walk, whether its a full day in the Upper Wye’s Cambrians or a leisurely valley wander. The result is an ideal companion to exploring the impressive range of walking the Wye Valley can offer."

    Read the full review on the Tintern Village site.

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Mike Dunn

Mike Dunn was born and bred in Leicester but has now lived in Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan for over 30 years. He worked for the Welsh Assembly Government, latterly specialising in environmental and conservation issues, and has also written widely on landscape, walking, pubs and real ale. His books include The Penguin Guide to Real Draught Beer, Walking through the Lake District, Walking Ancient Trackways and Real Heritage Pubs of Wales (with Mick Slaughter). He is married and has two daughters, and his interests include playing and organising tennis (he is a Board Member of Tennis Wales), birdwatching, cricket and real ale. Mike's favourite locations for walking are the Welsh borders, the Hebridean Islands and the Lake District.

View Articles and Books by Mike Dunn