Goodrich and Symonds Yat - circular

Wye Valley Walk (12345678910) - Herefordshire, England

SummaryGetting there

A castle, a pretty village, one of the prettiest stretches of the River Wye, pubs at either end... wgat more could you want!

Distance:8.6 Miles
Est. Time:4 hrs 00 mins
Difficulty: Easy 
Total Ascent:856 ft 
Total Descent: 735 ft 

DescriptionMap View

The RouteSafetyNotes


  • ┬áSymonds Yat Rock
  • a beautiful loop of the Wye
  • The Youth Hostel at Welsh Bicknor (remarkable architecure)
  • Symonds Yat

The Route go to top

Kerne Bridge[If you are taking this section as a circular walk from Goodrich, return to Kerne Bridge to pick up the Walk from where you left it. NB Taken as a circular walk the distance is 9.75 miles. As a linear walk from Kerne Bridge to Symonds Yat East, the distance is 7.75 miles.]

Go down the steps on the Goodrich side of Kerne Bridge (map ref. 580192) and follow the path alongside the river. With a few minor diversions, this route remains close to the River Wye all the way to Symonds Yat.

Go down steps beside the bridge, follow the path across a field and over (or round) a stile to go up some steps and continue on a higher woodland path. Gradually drop back down to walk alongside this particularly attractive stretch of river. As you approach a right hand bend (ref. 505182) leave the woodland path and go through a gateway to continue alongside the river. The signs become unreliable from here, but continue to follow the river bank. Continue towards Lower Lydbrook (which is on the opposite bank) (596170 ). Go past a reedy island and notice a number of houses on the other side of the river (Lower Lydbrook).
swan opposite Lower Lydbrook

Cross a stile and, just before a left hand bend in the river, cross another stile (at 593175) and walk towards a gothic style building, which is a church in the grounds of the Youth Hostel at Welsh Bicknor. Walk through the Youth Hostel grounds and follow the sign left back down to the riverside footpath.

Cross a stream near a house and, a short way further on, you come to a disused railway bridge, now used as a footbridge (map ref. 587177). Cross this bridge to the opposite bank of the Wye and turn left down the steps, then walk back under the bridge and continue along the footpath to a kissing gate.

Walk through a field alongside the river. The prominent wooded hill ahead is called Lords Grove. As you approach the next bend in the river, look right to catch your first glimpse of Symonds Yat Rock (a popular tourist destination and a nesting site for peregrine falcons). Go through a kissing gate and up some steps then turn right onto a path. Go through another kissing gate (581166) and continue straight ahead. The walk continues through parkland scenery. Cross a (possibly dry) ditch just below a modern stone building (map ref. 572160). Symonds Yat Rock is now immediately ahead.

Go through a kissing gate and follow the bend of the river round under Yat Rock, crossing a stream on the way. Cross another footpath and continue past a blocked cave mouth. Join another track, which begins to climb up the side of a hill. Just before the track levels out, turn right down some steps, following the public footpath sign (map ref. 564162). The path leads through woods back down to the riverside.

River Wye near Welsh BicknorPass a cottage (interestingly situated in front of a cliff) (map pref. 566166). The path then climbs higher and goes behind a large rock, where another route forks off to the right. But you turn left, behind the rock, then up some steps. Walk on up the hill and up more steps to join an unmade road, where you turn right and begin to descend. After a few hundred yard turn left onto a footpath (map ref. 561170) which gradually works its way down to a road.

[To continue the Wye Valley Walk on the linear route go to the next section. To return to Goodrich on the circular walk read on.]

Turn right on the road, walk past the turning for Symonds Yat East and continue past the imposing entrance to Huntsham Court. Follow the same road past a farm and over Huntsham Bridge (a narrow steel road bridge crossing the River Wye). Walk up to the T-junction and turn right in the direction of Goodrich. Follow the road uphill, with the steeple of Goodrich church visible on the left ahead.

Where a footpath crosses the road, turn left through a wooden kissing gate onto the footpath. Walk diagonally right across the field to cross a stile. Veer right, following the yellow arrow. Go over another a stile next to a gate in the top corner of a field and turn right onto a broad footpath, which becomes a stony track and leads out to a road. Turn left and follow the road uphill to a T-junction, where you turn right and walk back into the village of Goodrich.

Safety go to top

Apart from the loop round Yat Rock, most of thie walk is flat. That section comes late in the walk, so keep some energy in reserve!

Notes go to top

Yat RockSymonds Yat - This popular tourist spot makes the most of its riverside location and traditional ferry-crossing point. The ferry is a hand-over-hand human-propelled vessel which many people cross just for the experience - then ride straight back! Kingfisher Cruises (telephone 07831 297672 run river cruises from a jetty close to the Saracens Head pub. Nearby Yat Rock is an overhanding headland that pays host to nesting pairs of Peregrin Falcons.

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