Symonds Yat is the lovely start point for this riverside walk to and past the historic city of Monmouth.
|Est. Time:||3 hrs 40 mins|
|Total Ascent:||656 ft|
|Total Descent:||679 ft|
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- Symonds Yat
- Biblins Bridge
Monmouth is not the final destination for the day, but allow time to linger there if you can. If not, you will still enjoy some marvellous sights on this penultimate section of the Wye Valley Walk.
Continue up the road for less than 50 yards and turn right onto a woodland footpath. Turn left onto a road and, after a few more yards, turn right to talk across to follow the riverside path downstream (left). Cross a caravan park and canoe centre, cross the car park (there are public toilets here). Walk past the ferry and the Saracen's head Pub.
Walk through the Royal Hotel car park and rejoin the footpath via a gate in the corner. At this point, the river runs over a series of rapids, which are popular with canoeists. Where the path forks, take the right fork, remaining close to the River Wye. Further along, the riverside path is deteriorating and it may be necessary to divert slightly - but stay close to the river.
The route opens out into a meadow, then turns left to join a woodland path. Follow the track for about ½ mile to Biblins Bridge, a wobbly, wire suspension bridge crossing The River Wye to The Biblins holiday camp. On the other side of the bridge turn left onto a gravel path.
When the path peters out in a grassy field continue straight ahead to an opening in the corner, which returns you to a riverside path. This section of the walk coincides with a Ramblers' Association walk called Highmeadow Trail; at the next fork the two walks diverge again and the Wye Valley Walk remains close to the river.
Pass through a squeeze stile close to a willow-covered island. As you pass through Wyastone Leys you will notice traffic noise from the A40 road, now nearby. Pass through another squeeze stile; on the hill ahead is Goldsmiths Wood and, from here to Monmouth, the A40 runs parallel to the Wye Valley Walk. Cross a stile, go over a drainage ditch, pass behind some houses and pass a sign pointing to Wales (this is not border, but it is quite near). Cross a stile and walk through a field to another stile and, in the next field, you will cross the boundary into Wales and Monmouthshire.
Follow the path round to cross a narrow footbridge over a stream. Cross two gated footbridges (you are now just ½ mile from Monmouth's Wye Bridge). Walk alongside a playing field, through a gate into St Peter's churchyard then through a kissing gate and over another gated footbridge. Cross a field to another gated footbridge under the arch of a tree then cross another gated footbridge from where Monmouth comes into view ahead on the right. Go through a kissing gate (the Wye Bridge is not visible ahead). Walk past the Rowing Club and over the Wye Bridge.
On the other side of the bridge, turn right to walk beside the Monmouth School playing field, behind the pavilion, through a kissing gate and along the right hand edge of the field to come back alongside the river. Pass under a disused railway bridge and continue along the riverside path behind some houses and over a concrete footbridge. Go up some steps and under the arch of a derelict stone bridge. Cross a plank bridge over a stream, then head back into open fields. Several stiles in this section are no longer in use - just walk past them.
The path comes close to the A466 Redbrook Road and remains close to the river, occasionally mounting a few steps or rising behind a large tree. Go over a stile; pass a brick building and enter a riverside meadow that runs almost as far as Redbrook. Cross a stile onto a gravel path and then join the Redbrook Road. Just before the turning to Newland and Clearwell, turn right over a stile onto a footpath. Follow the path along to a footbridge, which runs parallel to a derelict railway bridge. The bridge takes you across the River Wye just in front of the Boat Inn.
Monmouth - The town's name derives from the River Monnow, which feeds into the River Wye at this point. This border town has a long and distinguished history and historice links with royalty. Henry V was born at the castle (which was destroyed during the Civil War). Admiral Nelson also had links with the town and is remembered at the Nelson Museum in Priory Street.
Symonds Yat - This popular tourist spot makes the most of its riverside location and traditional ferry-crossing point. The chain 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 Peregrine Falcons.