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Walking the Wye Valley

Perhaps the most unspoilt river valley in Britain, the Wye flows through breathtaking scenery rich in both Welsh and English history.

  • England

  • 6 nights
  • Half Board
  • Landscape

  • Aug

    Sep

  • Average group size: 10-12

Moderate

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Walking grade

Grade 5

This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. Walks will last around 6 hours including stops and include a daily average mileage of 9.2 miles. The Wye Valley Walk is not challenging for most of its length but there are some steep rocky sections, muddy hillsides (depending on the weather at the time) as well as gently undulating countryside and riverside paths. 

The daily distances average 9.2 miles per day which is slightly higher than our standard Grade 5 holidays, however due to the terrain and the ascents/descents covered, this holiday is within grade. 

See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

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Classic Collection

Thoughtfully designed, meticulously planned, carefully graded, and expertly guided walking tours and hiking holidays along well-loved and off-the-beaten-track footpaths.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Follow sections of the Wye Valley Walk, the Offa’s Dyke Path and surrounding trails, along hillsides high above the River Wye.
  • Perhaps the most unspoilt river valley in Britain, the Wye flows through breath-taking scenery rich in history.
  • From the source in northern Wales down to the Bristol Channel, the river passes many famous sites – Symonds Yat, Kilvert country and Tintern Abbey.
  • Visit the ruins of Tintern Abbey below the Devil’s Pulpit and admire views from the top of Symonds Yat Rock.

Rambling through the Wye Valley, the ruins of Tintern Abbey come into view – beauty in stone in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The chants of long-ago monks seem to echo round these stones.

Perhaps the most unspoilt river valley in Britain, the Wye flows though breathtaking scenery rich in both Welsh and English history. From the source in northern Wales down to the Bristol Channel, the river passes many evocative and famous sites – Symonds Yat, Kilvert country, Tintern Abbey – and conjures up vivid memories of the 19th century Wye-tourers in search of the ‘picturesque’.

The area enjoys a relatively mild climate and its vineyards continue the tradition of producing wines probably started by the Romans. Over 800 years ago an abbey was built at Tintern and its ruins still stand tall. Further downstream lies the historic border town of Chepstow with its early Norman, stone-built castle.

We’ll follow sections of the Wye Valley Walk, the Offa’s Dyke Path and surrounding trails meandering along the hillsides high above the majestic River Wye often emerging at superb viewing points such as Symonds Yat Rock and the Eagle’s Nest. We can take in the area’s rich history and discover the myths and legends of these borderlands.

You might also be interested to know this holiday is combined with our Gower Peninsula tour; please see The Gower Peninsula & Wye Valley

  • En suite three-star hotel accommodation on a half board basis
  • All local transport required for the itinerary by private coach
  • Services of a Classic Tour Leader
  • Entrance fee to Tintern Abbey (free to Cadw Members)
  • Entrance fee to Goodrich Castle (free to English Heritage Members)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Lunches
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Tour Codes

71406

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent arrival to the Speech House Hotel in Coleford. Check in is from 2pm. There may be time to explore the Forest tracks near to the hotel. Your leader will meet you for an evening briefing before dinner. 

All dinners will be taken in the hotel restaurant throughout your stay.

Day 2

Goodrich - Coppett Hill - Welsh Bicknor - Goodrich

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Goodrich Castle

Standing in open countryside above the River Wye, Goodrich Castle is one of the finest and best preserved of all English medieval castles.

  • Time

    5.5 hours

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    386/379m

A private coach takes us to the village of Goodrich, for the start of the walk along Coppet Hill and then beside the Wye looking up to the craggy heights of Coldwell Rocks; a nesting place for Peregrines in the spring and summer months. The return walk is via the meadows of Welsh Bicknor over Coppet Hill to meet the coach at Goodrich Castle. There will probably be time for refreshments in the castle tea rooms and an optional visit to the impressive ruins (English Heritage charges apply). 

Day 3

St Briavels to Monmouth via the Kymin

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    9.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    452/628m

A private coach takes us on the short journey to St Briavels for the start of today's walk. You drop down to walk alongside a petrifying stream and walk the uplands above to the Wye and bordering the Forest of Dean to visit Newland church, the “Cathedral of the Forest”. Later you will reach the Kymin viewpoint and descend to the market town of Monmouth.

Day 4

Symonds Yat Rock, the Seven Sisters and King Arthur’s Cave

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    8.7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    414/465m

Private transport will take you to Lower Lydbrook, beside the Wye and walk over farm-land to Coldwell Rocks where, below, you'll see the path on the opposite bank of the Wye where the first walk was taken. After visiting Symonds Yat Rock, you will walk next to the Wye and visit some impressive geological features. Finally, cross the Wye on a suspension bridge to visit the famous Seven Sisters viewpoint, a prehistoric cave and an iron-age fort before meeting the transport at Ganarew.

Day 5

St Briavels to Tintern Abbey via the Devil's Pulpit

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5.5 hours

  • Distance

    10 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    588/783m

Take a short coach ride back to St Briavels, and set off through farmland and forest above the Wye, visiting some of the best-preserved parts of Offa’s Dyke. You will reach the Devil’s Pulpit rock with views of Tintern Abbey far below and the return is through coppiced woodland and a long-forgotten railway line to Tintern. 

Day 6

The Angidy Valley and the Wye Valley Walk

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey is a national icon; still standing in roofless splendour on the banks of the River Wye nearly 500 years since its tragic fall from grace. 

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    9.2 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    357/346m

The start of this final walk is where you finished on day 5 at Tintern. Today there is an option to visit Tintern Abbey, (charges apply) then walk in the valley of the Angidy stream which used to be a power source for industry long ago. You'll visit the remains of Tintern Furnace then reach rolling uplands and Cleddon Falls, returning along Woodsworth’s path high above the Wye.

Day 7

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

Depart the Speech House Hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 10.30am. 

We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

9th Aug 2024 - 15th Aug 2024 (6 Nights)

5th Sep 2024 - 11th Sep 2024 (6 Nights)

Travel Details

Private coach transport to and from the trailheads each walk day is included.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

The Speech House Hotel

Built in 1676 as a hunting lodge for King Charles II, the independently owned three-star Speech House Hotel has been refurbished to offer modern facilities and comfortable rooms while retaining its period features. It is located five miles from the Wye Valley in the heart of the Forest of Dean. 

Bedrooms are situated in the main house or in the courtyard, with many offering forest views. All rooms are decorated in a traditional style and have TVs with Freeview and tea and coffee-making facilities. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the public areas of the hotel. 

The hotel dining room is particularly memorable as it serves as the Court Room for the Verderers who enforce the laws concerning hunting rights in the forest. Technically the Verderers can still apply the death penalty for poaching deer. In practise this power is rarely used but we strongly advise against any nefarious activity just in case!

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. Walks will last around 6 hours including stops and include a daily average mileage of 9.2 miles. The Wye Valley Walk is not challenging for most of its length but there are some steep rocky sections, muddy hillsides (depending on the weather at the time) as well as gently undulating countryside and riverside paths. 

The daily distances average 9.2 miles per day which is slightly higher than our standard Grade 5 holidays, however due to the terrain and the ascents/descents covered, this holiday is within grade. 

See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

In the holiday cost, we've included all local transport expenses related to the advertised activity programme for your convenience. If there are additional visits or excursions to enrich your experience, you can choose to participate and cover the costs locally. Depending on the itinerary, local transport may involve a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses, and ferries.

Optional Excursions

At your destination, you may have the option to book various local excursions and activities through a local operator. It's important to note that we are not involved in these activities or excursions, and we do not operate, supervise, or control them in any way. Your contract will be directly with the local activity supplier, and we bear no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. 

Tipping

In your holiday price, we've included tipping for our local suppliers, covering hotel and restaurant staff, local guides, and drivers. Should you wish to make an extra contribution for a specific service, this should be given directly to the recipient at your discretion.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader plays a crucial role in enhancing your holiday experience, and they share your passion for exploring the world on foot. In addition to being resourceful and organised they are also well-travelled and deeply enthusiastic about showing you new destinations.  Your tour leader takes care of all the local administration, ensuring you can fully enjoy your holiday without worrying about the logistics. While leading group holidays, they always keep in mind that each group is composed of individuals. Each tour leader brings their unique style, talents, and professional background to the table. Rest assured, they are all trained, qualified, experienced, and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting, and inspiring as possible. Remember, your leader, while on holiday, is your first port of call for any issues, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience for you.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will meet with you to review the programme for the next day. This is your chance to discuss details and ensure that the planned activities align with your walking ability. If you have any concerns about clothing or equipment, feel free to bring them up during this discussion. If, for any reason, you prefer not to participate in the organised group programme, please inform your leader. Your preferences are important, and your leader is there to make sure your experience aligns with your expectations.

Your Travel Details

To reach the hotel…

by car: from Chepstow (J2 of M48) take the A466 north towards Monmouth. Stay on this road around the outskirts of Chepstow, through Tintern and Llandogo and across Bigsweir Bridge. Immediately after crossing the bridge, bear right up the hill following the signposts for Coleford.

From the M5 southbound - exit junction 11 onto A40 westbound then A48 to Elton before taking the A4151 via Littledean. Then take the B4226 on the Speech House Road. 

by rail: travel to Lydney railway station or Chepstow railway station. There is no taxi rank at Lydney and taxis are infrequent at Chepstow, so it is advisable to pre-book a taxi from the station to the hotel – 8 miles from Lydney and 16 miles from Chepstow.

Lydney Station approx 15 minute drive

Chepstow Station approx 25 minute drive

Further away, you can take a train to Gloucester and the connection is then by No. 24 bus can be caught at the Gloucester transport hub. This bus only operates every two hours.  

by coach: the nearest bus station is in Chepstow, located about 16 miles from the hotel.

Taxis: it is advisable to pre-book a taxi from the bus or railway stations to the hotel. The following taxi companies may be able to help you and provide you with a quote: CDS Taxis – 01594 834834 or Freeway Travel – 07773 505675

The cost from Lydney to the hotel is around £20 however we advise you to obtain quotes prior to travelling. You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the hotel; www.rome2rio.com 

The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk 

Meeting your tour leader and fellow walkers: Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7:00pm) on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the hotel lounge half an hour before dinner for an introduction to your tour leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Meals

This holiday is offered on a half board basis. The Verderer’s Court restaurant has beamed ceilings and offers modern European cuisine. Please note that packed lunches are not included in the holiday price. 

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWW15 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Our intended route is covered by the following map:

Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure series (1:25,000):
OL14 Wye Valley & The Forest of Dean

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: themapshop@btinternet.com

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.


Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We are dedicated to promoting responsible travel practices that prioritise the well-being of both the environment and local communities. We believe in the transformative power of travel and aim to minimize our ecological footprint by selecting eco-friendly accommodations, encouraging waste reduction, and supporting sustainable transportation options where possible. Our walking tours are designed to immerse participants in the local culture, fostering meaningful connections with the communities we visit. We strive to leave a positive impact by engaging in responsible tourism activities, respecting local customs, and contributing to the preservation of natural landscapes. Through our commitment to responsible travel, we aim to create enriching experiences for our guests while actively contributing to the conservation of the destinations we explore.

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The primary focus of our Trust's financial support is directed towards Britain's premier walking charity, The Ramblers. They play a crucial role in advocating the benefits and significance of walking to the British public. Additionally, our Trust invites applications for small grants from local organizations in the UK that require support for walking-oriented activities. This encompasses initiatives such as establishing footpaths and bridleways, funding for the reconstruction of bridges and refurbishing huts, and bursary funding for organisations that support individuals to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors..

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Kindly share a mobile phone contact number with us. We'll utilize this solely for crucial communication pertaining to your holiday arrangements.

Ensure your mobile phone remains switched on and easily accessible when en route to the airport or during transit delays. This way, we can promptly reach you with any last-minute updates concerning your travel plans.

In consideration of others, we request that you switch off your mobile phone during walks or make an effort to limit its usage. Additionally, during group meals, please minimize the use of mobile devices. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone on the journey.

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