Terrain on the Wye Valley Walk includes steep rocky sections, muddy hillsides and exposed uplands as well as gently undulating countryside. Whether you intend to walk five miles or 50 miles it’s important to prepare and be properly equipped. Know your own fitness level, and plan a walk that suits this. If you’re walking alone, let someone know where you’re going and where and when you expect to arrive at your destination. Parts of the Wye Valley Walk do not have good mobile phone reception.
Recommended as essentials
- Stout waterproof shoes or walking boots
- Waterproof clothing and a backpack
- Food, but especially drink
- Mobile phone and maps
- Protection from the sun
- Learn to read a map – in an emergency you may need to give someone a grid reference of your location. See the Ordnance Survey website for advice.
Guides to the Walk
The Wye Valley Walk Partnership has published an official guide to the Wye Valley Walk from south (Chepstow) to north (Plynlimon). It includes detailed maps and descriptions of each section of the walk. This may be purchased from local bookshops, or ordered by post from the Publications page of this web site.
Get a map
Large-scale maps of each section of the walk are based on the 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey Explorer series. The full list of maps covering the route are:
- Explorer OL14 – Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.
- Explorer 189 – Hereford and Ross-on-Wye
- Explorer 202 – Leominster and Bromyard
- Explorer 201 – Knighton Presteigne
- Explorer OL13 – Brecon Beacons National Park (East)
- Explorer 188 – Builth Wells
- Explorer 200 – Llandrindod Wells and Elan Valley
- Explorer 214 – Llanidloes and Newtown.
Check the weather forecast before you begin your walk each day, so that you are adequately dressed and prepared. Some parts of the route can be exposed to high winds, with little shelter from wind, rain and sun. Extended periods of rain can make parts of the walk very wet underfoot, and the River Wye can be expected to flood at times – usually during later autumn, winter and early spring. The Environment Agency provides a flood warning and watch system on their web site.
For up to date local weather forecasts ring the following:
- For South Wales: 09068 500409. For Monmouthshire dial in 9004 when prompted.
- For Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire: 09068 500410. For Hereford dial 1103. For Ross-on-Wye dial 1105.
- For Mid Wales: 09068 500414. For Builth Wells dial 1408
Calls cost 60p per minute from a UK landline.
If you have access to the web before setting off, check the met office website, which provides local post code based forecasts www.metoffice.gov.uk
Rights of Way
Most of the Wye Valley Walk follows official Public Rights of Way, which gives walkers a right of passage, but doesn’t allow them to wander off the line of the path. There are also permissive sections of path where owners have agreed for them to be used. Additionally, there is a new right to roam on mapped areas of ‘open country’ as defined by the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000. ‘Open Country’ means mountain, moorland, heathland, downland and registered commons and includes a large part of the Plynlimon Massif.
To find out about the new areas of ‘open country’ visit
Countryside Council for Wales
Following the Walk
Is simple. The Wye Valley Walk is marked out by circular yellow waymark arrows to show direction, ‘leaping salmon’ discs and/or finger posts. Waymarkers are being continually replaced and upgraded and new finger posts have been installed, but if signs are missing or prove confusing, the people to tell are the public rights of way officers. If you have problems then report it initially to the Information Officer at the Wye Valley AONB
If you’re walking with a dog, remember they should follow the line of the path and not be allowed to wander. It’s an offence to allow a dog to attack, worry or chase livestock so it’s best to keep it on a lead through sheep or cow enclosures or approaching farmyards. You will encounter livestock, including sheep, cattle and horses on much of the Wye Valley Walk as it crosses agricultural land.
Do’s and don’ts, dogs and livestock
- Do – move quietly and calmly, keep your dog on a short lead, and try and walk around livestock, rather than through the middle of a herd, even if this means deviating from the line of the path.
- Do – leave gates as you found them.
- Don’t – hang on to your dog if threatened by livestock (usually cattle). Let it go.
- Don’t – get between a cow and her calf.
- Don’t – panic. Most cows and horses will stop before they reach you. If, as they often do, they follow out of curiosity, just walk on quietly.
Tourist Information and Advice
There’s a database of all Tourist Information Centres along the route, together with contact details, on the interactive maps section of this site. They can help you to find accommodation and other services locally.
There are plenty of places to get food along the walk, though it’s worth remembering that some of these will have reduced opening hours during the quieter winter months. There is a long history of local produce in the region including top quality Welsh lamb, cheeses, Herefordshire beef and cider. For information about places to eat outside the main towns, enquire locally at a Tourist Information Centre, or your accommodation provider. Always carry something to eat and drink with you, in case of emergencies. If you are relying on reaching an eating point by a certain time, allow extra time to get there.