The Walk - factfile
At a Glance Factfile
Location: English/Welsh borders.
Length: 136 miles (218 km)
Time to complete: 12 days end to end (if you’re reasonably fit).
Start and end points: Marker stones at Chepstow Castle or Rhyd-y-benwch car park, Hafren Forest.
Highest points: Near Nantyhendy Hill, 1,575ft (480m). Merbach Hill, 1,043ft (318m)
Total Descent: River descends 2,230ft (680m) from source to sea.
Landscape: Very varied. Densely wooded gorge; riverside meadows; broadleaved woodland; orchards and arable fields; hills, mountains and open moorland.
Highlights: Chepstow Castle; ‘Picturesque’ walkways and viewpoints; among the most important woodlands in Europe; Tintern Abbey; Yat Rock viewpoint; Goodrich Castle; Capler Camp hillfort; orchards and apples; Hay-on-Wye bookshops; Penddol Rocks rapids; Gilfach Medieval longhouse; bats, buzzards, bluebells, peregrine falcons and red kites.
Famous Associations: Rebel Welsh prince, Owain Glyndwr is supposedly buried at Monnington. Henry V who fought Glyndwr, but is best remembered for defeating the French at Agincourt, was born in Monmouth. Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, penned poetry about Tintern from Llandogo. Land of Hope and Glory composer, Edward Elgar lived in Hereford. Bohemian, peace activist and Nobel Prize winning mathematician, Bertrand Russell was born in Cleddon above Llandogo. Victorian diarist, Francis Kilvert, was vicar at Bredwardine. Playwright, George Bernard Shaw used to wobble on a bicycle around Penallt. Admiral Horatio Nelson toured around Monmouth, while visiting artists, poets and writers Turner, Gray, Coleridge, Pope and Thackeray all took the Wye Tour by boat.
As a Film Set: A barn below Coldwell Rocks and Yat Rock viewpoint featured in Shadowlands, the film biography of CS Lewis (Narnia) played by Anthony Hopkins and his discovery of love with American poet, Joy Gresham, played by Debra Winger. Chepstow Castle stood in for Nottingham Castle in 1980’s TV drama, Robin of Sherwood, with Michael Praed, Jason Connery and Ray Winstone. And the banks of the Wye at Foy and Hole in the Wall became post-apocalyptic Britain in Terry Nation’s (Dr Who) cult 70’s TV series, Survivors.
Access: Train stations at Chepstow, Hereford and Builth Road near Builth Wells. Buses serve most of the towns and villages en route, including Tintern, Monmouth, Ross-on-Wye, Hay-on-Wye, Rhayader and Llangurig and Llanidloes at the Northern end of the walk.
Places to Stay: Go to Planning Your Trip for a full list of places to stay, whether you’re going for five star or a night under canvas.
Information and advice: Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit, Hadnock Road, Monmouth, NP25 3NG. Telephone 01600 710846 or email firstname.lastname@example.org