logo Walking Britain

Wye Valley Forest of Dean Walk
Symonds Yat Rock and the Biblins

Region - Wye Valley Forest of Dean

County/Area - Gloucestershire & Herefordshire

Author - Andy Smith & Peter Lane

Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km

Ascent - 1000 feet / 303 metres

Time - 2 hours 20 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SO564156
Lat 51.837295 // Long -2.634198
Postcode GL16 7NZ (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Symonds Yat Rock and the Biblins Photo from the walk - Symonds Yat Rock and the Biblins Photo from the walk - Symonds Yat Rock and the Biblins
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Forest of Dean lies between the rivers Wye and Severn and spans the borders of Wales and England. This stunning 110 square kilometer woodland is one of the few remaining areas of ancient forest in the UK.

Despite its huge weekend popularity, there's still a selection of fine walks away from the crowds. This route takes in the quieter option of High Meadow woods before the highlight of the day, Yat Rock viewpoint. The paths are very well defined, however good navigational skills are required as sections are poorly marked at times and littered with options. A compass is essential to ensure that you do not stray from the correct path.

There is a large pay & display car park at grid reference SO564156. It is worth crossing the road bridge from the car park to take a quick look at the viewpoint at Yat Rock, just in case it's clouded over later when you come back. From the car park, exit to the south on a small track that runs alongside the B4432 for a hundred meters. After a few minutes this crosses the car park exit road before taking you deep into the forest. After a while the track swings close to the road and a telephone box, take a right here along the forestry vehicle track passing another car park. When the stream is crossed take the left-hand fork and join the main track heading due west, you are now on the Wysis Way heading for the town of Monmouth. Within 10 minutes of joining the trail the route turns left at an unmarked junction which can be typical of the Wysis Way. This is a small, narrow track, but can be determined by its consistent Westerly bearing.

Despite having leisure path status, the Wysis Way is poorly and sporadically marked. Maintain a generally Westerly bearing, resisting the temptation to be seduced down wider paths. Ignore all the crossing forestry roads until you reach the one where The Biblins campsite is signposted. Descend this broad path until you reach the River Wye and then head right along its banks to Symonds Yat East village.

The listed Saracen's Head pub makes a very pleasant meal break after this walk overlooking the river Wye and the ferry. Leave the pub to the right heading up the lane to the small hotel, take the left path by the fence and head directly uphill out of the gorge. Once climbed, cross the tiny road bridge from the car park and turn left to the obvious viewpoint where on a fine day you will be rewarded with views of the river Wye and Welsh borders. Once finished exit the viewpoint to the south crossing the bridge, past the gift shop and back into the car park you started from. A fine short introduction into the Royal Forest of Dean is completed.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL14Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL14Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 162Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 162Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.


Recommended Reading

Cicerone Books

Cicerone PressCicerone Press offer a range of books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Britain and overseas. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors.
Explore Cicerone's Catalogue

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Wainwright Hill Bagging Map

A scratchable map showing all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

New to Walking?

How to start walking - a simple guide of how to start walking. Includes a guide on how to select your walks.