Wye Valley Forest of Dean Walk
Symonds Yat Rock and the Biblins
|Ordnance Survey Explorer OL14||Sheet Map||1:25k||BUY|
|Anquet OS Explorer OL14||Digital Map||1:25k||BUY|
|Ordnance Survey Landranger 162||Sheet Map||1:50k||BUY|
|Anquet OS Landranger 162||Digital Map||1:50k||BUY|
It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.
Walk Route Description
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 (grid ref. SO561139)take the left-hand fork (some undergrowth and no Wyvis Way sign) 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.
Other walks nearby
Walk 3214 Symonds Yat, High Meadow Woods & Wye Valley - moderate - 12.0 miles/19.5 km
Walk 2832 The Wye Valley from Brockweir - easy/mod - 5.8 miles/9.4 km
Walk 3243 Garway Hill Common & Kentchurch - easy/mod - 6.3 miles/10.2 km
Walk 3750 River Severn from Arlingham - easy - 6.0 miles/9.8 km
Walk 1272 Devil's Pulpit & Brockweir from Tintern - moderate - 7.5 miles/12.2 km
Walk 3723 Garway Hill from Kentchurch - easy/mod - 6.4 miles/10.4 km
Walk 2817 The Marcle Ridge from Much Marcle - easy/mod - 7.0 miles/11.4 km
Walk 1870 Daffodil Walk from Dymock - easy/mod - 9.0 miles/14.6 km
Walk 2670 Ysgyryd Fawr (The Skirrid) near Abergavenny - easy/mod - 3.5 miles/5.7 km
Walk 1927 Oldbury-on-Severn & Littleton-upon-Severn - easy - 5.2 miles/8.5 km
Recommended Books & eBooks
Walking in the Forest of Dean
Guidebook to 25 walks in the Forest of Dean, between the Severn and Wye, from 4-mile routes to all-day sections of long-distance trails such as the Offa's Dyke Path and Gloucestershire Way, this guide is ideal for exploring the forest and its history and includes the information needed for walkers of all abilities to explore this ancient area.
The Wye Valley Walk
The Wye Valley Walk follows the River Wye for 136 miles through the beautiful and varied landscape of the Welsh borders. Typically taking 10 days to walk, the route starts in Chepstow and follows the Wye valley to the slopes of Plynlimon, Powys. The Wye Valley Walk is a perfect mix of river and hill walking, suitable for any reasonably fit walker.
The National Trails
This inspirational guidebook looks at each of the UK's 19 National Trails, with information that allows ease of comparison and contrast, inspiring you to find out more and to take up a long-distance challenge. Some Trails are short and easy, others much longer, many have strong themes - they may follow a coastline, or traverse ranges of hills.