Walk 3302 - printer friendly version
Symonds Yat Rock and the Biblins from near Symonds Yat Walk
Author - Andy Smith & Peter Lane
Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km
Ascent - 1000 feet / 303 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SO564156
Lat 51.837295 + Long -2.6341978
Postcode GL16 7NZ (approx. location only)
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.