Walking

Symonds Yat, Wye Valley

Walking through Symonds Yat today there may seem nothing unusual about this tree-clad village. Apart from its impossible beauty, that is. Yet, this riverside haven has an intriguing history, dating back thousands of years.

A honeypot for both tourists and archaeologists alike, this history-rich area has seen some awe-inspiring discoveries. Leading digs around the caves of the Wye Valley, archaeologists have unearthed the bones of hyenas, sabre-toothed cats and even a mammoth. On top of that, evidence of human habitation in the area can be traced back over 12,000 years, a mind-boggling statistic that adds to the village’s charm.

Although you may not uncover any historic remains yourself, the area all around Symonds Yat encourages people to get hands on and really discover the joys within. An understandably popular vantage point, Symonds Yat Rock is definitely worth a visit to get a bird’s eye view of the valley. You may also see some of the powerful raptors that call the valley home too. No, not velociraptors, but the smaller, feathery kinds including magnificent peregrine falcons, buzzards, goshawks and hobbies.

To dive even deeper into nature, you can take a chartered cruise from Symonds Yat East for 40 minutes up and down the River Wye. Or, for a closer look, you can also hire a canoe for an unparalleled Wye Valley experience. For more family-friendly fun, there are lots of activities near and in the village that younger generations will love. These include a traditional hedge maze, crazy golf and laser ops.

Whether you are strolling along the river banks or stopping for a bite to eat in one of the many pubs, the village is a pleasure to explore. Separated by the River Wye, you can switch sides by hopping on the hand-pull cable ferry that takes passengers to and from each side. Upriver there is also the Huntsham bridge, a five-mile trip. Whether you are spending a few hours or a few days, revel in the tranquil setting and let your mind drift to times when mammoths roamed and tigers roared.

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