Monmouth to Symonds Yat Walk
A lovely riverside walk from Monmouth to the wonderful viewpoint at Symonds Yat. The walk runs for about 8 miles, following the River Wye on a flat path before climbing to Symonds Yat for wonderful views over the Wye Valley, Wales, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
The walk starts at Monmouth Castle and heads a short distance to the river where you pick up the Wye Valley Walk. Follow the waymarked trail north east passing Dixton, the Fiddler's Elbow National Nature Reserve and the farmland and woodland of Hadnock on the other side of the river.
The river then bends round to the east passing the Grade II listed Wyastone Leys and Lord's Wood. Here you can visit King Arthur's Cave just to the north of the river. Flint tools and woolly mammoth bones have been unearthed within and around the limestone caves.
You continue through the Upper Wye Gorge which contains many species of trees that are locally and even nationally rare, forming one of the most extensive areas of semi-natural, broadleaved woodland in the entire valley. Look out for wildlife including badgers, fallow deer, buzzard, nuthatch, peregrine falcon, pied flycatcher, raven, tawny owl and the wood warbler as you make your way through this area.
The next stage passes the Symonds Yat Rapids where you can see canoeists and kayakers whitewater training and playboating. You then climb to Symonds Yat Rock where there are wonderful views over the Wye Valley. It's also a popular spot for birdwatching with peregrine falcons, buzzards, goshawks and hobbies regularly seen.
You can extend the walk by continuing along the river to Lower Lydbrook and Welsh Bicknor or visiting the mysterious King Arthur's Cave.