Explore the Wye Valley
The River Wye, meandering majestically through the Welsh/English borders, is the heart of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Having the same level of protection as a National Park, the purpose of the AONB is to conserve and enhance the outstanding landscape of the Wye Valley, so that we, and future generations, can enjoy it.
The Wye was voted the nation’s favourite river in 2010, its unspoilt beauty capturing the imagination of all who visit. One of the most natural rivers in Britain, it rises in the mountains of mid-Wales and flows south for some 150 miles, becoming part of the border between Wales and England before meeting the Severn. In its lower stretches, it meanders for 58 miles through the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), from just south of Hereford down to Chepstow.
How long do you have?
Just an hour? Then you won’t want to miss the romantic ruins of Tintern Abbey, in the prettiest of settings surrounded by river, trees and hills. An afternoon? Take a short boat trip along the Wye at Symonds Yat and then head up to Yat Rock to take in the Wye Valley’s most iconic view. An evening to spare? Make your way up the Kymin, near Monmouth, and savour the view as the sun sets over Monmouthshire’s stunning countryside. All day? Relax into a different pace of life, floating down the Wye in a canoe, and stopping for a leisurely lunch at a riverside pub. A night time outing? Head out at dusk to hear the amazing calls of nightjars on a summer’s evening on Beacon Hill near Trellech.
The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by a partnership of local residents and businesses, community groups, local authorities and other interested organisations. This is called the Wye Valley AONB Partnership and its role is to conserve and enhance the special qualities of the nationally designated landscape, so that we, and future generations, can live and work here alongside the vibrant wildlife and rich heritage, and that everyone can explore and enjoy this outstanding place.
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a landscape which is considered so precious that it is protected for the nation. There are 46 in the UK alongside 14 National Parks. The Wye Valley AONB was designated to protect its dramatic limestone gorges and native woodlands, its impressive geology, its historic legacies of hillforts, castles and the first Cistercian Abbey in Wales, and its wildlife (which Includes 25% of Britain’s population of lesser horseshoe bats).