50 Walks@50

To celebrate our 50th birthday we are sharing 50 of our favourite walks. Each week we will issue a 50walks@50 route for you to download and take exploring. We will introduce you to some of the Special Qualities of the AONB – the reason why the Wye Valley was designated an AONB in 1971. We hope these walks will help you discover new and lesser know parts of this beautiful place.

There are over 900 km of footpaths in the AONB, taking you through fabulous countryside to panoramic viewpoints, ancient woods and along riverside walks.  To make it easier to locate walks we have grouped them together according to which part of the AONB they are in: Chepstow & Tintern area, Monmouth & Symonds Yat area (north of Tintern), the Ross on Wye area and Hoarwithy to Hereford area. Click through below to find walks in each of these areas.

Check back soon for the next route to be shared or keep an eye on social media.

Are you up for the challenge to do all 50 walks? 

Walk 1: Puddingstones & Pubs

Bluebells and ransomes (wild garlic) in Prisk Wood are a highlight of this 3 mile circular walk, passing two pubs, one at the top of the hill and one at the bottom! Find out about Penallt's hidden millstone industry. Walk across traditional wildflower meadows at Pentwyn Farm, down country lanes, beside the Wye and up a steep ascent from the river to Penallt.

Walk 2: Capler Circular Walk

A lovely mix of walking through ancient woodland carpeted with bluebells, beside the River Wye and up to Capler Viewpoint where a short detour will take you to Capler Camp Iron Age Hill Fort.

Walk 3: Manor Wood Walk & Manor Wood Leap

Manor Wood Walk leads to a viewpoint overlooking the Whitebrook valley whilst Manor Wood Leap gets up close to the tumbling Manor Brook, which once provided the power for paper, corn and cider mills. The brook is perfect for a game of poo sticks or some splashing about in wellies! There is also a play area for children in the Narth Glade, from where both walks start. With the bluebells out and the beech trees a gorgeous lime green this is the perfect time to explore. Details of these and nearby woodland walks in the download.

Walk 4: Brampton Abbots & Hole in the Wall Circular

Starting in Brampton Abbotts, this walk takes you on a circuit northwards along the route of the Herefordshire Trail to Hole in the Wall, where the path meets the River Wye, and then returns along the Wye Valley Walk. Look out for sand martins nesting in the holes on the far bank at Backney Common and a great variety of other river birds. You can make a little detour further to the ruins of Backney Bridge. The route turns left back up to Townsend Farm (look out for The Little Meal House, a horsebox selling drinks and treats in the farmyard) and back into the village and the church. 

Walk 5: Ross Town Buggy Route

The Ross-on-Wye Buggy Route is a family and buggy-friendly walk popular with users of electrically powered scooters and wheelchairs, as well as people with young children in pushchairs. This barrier-free walk around the town passes many of its landmarks. It also takes advantage of an old railway line around the edge of the town which is a haven for wildlife. There's also a newly planted linear arboretum of around 100 specialist trees. The Buggy Walk starts at the Ross-on-Wye Bandstand on Wye Street, near to Wilton Road carpark.
Coppet Hill Trig

Walk 6: Coppett Hill Walk

A walk from Goodrich Castle carpark over Coppett Hill. The hill is managed for wildlife by a community trust and forms one of the largest commons in Herefordshire. It is a great leg-stretching climb up at the beginning of the walk, but it ends with an easier stroll along the river bank. From the top of the hill, where there is a Trig point and a derelict Folly, there are spectacular views north across the local farms, the meandering Wye and the distant hills of the Black Mountains and beyond. The walk is a brilliant place to spot deer, fungi and birds – including the peregrines that nest on the rugged Coldwell Cliffs.
Eagles Nest sunrise over by Gemma Wood

Walk 7: Picturesque Piercefield

Follow in the footsteps of the Wye Tourists, discovering the picturesque landscape of Piercefield Park. This 6 mile walk takes you across the Piercefield Estate, retracing paths laid out in the 1750s by Valentine Morris, passing romantically named viewpoints such as the Lover’s Leap, the Giant’s Cave and The Eagle’s Nest, with its fabulous panorama. The route follows the Wye Valley Walk out of Chepstow (from the Leisure Centre). Alternatively you can start from the Lower Wyndcliff carpark north of St Arvans. Allow 5 hours or so for leisurely stops to enjoy the views.

Walk 8: Wye Valley Greenway

The new Wye Valley Greenway is a 5 mile off-road path linking Sedbury and Chepstow to Tintern. It provides a safe walking and cycling route for people of all ages. It's a great way to arrive in Tintern under your own steam (especially whilst the main A466 road is closed between Tintern and Chepstow). Once over the Wireworks Bridge in Tintern you will find plenty of local refreshment stops and attractions to visit. Why not venture to the furthest reaches of the village - to the Old Station (where railway passengers would have alighted in the past), or Parva Farm Vineyard, Kingstone Brewery or the Wye Valley Sculpture Garden?
Nightjar

Walk 9: Beacon Bimble

Discover the return of an ancient landscape on this gentle, short 1.5 mile walk from the carpark at Beacon Hill, near Trellech, and around the recovering heathland owned by Natural Resources Wales. The Bimble includes a stunning view of the Brecon Beacons, especially at sunset when the distinctive outlines of Skirrid, Sugarloaf and Blorenge are beautifully silhouetted. And if you are out at dusk do listen out for the churring Nightjar, a master of camouflage, and a conservation success story at Beacon Hill. Please do keep your dogs on leads or well under control as this site is a haven for ground-nesting birds. Distance: 1.5m/2.4km; Time: 1 hour; Grade: easy and mainly level.

Walk 10: Woolhope Dome

This 5 mile walk showcases a fantastic landscape for wildlife. The landscape in the north around Woolhope is very different to the Welsh and southern sections of the AONB, with features along this walk such as an old square oast house used for drying hops. It is a walk for lovers of nature and geology as it wanders across the interesting geological feature of the Woolhope Dome and passes several local nature reserves. You may encounter some rough terrain, occasional inclines and in summer some long undergrowth to negotiate!

Walk 11: Lancaut

This 6 mile walk from Chepstow Castle visits a special place where the river makes a massive loop around a peninsular of land which seems lost in time. The walk follows a path running along the edge of cliffs where peregrines nest and down through ancient woodland to the romantic ruins of Lancaut Church. The views from Lancaut are unusual in that they look up to the surrounding limestone cliffs towering above the lost medieval village.  There is a shorter 1.5 mile circular walk from the carpark at Tidenham through the Lancaut Nature Reserve.

Walk 12: Offa's Dyke & Wye Valley Walk Circle

This 6 mile walk follows Offa's Dyke Path National Trail between Monmouth, via the Kymin with it's fabulous views, to Redbrook and returns along the Wye Valley Walk beside the river Wye. Steep climb up to the Kymin, decent into Redbrook and level return through riverside fields.
Wye Valley Heritage

Walk 13: King Arthur's Cave and the Doward

Perfect for school holiday adventures, this short walk on the Doward Hill to King Arthur's Cave and the hyena's den will delight young explorers. The bones of Ice Age animals – woolly rhinoceros, mammoth and hyena were found here. Some 12,000 years ago people sat around a fire in this cave eating red deer. Fast forward to the 19th century and' Slippery Jem' and his wife Betsy lived in a nearby cave. He boasted he had lived in his cave for 30 years (and not washed during that period)'!

Walk14: Wye Valley Greenway circular

There are outstanding views and interesting history on this 12.5 mile circular walk, which links the Wye Valley Greenway path from Sedbury to Tintern, with the Wye Valley Walk between Tintern and Chepstow. Features along the way include Chepstow Castle, the 1km long Tidenham Tunnel, Tintern Abbey, the Eagle’s Nest View Point and 365 Steps. Nearing Chepstow, the route follows in the footsteps of 18th century Wye Tourists through the Piercefield estate, passing the Giant's Cave and the Grotto created in the 1750s by Valentine Morris. If 12.5 miles seems too far in one day, split the route into two and overnight in Tintern or Chepstow.

Walk 15: Whitestone, Whitebrook & the Wye.

This 14.5 mile hike explores the lower Wye area - either on foot, on your bike or on your horse, following bridleways, lanes and forest tracks, high above the Wye and along riverside tracks.

Walk 16: Ross-on-Wye Railway and Chase Wood Loop

Starting at the small car park (free) at the Merrivale end of the Ross-on-Wye Town and Country Trail, this beautiful 3.1 mile walk takes you on a circuit eastwards along the old Ross to Monmouth railway line, into Chase Wood along the Wye Valley Walk, around an Iron Age Hill Fort before returning through pretty woodland to the car park. It is not waymarked as a circular route; use OS Explorer map 189 Hereford & Ross-on-Wye.

Walk 17: Head for the Hillforts

Packed with history this 7 mile walk links two Iron Age hillforts at Symonds Yat East and on The Doward. Enroute cross a swinging bridge and a rope ferry, pass relics of the railway and river trade, an iron forge and the estate of a Victorian vandal!

Walk 18: The Angidy Trail

Uncover the Angidy's hidden heritage on this 5 mile circular walk. Once boasting over 20 water wheels, the Angidy valley flourished from the 1560s, becoming one of the earliest places in the UK to industrialise with wireworks, forges and furnaces all along the valley. Discover the tidal dock, the ironworkers cottages and graves of the ironmasters overlooking Tintern Abbey. Lots of options for tea, cake, ice cream or a pint where the walk finishes!
Goodrich over ploughed field Gemma Wood

Walk 19: Mills, Monuments and Manors

With the introduction of free weekend bus travel in Herefordshire for everyone, this 6 mile linear walk from Kerne Bridge to Ross on Wye makes the perfect autumn outing. Take the Number 34 bus from Ross and hop off at Kerne Bridge, returning on foot along the Wye Valley Walk at your own pace. The route takes you through ancient woodlands and near the end of the walk a climb up to the Iron Age Hillfort on Chase Hill rewards with views towards the Wye and Goodrich Castle.

Walk 20: Fownhope and Capler Camp

A superb 6 ml circular walk, taking in two nature reserves, an iron age hill fort and the banks of the River Wye. Enjoy autumn colours in Capler Wood and Lea & Paget’s Wood Nature Reserve, an ancient woodland with sessile oaks and ash trees. Relax and refuel afterwards at the New Inn or The Green Man in Fownhope.

Walk 21: The Slow Way from Hereford to Ross

This 18 mile route links Hereford and Ross and passes through a wonderful living and historical landscape, rich in wildlife, in the northern part of the AONB. Don't forget to plan your walk using the free bus service in Herefordshire to get you to or from the start/ finish.
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