Six Towns and Villages to Visit on Holidays in the Wye Valley
The Wye Valley covers 126 square miles along the border between England and Wales. With its lush ravines and woodland trails, it’s a paradise for walking, cycling, canoeing and wild swimming. Here are six of our favourite towns and villages in the region, where you can rest and refuel before continuing your outdoor adventures. I
The Wye Valley is an attractive visitor destination for country house parties. Stay with friends or large family gatherings and enjoy opportunities for lovely riverside walks along the River Wye. We’ve included our favourite selection of large Welsh and English country cottages (with one lovely exception) in which to stay in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean for each town. Click on the cottage name to find out more about it or make a booking enquiry.
Llangovan is a wonderful place to savour the Wye Valley’s beautiful scenery and a slower pace of life. You will find this tiny village nestled at the foot of the Trellech Ridge, surrounded by unspoiled countryside. A gentle brook meanders past Llangovan, marking the border of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For such a small place, there’s also a number of interesting landmarks, including listed Llangovan Church, which a colony of bats have made their home.
You will find this friendly market town perched on a hillside overlooking the River Wye. Walk to Prospect Viewpoint for breathtaking Wye Valley views across the sweeping bend in the river below. Ross-on-Wye’s town centre is a delightful place for a wander, and perhaps enjoy a lunch with a twice-weekly market held in the 17th century Market House.
This small village is probably best known for Symonds Yat Rock, a limestone outcrop which rises 500 feet above the river, providing superb views of the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean. Symonds Yat lies on both sides of the river, and the most enjoyable way to get from one side to the other is on one of the hand ferries, which a ferryman pulls across the River Wye with an overhead rope.
A large luxury country cottage with a private hot tub and lovely rural views just a short stroll from the River Wye. Sleeps 22 - perfect for a weekend country house party.
Hay-on-Wye is best known for its literary festival and secondhand book shops. It also occupies a spectacular location with the River Wye to its north, the fields of Herefordshire to its east, and the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains to its south and west. Besides providing an excellent base from which to explore the countryside, Hay-on-Wye is home to some of the region’s best restaurants.
Lydbrook in the Forest of Dean clings to the steep sides of the Great Hough Brook Valley. Light-heartedly referred to as “three miles long and three yards wide”, its main street is said to be the longest of any village in the UK. Lydbrook has a rich industrial heritage, and many of the pubs which once served the local mining communities remain open, including the Jovial Colliers Inn and the Forge Hammer Inn.
The county town of Monmouth lies at the confluence of the rivers Wye and Monnow. It’s a great town to explore by foot, with impressive landmarks such as a stone gated bridge. Check out the independent shops on Monnow Street before strolling along cobbled Church Street, where many of the town’s best restaurants are.
Click here to view more holiday cottages in the Wye Valley, from romantic cottages for couples to larger homes for families and groups, including properties in all of the above towns and villages.