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Holidays in Kerne Bridge

Small village on the River Wye, popular for kayaking and canoeing

UK | Heart of England | Herefordshire | Kerne Bridge
Nerby Ross-on-Wye

Kerne Bridge is a small village a few miles south of Ross-on-Wye in Gloucestershire. It’s also the name of the nearby Grade II-listed bridge that spans the River Wye. Kerne Bridge is a popular destination for those looking for a weekend kayaking, canoeing and other waterborne activities. There are ample kit hire shops locally too.

Kerne Bridge sits at one end of a popular 7.5 mile stretch of the River Wye, with Symonds Yat at the far end. Visitors enjoy paddling canoes and other craft between the two points. The river course provides a few challenges and it’s a great class room.

There are also some excellent nature walks in and around Kerne Bridge and Symond’s Yat. Central to Symond’s Yat is Yat Rock, which is popular with climbers. The ascent is short, but still a challenge to most that try to tackle it.

Look out for bird’s nests – the cliff face is home to some peregrine falcons, which are a relatively rare to see in their nesting habitats. You may also see wild deer that can sometimes be seen foraging for food in the woods.

The view from Yat Rock

For those that do not want to get involved with the outdoor sports aspect, Symonds Yat is still largely accessible via trails and pathways alongside the Wye and up the escarpments either side of the water.

Symonds Yat was a popular holiday destination of the author CS Lewis, famed for his Chronicles of Narnia. Similarly to the nearby Malvern Hills and surrounding Wye Valley, it has inspired many other famous creatives.

"Kerne Bridge is a great place to stay for nature lovers and water sports fans…"

Symonds Yat East is on the Gloucestershire side, and West is on the Herefordshire side. Connected by ‘pull ferries’, the ferryman pulls his passengers (hand over hand) across the water via the help of a connected rope between East and West. The only other connection over land is the Huntsham Bridge, which makes for a five-mile round-trip.

From Kerne Bridge, also visit the ‘noble’ ruins of the Norman-era fort, Goodrich Castle. Managed by English Heritage, learn about the Castle’s journey through time, it played a significant role in the English Civil War of the 1640s. The siege left the castle inhabitable, and it’s been retained as a ruin ever since.

Goodrich Castle has a long and potted history to learn about on a visit. Also look out for the civil war mortar, Roaring Meg, that contributed to the castle’s Civil War downfall.

While you’re there

Goodrich Castle

The ruins of this 12th century fort still dominate the horizon, now managed by English Heritage.

Symonds Yat

Symonds Yat is one of the prettiest river valleys in England.

Kerne Bridge

Confusingly the village shares the name with the bridge which acts as a way point for canoeists.

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