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Holidays in Ross-on-Wye

A pretty market town within a sandstone cliff

UK | Heart of England | Herefordshire | Ross-on-Wye
River Wye

Ross-on-Wye is a pretty market town perched on a sandstone cliff above the River Wye, at the northern edge of the enchanting Forest of Dean.

Ross-on-Wye has been hailed as the UK’s first tourist destination. In 1745, a local rector started taking visitors on boat rides on the River Wye and tours of the area’s many historical sites. Shortly afterwards, the country’s first guide book, Observations on the River Wye, was published, and demand grew so quickly that before long there were numerous tourist boats making their way up and down the river. Today, visitors still make their way to Ross-on-Wye to enjoy the scenery and explore the town centre’s market square, narrow streets and independent shops.

The countryside surrounding Ross-on-Wye is some of the UK’s most beautiful. A short drive from the town will take you to the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where you’ll discover spectacular views, ancient woodland and meandering riverside pathways. The area is excellent for canoeing, hiking, cycling and wild swimming.

Also easily reached from Ross-on-Wye is the Forest of Dean, 110 square kilometres of unspoilt woodland which is a haven for wildlife and home to some of the UK’s rarest plant species. The forest is criss-crossed by hundred of hiking trails, where you can walk for miles without seeing another soul.

Plenty of opportunity for countryside walks

The River Wye makes a dramatic loop at Ross-on-Wye. Its gently flowing waters are popular for canoeing, but if you’d prefer to sit back and enjoy the scenery, why not take a cruise? Kingfisher Cruises run regular trips between Ross-on-Wye and Symonds Yat, which is famous for its spectacular views. It’s also home to a rope ferry which takes passenger back and forth across the Wye.

“Ross-on-Wye is a pretty market town perched on a sandstone cliff above the River Wye, at the northern edge of the enchanting Forest of Dean.”

Ross-on-Wye is home to a number of great places to eat, whether you’re in the mood for a fine dining restaurant or a takeaway. For excellent pub food and a pint of local ale, try the Moody Cow, where the chef is committed to using fresh, local ingredients, many of which are picked from the pub’s own garden. If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee with a slice of homemade cake, look no further than Pots and Pieces, which also sells a selection of unusual gifts. If you want to try some of the area’s best Bangladeshi and Indian food, visit the ever-popular Café Zam Zam.

While you’re there

Pots and Pieces

Stop at this tearoom for a home-baked scone, clotted cream and locally made jam.

Goodrich Castle

Visit for spectacular views, interesting history and a delightful tearoom.

Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo

Immerse yourself in colour and nature with this beautiful species.

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