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Holidays in Symonds Yat

Striking resort centred around a deep gorge and beautiful stretch of the River Wye

UK | Heart of England | Herefordshire | Symonds Yat
View from Symonds Yat Rock

Straddling the River Wye that borders Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, this Forest of Dean village is a popular tourist destination in the Heart of England, and is famed for its river scenery and peaceful wooded forestry. United only by a small pull ferry, Symonds Yat East is on the Gloucestershire side, and Symonds Yat West is on the Herefordshire side. Visitors come to climb the 300-foot tall Symonds Yat Rock, a scenic viewpoint that towers over the river. At certain times of year, you can spot peregrine falcons and a number of other wildlife species.

The village was a popular holiday destination of the author CS Lewis, famed for his Chronicles of Narnia. The nearby Malvern Hills and surrounding Wye Valley also inspired many other famous creatives. It is one of the best-known holiday spots and viewpoints in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley region.

Connected by the previously mentioned ‘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 5-mile round-trip.

A misty morning over the River Wye

The stretch of the River Wye at Symonds Yat has cut a gorge over the millennia creating many spectacular cliff faces, making Yat Rock a popular destination for sports climbers. Visitors also like to canoe down the rapids – you can hire kit out from Monmouth Canoe Centre, or take a Kingfisher boat trip to catch a glimpse of the rock’s famous inhabitants, the wild peregrine falcons. A family nests in the crevices, and is protected by the RSPB, so be sure to take a pair of binoculars.

Also at Symonds Yat is the aMazing Hedge Puzzle; if you want to get lost for a short while, it’s also great fun for family members of any age.

"Symonds Yat sits either side of the river, connected by an old-fashioned 'pull ferry'..."

The Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo is also a must if you want the chance of seeing a rare wild breed, or have children that would love to experience the fluttering of wings all around.

Just three miles from Symond’s Yat is Goodrich Castle, which is owned by English Heritage. The castle has within its walls one of the most intact collections of domestic buildings from the 11th century.

The castle played a significant part in the Civil War, and is home to the only Civil War era mortar in existence. The visitor centre features an exhibition of Civil War artefacts too.

Symonds Yat is fairly remote, and can be accessed by limited public transport, so in a lot of cases a car is essential to be able to explore the wider region. There are many activities within walking distance of the village of Symonds Yat, especially for sports lovers and those that love a good trek.

We have some lovely holiday cottages in and around Symonds Yat. Why not visit our collection to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Goodrich Castle

This example of an 11th century fortress is surprisingly intact and well worth a visit.

The aMazing Hedge Puzzle

Have fun losing your family and friends in this 40 year-old hedge maze.

Symonds Rock

For the best views across Symonds Yat, follow the trails to the head of the rock 300 feet up.

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