Is your family at a loose end on a lovely summer’s day? If so, there’s not much that can beat a canoeing adventure down the Wye.
It was the first Sunday in October. We didn’t actually have anything pre-planned (a rare occurrence). The sun was shining without a cloud in the sky, so we headed off for an impromptu local family adventure.
Local Business – Wye Canoes – were kind enough to loan us a family canoe for the afternoon, so we packed a picnic bag and spare clothes and drove the 30 minutes to Kerne Bridge, Herefordshire to pick up the boat. After a safety briefing and a description of what to expect on our journey, we donned our life vests and helmets, got Gryff, Tan and Rorie the dog in the canoe and set off downstream.
The journey to Symonds Yat was to take a couple of hours, long enough for two young children and an unsure puppy. We set off at speed to lose the groups that set off at the same time as us, and for the next few hours we barely saw anyone else. After several swaps so we all had turn up front, not an easy task with 5 in a boat, we then came to the highlight of the trip…..the rapids!
Note:- they are really tame and nothing to worry about, but they are exciting for a 7 and 5 year old, especially when we made a big thing of it.
The scenery between Kerne Bridge and Symonds Yat (a 7.5 mile stretch) is gorgeous, obviously it helped that it was a glorious day, but the river is beautiful, there is very little in the way of buildings and the imposing Yat rock is magnificent. If you are lucky you can spot the local nesting peregrine falcons, goshawks and ospreys with kingfishers a regular occurrence. My five year even saw a crocodile – however she said that luckily it was one of the friendly ones 🙂
There are ample landing spots along the way, if you want to stretch your legs, have a picnic or have a quick pint. We finished at the very old – Ye Olde Ferrie Inn – with its friendly atmosphere where dogs/children/soggy people are welcome, although sadly the food is a bit hit and miss, sometimes gorgeous sometimes disappointing!
For people seeking a full day on the river then there is the option to carry onto Monmouth, a further 8 miles downstream.
The route we did is perfect for inexperienced paddlers and families, as the river is wide, non-technical and gentle, with pleasant scenery that will make you want to grab the canoe and do it all over again.
A big Thank You to Stuart at Wye Canoes for the kind loan of the canoe