Wye Valley AONB tourist information

Wye Valley, Gloucestershire

Visit Wye Valley

The Wye Valley, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, follows the River Wye along the southern part of the border between England and Wales, to Chepstow where it joins the River Severn.

There are various attractive Wye valley villages and towns and a great deal of fine scenery along this 100 kilometres of the river, which stretches from Hereford to Chepstow.

(Note that some of the towns and villages referred to on this page fall slightly outside the designated Area of Natural Beauty, and others fall in Wales rather than England.

The region is characterised by the river itself, of course, and also by the traditional mixed woodland and sections of cliff that line the valley. This protected natural setting has also gone a long way to preserving the wide diversity of wildlife to be found here.

The border between the two countries is also followed by Offa's Dyke, a defensive structure built by King Offa in the 8th century of which parts remain intact.

My personal favourite section is the last (most southerly) 25 kilometres, from the great viewpoint across the river at Symond's Yat Rock and on passed Monmouth to Tintern and Chepstow.

The peace of the setting gives no clue to its past - for example Trellech, a quiet village south of Monmouth, was once one of the most important towns in Wales while the first brass-making industry in Britain was once a thriving industry in Tintern.

The valley was one of the first regions of England to be affected by tourism and attracted several well known romantic poets and writers, such as Coleridge, Turner and wordsworth. The appeal has continued to the present day, with little to spoil the peaceful scenery of the region.

Wye Valley towns and villages

  • Brockweir - small village on the English side of the Wye Valley, notably the end of the tidal stretch of the River Wye
  • Chepstow - small town with a well-known racecourse
  • Coleford
  • Hereford
  • Llandogo
  • Monmouth
  • Ross-on-Wye
  • Tintern - with a very famous cistercian abbey
  • Trellech - prehistoric standing stones

Map of Wye Valley and places nearby