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A Walk from Symonds Yat

Pauline Kenny

On our May 2000 trip to England, we drove from our southern Cotswolds base to Ross-on-Wye and then to Symonds Yat.

Symonds Yat, boat coming across river. Pauline Kenny 05/2000

It took an hour to drive from our Painswick cottage in the southern Cotswolds to Ross-on-Wye in the Wales border area. We walked around the town of Ross (pretty, but not that interesting), then drove down the Wye river a few miles to Symonds Yat. Some travelers we had met had told us this was a lovely area to go walking, and they were right.

Parking is in a small area with a couple of buildings - hotel, bar, tea room - and a place where small boats go on hourly rides down the river. We didn't do the boat ride, but walked along the river instead.

The walk starts from the parking area. The trail is wide and well marked. We followed the footpath down the river for 1 miles, then crossed the river on a suspension bridge, and walked back on the other side. At the end of the walk, you are across the river from where you started. You stand on a platform by the river and wave until the workers on the other side notice you. One of them brings a boat across the river by pulling it by hand along an overhead wire (as shown in the photo). Then you ride back to the other side.

Symonds Yat, afternoon tea sitting out on the patio. Pauline Kenny 05/2000

After the walk we had tea at the tearoom and sat on the patio watching the river. It was one of those perfect, peaceful afternoons where you feel totally relaxed. The tea and cake were good too!

There is a viewpoint up the hill that you can drive to. We drove up there and then drove home a different way, through the Forest of Dean. You won't believe this but all along the road in the Forest of Dean - a very busy narrow road - the sheep roam free. They sleep at the edge of the road, they eat along the roadside, they wander out into the road. It made for a more interesting drive than usual.

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