Beach campsites in Wye River with climbing

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Beach campsites in Wye River with climbing guide

Overview

Flowing down from the Welsh mountains and winding along the border of England and Wales, the Wye River is the centrepiece of the Wye Valley AONB. Hike between ancient woodlands and rugged gorges along the Wye Valley Walk, stop for lunch at riverside pubs, and pitch your tent at waterfront camping grounds. Getting on the water is a must, so perhaps admire the views on a boat cruise and hop off to explore historical sites such as Tintern Abbey or Goodrich castle. Water sports, including stand-up paddleboarding, are also popular, or you could paddle between riverside villages in a canoe or kayak.

When to go

May through September is the most popular time for hiking, boat cruises, and water sports along the Wye River, but outdoor activities are possible year-round with the right gear. For the most impressive views, come in spring when colourful wildflowers bloom along the riverbanks or in fall when the forests cast off their autumn leaves. The biennial Wye Valley River Festival (May) brings a series of free events to towns throughout the Wye Valley.

Know before you go

  • The Wye River runs for about 250 kilometres, from Plynlimon in Wales to the Severn estuary. The main towns along the Wye include Chepstow, Monmouth, and Ross-on-Wye—hikes and boat cruises set out from all three.
  • Towns along the Wye Valley have various options for camping and restaurants. For camping gear or to stock up on supplies, Chepstow and Monmouth have the most choice. 
  • Most campsites require advance booking, and many ask for the full payment in advance. Be sure to check opening dates, as many close in the winter months.

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