Steeped in beauty and history, there are endless things to do in the Wye Valley is a fascinating and mysterious place. Hidden within the depths of the woodlands which surround it there are secret gardens, ruins and ancient towns waiting to be explored.
The River Wye is the fifth longest river in the UK, stretching past Rhayader, Builth Wells and the historic market town of Hay-on-Wye. Famous for the iconic Wintour's Leap, the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural beauty was first designated in 1971. We've been in love ever since.
We reveal the Wye Valley's most exciting features and where to stay to get the full experience of this majestic landscape.
On the bank of the River Wye, the romantic ruins of Tintern Abbey are truly breathtaking. Founded by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, in 1131, Tintern Abbey can be found adjacent to its namesake village in Monmouthshire. It was the second Cistercian foundation in Britain and the first in Wales, inhabited by the Cistercian monks. Today, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful structures in Britain. In the spring and summer, flowers bloom and the sun peers through where the windows once stood. It's the perfect place to unwind in the grounds with a book and a picnic.
Dewstow Gardens are a true marvel of the Wye Valley. The gardens were rediscovered in 2000 after being buried just after World War Two. Upon discovery, people found a lost garden with tunnels and underground grottoes. Today, the mystery of the gardens is very much still a part of Dewstow. Explore a labyrinth of underground tunnels and roam through ornamental gardens. Dewtstow Gardens is truly a place to escape.
Looking for somewhere to stay nearby? Fox And Hounds Cottage is just 25 minutes from Dewstow Gardens, nestled within stunning Welsh countryside. This beautiful two-bedroom cottage is perfect for romantic escapes and family holidays. Enjoy the cosy wood burning stove and spectacular oak-beamed dining room, as well as the cottage's close proximity to the village pub. Fox and Hounds Cottage is perfectly situated to enjoy both the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.
Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
Spanning for 35 miles from Brecon to the Pontmoile basin, this peaceful waterway stretches through the moody, wooded Usk Valley. This hidden gem is a haven for nature-lovers, walkers and cyclists. Whether you choose to stroll alongside the canal or hop on a boat to explore its gentle twists and turns, we're sure you'll be enchanted by the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Look out for resident buzzards, red kites, herons and darting dragonflies.
Rowan Cottage couldn't be more perfectly situated, just moments from the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Offering the ultimate base for your Welsh adventure, the cottage has views over the Llangattock Hillside and dates back to 1580. Immerse yourself in the comfort of Rowan Cottage's thick stone walls, exposed beams and cosy bedroom.
Ye Old Ferrie Inn
Ye Old Ferrie Inn can be found on the banks of the River Wye in Symonds Yat. With an eclectic menu blending traditional Welsh and Herefordshire ingredients with fusions from all over the world, a meal at Ye Old Ferrie Inn, affectionately nicknamed Yofi, is a once in a lifetime experience. For a hearty pub classic with a twist, try the Welsh half pound lamb and mint burger, or the Wye Valley smoked salmon terrine.
Like something out of a fairy-tale, Symonds Yat is one of the most spectacular sights in the Wye Valley. Symonds Yat was created by a river cutting a deep gorge in the limestone, exposing dramatic cliff faces. Many exciting archaeological discoveries have been made at the nearby King Arthur's Cave, including the remains of a hyena family and Saber-toothed Tiger bones. Symonds Yat is a mysterious yet utterly enchanting feature of the Wye, and is well worth a visit.
Just 20 minutes from this iconic feature of the Welsh landscape is Lavender Cottage . Aptly named, the cottage is surrounded by the scent of lavender in the Wye Valley. Perfect for a unique getaway, Lavender Cottage offers a prime location within walking distance of the village pub and a special opportunity to hire a canoe and paddle down the river.
Take a look at our full selection of luxury cottages in Wales .