Within the Forest of Dean, Symonds Yat Rock is a famous viewpoint with one of the most iconic views of the Wye Valley.

The River Wye meanders around a headland with a rocky outcrop and Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint is perfectly placed for views down both sides of the valley.

There are waymarked trails linking to the River Wye and a choice of circular walks into the forest itself.

But we went to see the peregrines!

Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint is well known as one of the best places in the country to watch Peregrine Falcons.

It is also the site of an Iron Age hill fort.

Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean was originally designated by the Saxons for hunting.

Then it became the hunting reserve of Kings for many hundreds of years to follow.

The Forest is bordered on the southeast by the River Severn and on the southwest by the River Wye.

It is one of the most distinctive areas of Britain having an alluring charm and character.

Images by visitdeanwye.co.uk | Index image by Cool Places Britain
Wye Valley AONB

Symonds Yat Rock sits within the Forest of Dean and is part of the Wye Valley, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Wye Valley AONB straddles the border between England and Wales. It is regarded as one of the finest lowland landscapes in Britain.

At its heart is the river Wye, one of the most natural rivers in Britain, which meanders majestically through the border region.

In this extraordinarily gorgeous landscape, you will find dramatic limestone gorges, native woodlands, impressive geology, and rich wildlife.

But also a wealth of history including hillforts, castles and Tintern Abbey, the first Cistercian Abbey in Wales.


Walking within the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley means that you will be walking in three different counties: Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire.

With miles and miles of idyllic landscape, walkers come from all over the UK and abroad to explore the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.

First head for Symonds Yat Rock. Explore one of the five waymarked trails which are maintained by Forestry of England.

Or try one of the 12 Easy Trails. These 12 walks in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley are all circular and are mainly on clearly defined, well worn paths, tracks and lanes.

Another classic is the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail.

The full Sculpture Trail is about 4.5 miles long and starts and ends at the rear of Beechenhurst picnic site.

If you are looking for a challenge, then there are several long-distance paths crossing the Wye Valley.

Wye Valley Walk

The Wye Valley Walk is a long-distance national trail which follows the course of the River Wye from its source in mid-Wales to its confluence with the River Severn at Chepstow in Monmouthshire.

This beautiful 136-mile (218km) trail criss-crosses the border between England and Wales.

It includes some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain.

Section 2 starts in Monmouth and ends in Ross-on-Wye, passing Symonds Yat Rock.

Monmouthshire Way

The Monmouthshire Way is a 121-mile circular walk that explores the ancient county of Monmouthshire in South East Wales.

Visiting the towns of Chepstow, Monmouth, Abergavenny, Pontypool and Usk it passes through diverse countryside.

The beautiful Wye Valley is followed to the once important medieval village of Trellech.

Gloucestershire Way

The Gloucestershire Way is a 100-mile (160km) long-distance national trail which crosses almost the full width of Gloucestershire from its westerly border with the Welsh town of Chepstow to Tewkesbury in the north on the River Severn.

The section through the Forest of Dean covers many beautiful and varied landscapes.

Cool Places to Explore: Walking in Monmouthshire | Tintern Abbey | Hereford Cathedral.

Cool Places to Eat: No3 Ross-on-Wye.

Cool Places to Stay: Rose Cottage.