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Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley – A Complete Guide

The towering, historical limestone outcrop Symonds Yat Rock in the Wye Valley, gives the most amazing views. Here’s all the info for visiting.

How To Get To Symonds Yat Rock

Symonds Yat Rock is located not far from the Forest of Dean in the west of England. Very close to the England/Wales border.

On Foot

For the adventurous that might fancy the steep walk/hike up the 120 metres to the viewpoint, you can park in the village of Symonds Yat.

There is a tourist car park on the edge of the village where the charge is a minimum of £4 for 4 hours.

There are many beautiful walking and cycling trails available in the Wye Valley area.

Car

The easiest way to visit Symonds Yat Rock is to park in the Forestry Commission car park and walk roughly 10 minutes up to the viewpoint.

Driving from Ross-on-Wye towards Monmouth on the main A40 road you will come to signs taking you off towards the village of Symonds Yat. From there follow the signs for Symonds Yat Rock.

At the end of a steep, single track road (there are passing places) you will reach the large, pay-and-display car park.

Charges start at £3 for 2 hours parking. All day is £5. (Slightly cheaper at off peak times.)

There are picnic benches and toilets in the car park. You will also see signs for various different Wye Valley walking trails.

Tour

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

Symonds Yat Rock Entrance Fee

It is free to visit Symonds Yat Rock.

Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Heading into the forest with the team.

Symonds Yat Rock Opening Times

Symonds Yat Rock is open every day, all year round.

Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Passing the cafe at the entrance.

Best Time To Visit Symonds Yat Rock

With the colours of the landscape changing with the seasons, the views from Symonds Yat Rock are beautiful at any time of the year.

However, it is a popular tourist attraction and gets busy during the warmer months particularly during the school holidays and at weekends.

So, avoid peak times if you don’t like crowds.

Sunrise would be spectacular from this viewpoint, if you don’t mind an early start!

Don’t forget your camera, especially if you are a keen bird spotter.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Just a short walk to the Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint.
Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Following the wooden trail to the viewpoint.

Symonds Yat Rock History

There is evidence that during the Iron Age, due to its great vantage point, Symonds Yat Rock was home to a hill fort settlement.

Views from the cliff top providing a great defensive outlook for the Iron Age inhabitants some 2,500 years ago.

If you look carefully some remains of the ramparts of the hill fort can still be seen in the form of a series of banks and ditches.

In the 18th century more people became aware of Yat Rock and the Wye Valley after William Gilpin, (well known travel writer as well as artist, school master, Church of England cleric and author) described this picturesque area in his ‘Observations of the River Wye’.

Consequently, wealthy Victorian tourists from around the country started to flock to the Wye Valley area.

Symonds Yat Rock is now a certified ancient monument and one of the main tourist attractions in the Wye Valley.

Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
The view over the River Wye.

What To Expect At Symonds Yat Rock

It’s a short 5 minute walk from the Symonds Yat Rock car park to the viewpoint. The path is relatively flat and there are ramps to make it accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Once you reach the viewpoint you are rewarded with beautiful, breathtaking views out across the lush Wye Valley.

On a clear day you can see for miles over the English countryside and into neighbouring Wales. Helpfully, there are signs helpfully pointing out what you are looking towards in each direction!

Gaze down and you can watch the River Wye, winding its way through the spectacular limestone gorge towards the Forest of Dean.

In fact, this magical area has been used to film scenes for films and TV series such as Harry Potter, Merlin and Shadowlands.

In addition, this is a great spot for keen bird enthusiasts, with telescopes having been set up by the RSPB for people to get a closer look at the amazing birdlife.

There are a pair of Peregrine Falcons that nest close to Yat Rock every year as well as Buzzards, Goshawks and Hobbies. Occasionally it’s also possible to see migrant raptors like the European Honey Buzzard and Ospreys.

Symonds Yat Rock is a stunning viewpoint and not to be missed if you are in the Wye Valley area.

Symonds Yat Rock Cafe

Just before you reach the viewpoint you will see the log cabin that houses Symonds Yat Rock Cafe.

Built in 1956 in preparation for a visit from Queen Elizabeth, this is great place to stop off on your way up, or coming back down from the viewpoint.

You can purchase teas, coffees, sandwiches, ice creams and snacks etc. Although there are no seats inside, there are benches outside the cafe or you can take your refreshments away and find your own quiet spot to relax and enjoy.

Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
The cafe was closed on the day we visited.
Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Grabbing some content with the guys at Symonds Yat Rock.
Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Quick selfie.
Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Beautiful views over the Wye Valley.
Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
The small viewpoint area at Symonds Yat Rock.
Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Will flying the drone.
Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
Couldn’t have asked for better weather.
Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley
A great stop off in the Wye Valley.

Where To Stay In South Wales

Luxury

Swansea Valley Holiday Cottages

Just 2 miles from Pontardawe, Swansea Valley Holiday Cottages feature family-run, self-catering accommodation on a farm, 10 miles from Gower Peninsula and 8 miles from Brecon Beacons National Park. 

Free Wi-Fi and free private parking are provided.

Set in traditional stone buildings, the cottages sit in a 100-acre property offering panoramic views of the Welsh countryside. 

They all come with a fully equipped kitchen, an outdoor dining area with BBQ facilities and a living room.

Some cottages also offer a washing machine and tumble dryer. They either have river views or courtyard views. One also has a private garden.

Mid-Budget

Morgans Hotel

In Swansea’s historic Maritime Quarter, Morgans Hotel provides luxurious rooms with free Wi-Fi, 5 minutes’ walk from the city centre. 

This grade II listed building also has a relaxed restaurant and a stylish bar.

Equipped with a flat-screen TV and a sleek private bathroom with toiletries, each air-conditioned room also has Egyptian cotton bedding. Rooms in the separate Townhouse all boast elegant hardwood floors and some rooms are air-conditioned.

Guests dine in the boardroom of this former home of the Port Authority. A modern European menu is on offer, whilst Morgans Bar has sofas, cocktails, chilled beers and wines from around the globe.

This property is 10 minutes walk from the beach.

Budget

Neon 160

Neon 160 is set in Swansea, 0.6 miles from Swansea Marina and 1.1 miles from Cathedral Church of St Joseph. 

Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. 

The property is close to popular attractions like Loughor Castle, Gower College Swansea and Swansea Crown Court.

Selected rooms also offer a kitchen with a microwave, a fridge and an oven.

For more places to stay in Wales, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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Symonds Yat Rock In The Wye Valley