Don't be a winter hermit...
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 2
Join us on a social walking weekend in the Wye Valley and blow away the winter cobwebs, think crisp winters days, mugs of hot chocolate and a proper pint in front of the fire. Over the weekend we’ll spend our days out exploring the tranquil Wye Valley, combined with evenings relaxing in the hostel, with freshly prepared food and a welcoming group of fellow walkers.
The Wye Valley winds its way near the southern England-Wales border, and here the great river Wye widens and slows, surrounded by wooded hillsides and old border villages.
There will be options for different walks on each day, exploring the riverside itself, Symonds Yat rock, the stunning Tintern Abbey, some local hills, and even the ancient border of Offa’s Dyke.
In a nutshell:
- Get out and explore the peaceful Wye Valley in winter on two guided walks.
- Enjoy a relaxing weekend, with freshly prepared food, and a Large Outdoors host.
- Wander through woodlands and along the meandering river, and spot wildlife along the water.
- Meet a group of friendly fellow walkers and congratulate each other on not letting winter keep you inside!
- Friday 26th – Sunday 28th February 2021
You’re welcome to arrive at the hostel at any time after 5pm, where our Large Outdoors host will greet you and immediately put the kettle on. Dinner is normally at 8pm so until then feel free to relax in the lounge with a cup of tea, or perhaps wander down to the riverside to start settling in to the tranquil beauty of the Wye Valley.
After dinner we’ll do a short introduction to the weekend and detail the walk options for the next day. There will be a choice of up to three different walks of various lengths and difficulties. There’s no pressure to choose until the next morning!
After a leisurely breakfast we’ll separate into walking groups and head off for the day, after giving you a chance to make packed lunches.
Possible walk options are:
Symonds Yat – Walking straight from the hostel, we’ll head down the river through woodland and open fields, admiring the precipice of Huntsham Hill across the water. After crossing a bridge, we’ll head towards Symonds Yat and climb up to the viewpoint, with stunning views that stretch back down to the river and the lands beyond. From here we’ll follow the Wye Valley Trail back to the hostel, and a warming mug of tea.
Coppet Hill and Symonds Yat – Leaving the hostel, we’ll walk up-river through Thomas Wood, before heading up the local highpoint of Coppet Hill, at 188m. This should give us extensive views over South Wales and bits of England, and is even designated as a Nature Reserve. From the hill we’ll descend back down to the river, cross a bridge, and follow paths up to the viewpoint at Symonds Yat Rock, from where we’ll follow the Wye Valley Trail back to the hostel.
Wye Valley Trail and Offa’s Dyke – Our walk will head down the River Wye from near Monmouth, following it through woodlands, old railway lines and riverside fields. We’ll cross the river at Bigsweir Bridge and then take a more hilly route back, following the Offa’s Dyke footpath on the English side of the river, watching out for wildlife in these beautiful broadleaved stands, bereft of leaves but not of life. After a full day out in the fresh air we’ll head back to the hostel. This walk will require a short drive before and after the walk, but we’ll car-share as much as possible.
When all the walks are back at the hostel, the evening is yours to relax and re-live the adventures of the day. We’ll serve dinner around 8pm again, so until then you can enjoy the cosy warmth of the hostel, or perhaps walk the mile to the nearest pub. There will of course be snacks on offer before dinner to keep you going after a winter’s day out.
After breakfast it’s time to pack up and leave the hostel for our final day of walking. The walks run a little differently today – the easy and medium walks will finish at around 1-2m, giving you the opportunity to have lunch at a pub before the drive home. The longer walk will be out for the day, aiming to finish at around 3-4pm, and for this walk you’ll be provided with another packed lunch.
Walk options could include:
Leys Hill and Bishop’s Wood – Starting from Goodrich, near the hostel, we’ll cross the river and walk a circuit of Leys Hill, through woodland and farm tracks, before descending back to the river through Bishop’s Wood. Expect peaceful forest walking with farm tracks and new views of the River Wye. We’ll get back to the pub with plenty of time for lunch and perhaps a wander up to Goodrich Castle.
Chase Wood and Ross-on-Wye – This walk will complete a circuit of three totally different locations; the riverbank of the River Wye, Chase Wood on its craggy hill complete with Iron Age hill-fort, and the picturesque town of Ross-on-Wye. Only a short drive from the hostel, we’ll head to Goodrich for lunch after the walk.
Tintern Abbey to Chepstow Castle – This walk is a short drive away. Taking in a full circuit of the southern end of the Wye Valley, we’ll walk the Wye Valley Trail from Tintern Abbey to cross the river by Chepstow Castle, admiring the woodlands and crags along the way. Along this stretch of the river are several Iron-Age hill-forts, and it’s easy to imagine what led people to want to live here thousands of years ago. On the far side we’ll head back along Offa’s Dyke path, passing the viewpoint of the ‘Devil’s pulpit’ before returning to Tintern.
Once the walks are over and you’ve eaten your fill at the pub, our weekend in the Wye Valley has sadly come to an end. After an adventure in this idyllic riverside landscape, you’ll go home with thoughts buzzing for future weekends away, and any notion of staying indoors for winter finally dispelled.
About the location
Walking in the Wye Valley
The River Wye runs from its source on a remote mountainside in mid-Wales to where it joins the Severn Estuary. The southern end, known as the Wye Valley ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ is a popular place for walkers and kayakers. Here the river is wide, slow moving in its last few miles before the sea, flanked by hills where woodlands have been left to nature and where wildlife can be spotted at all times of year.
This is also the site of Symonds Yat, the famous rock, where we can get excellent views over South Wales, and down to the river below. There are great walking opportunities, from paths on both sides of the river, including the long-distance Wye Valley Trail, to the route following the ancient fortification of Offa’s Dyke, and lots of other trails through the woodlands. Local sites include the ruined Tintern Abbey, and several Iron-Age hill-forts.
Who will be looking after you...
Good to know:
YHA Wye Valley
Free Shuttle from Gloucester Train Station: We have limited places on a shuttle from Gloucester Train Station at 3pm and returning you back there for 4pm on Sunday. This must be booked by selecting the option from the main booking menu.
Travel to the venue:
Please be aware that it can only be reached by a single track lane, the last 800 metres of which are narrow and steep with a sharp bend and an uneven road surface. It is accessible to all cars, vans and minibuses but coaches and larger vehicles will not be able to access the hostel.
- 2 nights hostel accommodation.
- 2 days of guided day walks – please note any excursions or other extra activities may incur an additional charge.
- Welcome meal on the Friday plus Saturday night evening meal. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and then a packed lunch for Saturday.
- As well as meals, we also provide a variety of complimentary soft drinks and beverages – tea & coffee which includes herbal, fruit and decaffeinated options and fruit squashes.
Age Limit: You must be over 18 to attend this trip, there is no upper age limit.
Dogs: I am afraid dogs are not allowed on this trip, unless they are registered assistance dogs.
Arrival Time: You are welcome to arrive any time from 5pm onwards and settle in before we serve an evening meal at about 8pm. Please let us know if you intend arriving after 10pm.
Solo Travellers: This trip is perfect for solo travellers and although couples and small groups of friends are always welcome the majority of people do attend on their own.
Rooms: This venue has a mix of 4 – 8 bedded rooms and we only ever offer these on a same sex basis. Please note bedding is provided but you will need to bring a towel.
Alcoholic Drinks: We do not supply any alcohol for this trip but you are welcome to bring your own drinks to enjoy over the weekend.
Kit lists – You can view our kit lists here…
FAQ’s – For important information on what’s included with our standard trips, such as what food we supply, arrival times and answer to our most commonly asked questions please visit out our FAQ’s page
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What our members have to say...
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016