Last updated on April 9, 2023 by Wandering our World
The Wye Valley has not been classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for no reason!
And with a river sprawling the length of Wye Valley, dozens of walks, quaint villages, and peaceful views, it’s the ideal location to pitch up a tent, hook up a caravan and have a camping adventure.
So, pack your bags and inspect your gear, because the Wye Valley awaits you with activities and places to visit for everyone.
Luckily if you’re planning your own Wye Valley camping adventure we have everything you need right here. From what to expect at each campsite and any rules that exist, to the best places for food, and even what wildlife you could spot and what time of year is best to see them!
- Getting To The Wye Valley
- The Best Campsites In The Wye Valley
- Camping In The Wye Valley: Rules, Regulations & Advice
- Things To Do When Camping In The Wye Valley
- Places To Eat
- When To Go Camping: Weather, Wildlife & Events
Getting To The Wye Valley
The Wye Valley covers a large area; it’s a long stretch of land crossing over from England into Wales. It’s still easy to get to though, just head to the correct area that is home to your campsite, whether that’s Hereford or Chepstow.
Journey planners such as this one can help you coordinate your journey if you’re using more than one mode of transport.
From Manchester to the furthest part of the Wye Valley (Tintern), it will take you 3 hours via the M6.
From London take the M4, which will take you 2.5 hours (there are tolls on this route – take the M3 and then the M4 to avoid them).
And from Edinburgh, it’s 7 hours via the M6, and from Cardiff, it’s just 51 minutes via the M4.
From Belfast, your route will include crossing the Irish border if you want to take the fastest route (9 hours). Head for the M1 to get the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead, Wales. From here, continue on the A55.
To avoid crossing the border you can take the slightly longer route via the M6.
From Manchester Piccadilly, you can catch the train to Birmingham. From that station get a train to Chepstow, and then from Chepstow, you can get buses that will take you around the Wye Valley.
While from London Euston, try and get a train to Hereford, and from there you can walk a few minutes to the bus station to catch a bus (or stay in Hereford if that’s where you’re staying for your trip).
Cardiff Central station trains will take you straight to Hereford. There is no straightforward train journey from Edinburgh unfortunately.
From Chepstow, the 69 will get you to Monmouth. From Broad Street in Hereford, the 33 will get you to Laskett Lane in the Wye Valley.
From cities across the UK, you may be able to book a National Express coach to areas of the Wye Valley.
For example, from Manchester Coach Station a journey to Hereford will have 2 changes and will take an entire day, but it only costs around £30 for a single. From London, it will take 4 hours via coach and it’s direct to Hereford (around £20).
And from Edinburgh a coach will take 13 hours to get to Hereford with 2 changes, costing around £50 for a single.
Some Of The Best Campsites In The Wye Valley
The following campsites are listed in order of location, i.e., Chepstow up to Fownhope. General prices per night will be given but check your specific needs on the links provided.
1. Beeches Farm Campsite
Beeches Farm Campsite is a small, family-run campsite suitable for caravans and tents. It is set in a beautiful rural location, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The campsite offers a variety of facilities, including electric hook-ups, showers, toilets, and a laundry. There is also a small shop on site, which sells essential supplies.
It’s in an ideal location, surrounded by towns and villages to explore. Prices are around £10 per night.
Hill Farm Campsite
Hill Farm is another small, family-run campsite, where you will also be treated to lovely views of the countryside.
This site offers facilities such as electric hook-ups, showers, toilets, and a laundry. There is a small shop here too.
Additionally, they offer spa and wellness experiences for you to unwind and accommodation in the form of rooms and yurts.
Hill Farm Campsite is also a suitable place for people who are looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly holiday. The campsite is committed to reducing its environmental impact, and it uses several sustainable practices.
3. The Forest and Wye Valley Camping & Caravan Site
The Forest and Wye Valley Caravan and Camping Site also boasts magnificent views of the surrounding Wye Valley, and you will be close to the Forest of Dean.
Facilities include electric hook-ups, showers, toilets, laundry, a shop, and a children’s play area. It’s also another campsite that uses sustainable practices.
Prices are around £24 per night. If you want a bit of luxury, you can book a glamping experience instead.
4. Greenacres Campsite
Suitable for both caravans and tents is Greenacres Campsite, with the Forest of Dean as your back garden.
Facilities include hook-ups, glamping pods, toilets, showers, a play area, rubbish disposal and laundry (plus much more). Prices are around £20 per night.
5. White House on Wye Glamping
Finally, White House on Wye Glamping might be for you if you want to treat yourself.
Situated next to the River Wye, wildlife will be on your doorstep while your tent will offer relatively modern luxuries such as mattresses and bedside tables.
Prices per night are approximately £150, for tents that house up to 5 people.
6. Doward Park Campsite
Located near Symonds Yat and 140m above sea level is Doward Park Campsite.
You’re not far from the Forest of Dean here, and Wales is just a mile away. You’ll also be situated between Ross on Wye and Monmouth – two historic towns waiting for you to explore.
This site is suitable for caravans and tents, and facilities include toilets, dishwashing, showers, a shop, a supermarket 1.5 miles from the site, and phone charging.
Camping In The Wye Valley: Rules, Regulations & Advice
The following is a guide. Please inspect the individual rules for your campsites carefully.
Free Camping In The Wye Valley
Free camping is not generally permitted in England.
All land in England is owned by someone, either an individual or an organisation, and so the law says that if you want to go wild camping, you should get prior permission from the landowners to avoid trespassing.
However it may be tolerated if you are undergoing a multi-day walk in a National Park. In this case, follow these rules to ensure you are not disruptive:
- Get permission from the landowner before you camp.
- Set up camp at dusk and leave before dawn.
- Camp in small groups.
- Stay at least 1km from roads and buildings.
- Don’t camp in areas that are popular with day visitors.
- Leave no trace of your presence.
- Pack out all of your rubbish.
- Be respectful of the local community.
- Leave when asked to do so by landowners.
Looking After Yourself & Nature
Fires and fire-pits may or may not be permitted depending on your campsite.
If you are to use one, make sure you put it out properly to prevent wildfires: wet it, stir it, and wet it again. You’re probably best using a BBQ.
Camp sustainably by bringing along sustainable products for washing and cleaning, such as shampoo and conditioner bars in cardboard packaging, soap bars, plant-based cleaning products to avoid harsh chemicals getting into the environment, biodegradable wipes, and reusable containers.
Remember to wash or clean at least 100m from any natural water source to avoid contaminating it and scaring away wildlife.
Keep the noise down in order to not disturb wildlife or other campers. If the sun is not up, keep conversations to a whisper or indoor voice.
Please don’t feed any animals as they will associate your campsite with food and become a nuisance. They can also become ill.
Leave no trace: this means taking rubbish with you if there are no bins available. Seal food waste away as to not attract anything.
Don’t touch or disturb anything natural when camping in the Wye Valley, like rocks, tree trunks, wildflowers etc. Watch out for any ground nests underfoot. If you (or your pet!) end up touching or hurting anything endangered – plant or animal – this is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and you could be fined.
Biting insects in the UK include gnats, midges, and mosquitos. The best way to avoid getting bitten is to wear long sleeves and to apply plenty of insect repellent.
Another way is to avoid damp areas, so for instance, camp on high ground so everything is well-drained. You can also check the forecast and position your tent away from the direction of the wind, so you don’t wake up to a faceful of biting flies!
Other tips include sealing away waste, using non-fragranced products, and using smoke to deter insects.
Ticks are also a pesky insect (or more accurately, an arachnid) to watch out for, especially since being latched onto by one can cause serious illness and even long-term problems.
So again, wear long sleeves and insect repellent. Keep some tweezers on you in case you need to remove one from your skin.
Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, you may walk through fields of cattle. Just keep a good distance and don’t disturb them.
If you’re over 13 you must have a valid fishing licence to fish in England. Depending on the type of fish you are catching, there may also be limits and closed seasons where you can’t fish at all.
You might not be able to use nets or traps either, or fish in certain areas like spawning grounds.
An in-depth guide to fishing in England can be found here.
Things To Bring When Camping In The Wye Valley
Here’s a list of things to take with you:
- A water filter
- Rubbish bags
- A filtered torch
- Warm clothing
- Waterproof clothing
- Insect repellent
- A fire pit
- First aid kit
- Plant-based/organic and non-fragranced toiletries
- Plant-based/organic cleaning products
Things To Do When Camping In The Wye Valley
1. The Wye Valley Walk
Experience all that the Wye Valley has to offer with this long-distance footpath stretching across both England and Wales.
You’ll be hiking (or cycling if you prefer) for a few days as it is 136 miles long, but the rewards along the way include dramatic landscapes, ancient woodlands, villages, and market towns.
Start at Chepstow in Monmouthshire, Wales, and finish at Rhayader in Wales.
The footpath is clearly marked, but make sure you’re prepared for this walk with all the right gear.
2. Tintern Abbey
On the Welsh bank of the River Wye, near Tintern in Monmouthshire, are the ruins of Tintern Abbey, dissolved in 1536 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Roofless but still dripping in grandeur, it’s a wonderful place to admire the surrounding countryside while taking a picnic just outside.
3. The River Wye
You don’t have to just walk or cycle along the River Wye, you can canoe and kayak too. Dozens of rental stores are situated at various points of the river.
Fishing here is great, with its salmon, trout, grayling and a view of kingfishers, dippers, and herons too.
4. Symonds Yat Rock
Symonds Yat Rock is a limestone outcrop along (you guessed it!) the River Wye that offers astounding views of the countryside.
A part of the Forest of Dean, here you’ll find a variety of plant and animal life such as lichens, falcons, and kestrels. And if you’re qualified to do so, it’s an ideal place to rock climb.
5. Herefordshire Vineyards
Surprisingly, the Wye Valley in England produces some tasty wines due to hot summers and mild and moist winters.
There are over 50 you can visit in order to enjoy some tastings and tours. The most popular include the Three Choirs Vineyards, Foxbury Fields Vineyard, and the Castle Brook Vineyard.
6. The Forest of Dean
Away from the river is The Forest of Dean, with its ancient woodland and rich history of hunting and timber farming. Wildlife here includes deer, badgers, and foxes.
You’ll find various places to fish and it’s also great for walks and bike rides. Within you may come across the Clearwell Caves, Puzzlewood, and the Dean Heritage Centre.
Places To Eat
1. The Bell
Located in Llandogo, The Bell uses local ingredients to create dishes from their seasonal menus. Food to expect includes roast lamb, fish pie, and steak, as well as beers and wines.
2. The Anchor
The Anchor is found in the village of Brockhampton and features a lively beer garden and traditional pub food, such as burgers, fish and chips, and scampi, as well as cakes, salads, and sandwiches. It’s family-friendly with child menus available.
3. The Forge Hammer and River Spice Indian
Set in the idyllic location of Lydbrook and just 100m from the River Wye, here you’ll find a vast selection of ales, beers, wines, ciders, and other beverages, as well as Indian food to takeaway. You can also stay and eat traditional pub food such as burgers and chips.
When To Camp: Weather, Wildlife & Events
The following is a guide to help you plan the best possible camping trip by providing you with information about different times of year in the Wye Valley.
The Wye Valley is beautiful at all times of the year, but if you’re planning to do a lot of hiking, you may want to stick to the milder and clearer months.
December, January, and February are the coldest months of the year, with lows of 3 degrees C or under.
Springtime is a little more pleasant with temperatures keeping to around 17 degrees C in the later months of May and early June.
June, July, and August have warm highs of around 20 degrees C, but heatwaves can make temperatures reach 40 degrees C.
The wetter months are during winter but expect frequent rain throughout the year.
During spring you’ll of course be witness to amazing and colourful blossoms as flowers start to bloom. Bees will be out collecting pollen and nectar, and you may spot blue tits, great tits, and robins. In woodland clearings, you might spot deer.
In summer wildflowers are at their most beautiful, and you can spot butterflies such as the peacock and red admiral. At night, look out for bats and other nocturnal creatures such as owls and mice.
Autumn is a great time to spot birds such as the red kite, buzzard, and kestrel. In winter, birds such as the wren, robin, and chaffinch come out to play. Deer will also be about.
- The Hay Festival: This annual event in Hay-on-Wye is quite niche but nonetheless fascinating. Here you’ll meet writers and performers as they speak about their literary work.
- The Monmouth Show: In Monmouth, this agricultural show features exhibits, livestock competitions, food stalls, and live music.
- The Wye Valley Food Festival: You simply cannot leave the Wye Valley without visiting a food market. Thankfully, this festival takes place multiple times a year at different points in the Wye Valley, and of course features plentiful food and drink, as well as cooking, live music, and children’s activities.