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Symonds Yat

Towns and Villages in or near Symonds Yat


Symonds Yat is the name generally given to this popular tourist area in the Forest of Dean, six miles from Ross-on-Wye.  The name is said to come from Robert Symonds, a 17th century sheriff of Herefordshire and "yat" as an old word for a gate or pass.

There are actually three distinct parts to Symonds Yat;  Symonds Yat Rock, a viewpoint and the two villages of Symonds Yat East and Symonds Yat West on either side of the River Wye.  Symonds Yat East is on the Gloucestershire side of the river and Symonds Yat West on the Herefordshire side.  The only way of travelling from one side to the other is a five mile drive or using one of the two ancient hand-pulled ferries across the river operated by local pubs.  There is a also suspension bridge, Biblins Bridge, one mile downstream, that can be used by walkers to cross the river.  There is a popular circular walk involving the suspension bridge and one of the ferries.

Symonds Yat West has a large caravan and camping site, and a small amusement park and a number of visitor attractions including a maze built to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo.  Symonds Yat East has a number of hotels and the Saracens Head public house who operate one of the ferries. A footpath leads from the village up to Symonds Yat Rock.  Another footpath and a cycleway, constructed on a former railway line, runs on the eastern bank to Monmouth.

Canoeing is a popular activity at Symonds Yat and canoes can be hired on either side of the river.

More on Symonds Yat East -  a very interesting site covering history, geology, the river and its floods.  Lots of old pictures.

The roads around Symonds Yat are narrow and most roads are inacessible to large vehicles or trailers.




  • Towns and Villages


O/S Ref: SO 5516

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  • Coleford
  • Ross-on-Wye
  • Symonds Yat