There are wonderful viewpoints round every turn in the River Wye, many made popular by 18th Century “Wye tourists”. Some are more accessible than others, but here’s a selection of the best-loved spots.
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Capler Camp and Capler Viewpoint
Capler Camp, near Fownhope, is an iron-age hill fort, popular with 18th Century visitors on the Wye Tour, and today offering distant views towards Ross-on-Wye. There is also a viewpoint from the car park at the foot of the camp offering views of the river and distant views to the west.
Cherry Hill in Haugh Wood, near Fownhope, is the site of an Iron Age hill fort and offers fine views over the River Wye.
Also known as Cleddon Falls,this pretty waterfall between Llandogo and Trellech can be spectacular in wet weather. Paths lead from Llandogo, including the Wye Valley Walk.
The Folly and Ridge Path were constructed on Coppett Hill in the early 19th Century as a viewing point. These are best accessed from Goodrich.
Devil’s Pulpit is a limestone rock jutting out from the cliffs from where (legend has it) the devil preached to the monks below, tempting them to desert their order. It offers spectacular views over Tintern Abbey and the River Wye. It is sign-posted from the Forest Enterprise car park on the B4228, near Tidenham Chase, and is on the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail.
The Llancaut peninsular, near Chepstow, is within the Llancaut Nature Reserve, which is owned by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Surrounded by cliffs, with views over the river and to Wintour’s Leap it is a truly memorable spot.
From the car park at Chepstow Leisure Centre, you can pick up a part of the Wye Valley Walk that follows a trail along the Wye river cliff, laid out by Valentine Morris, owner of Piercefield Park in the 18th Century. Amongst the attractions were the Alcove, where today there is a seat and viewpoint, the Lover’s Leap viewpoint, and the Giant’s Cave, a passage cut through a rock. The trail culminated at Eagle’s Nest.
Symonds Yat Rock
From Yat Rock you can see wonderful views of the river. You may even glimpse peregrine falcons, which nest in the cliffs nearby. The many walks include a steep path down to Symonds Yat East and the river.
The Kymin, Monmouth
A two-storey circular Georgian banqueting house and naval temple, in wooded hilltop grounds, which afford spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. When Admiral Lord Nelson visited the site in 1802 he described it as one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. One mile east of Monmouth, the Kymin is owned by the National Trust. It lies on the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail and is also accessible by footpath from the town.
The Prospect, Ross-on-Wye
The Prospect enjoys views over the large horseshoe bend in the river at Ross-on-Wye. It can be approached from the foot of the church in the town.
Whitestones Car Park
Near Llandogo, Whitestone is a woodland site owned by the Forestry Commission, Wales. There are glimpses across Llandogo from the car park itself. A slight climb from the car park there are three viewpoints with benches, giving views over Llandogo and the River Wye. There are several way-marked woodland walks and a picnic and barbeque site here.
This viewpoint is a mile or so to the west of Tidenham. Sir John Wintour is alleged to have galloped over the top of these precipitous cliffs in 1642 in a bid to escape from the Parliamentarians during the Civil War. The site is best accessed from Llancaut or on the Wye Valley Walk , as roadside parking is difficult.
Wyndcliff and Eagles Nest
There’s a good outlook from Lower Wyncliffe car park alongside the A466, between St Arvans and Tintern, and breathtaking views from Eagle’s Nest at the top of the steep, wooded limestone cliff - you can see seven counties on clear days. Eagle’s Nest is reached by a footpath from the car park. This leads up the “365 steps” cut in the rock in 1828 as a tourist attraction – now there are only 300. The Wye Valley Walk also takes in this viewpoint.
Esther and Henry Rudge, of Ballingham Court Farm, have been presented with the Wye Valley AONB Farming Award trophy for the third time, at the Monmoouthshire Show.