There are a myriad of adventures you can embark upon amid the Wye or in its basin/catchment. Not all are care free and with abandon because some adventures can be environmentally focused. All are good. Here we explore some options. Enjoy!
Canoe the Wye
Canoeing on the Wye has always been massively popular. People from all over the UK come to canoe the Wye usually starting from Glasbury. It's a great way to get deep down with the river and experience its wild essence of being. Numerous operators are on the Wye. At Hay On Wye there's Want to Canoe whilst in the Lower Wye there's the Wye Valley Experience. As we say numerous operators are on the river but these are two we are familiar with.
Who hasn't stood beneath the stars and admired the universe in all its glory? We have countless times. In the Wye basin there are two renowned dark sky reserves in the Cambrian and Black Mountains. Of course Mid Wales in the Radnor Forest is very good to but these are acknowledged as being of international significance. So, immerse yourself in the Wye dark skies and experience light in its myriad forms. For information see Dark Sky Wales or the National Churches trust for a Capel Y Ffin experience.
When we were young we were in and out of bushes, in the woods, through orchard and overland and always munching on something whether it was hazelnut, dandelion, blackberry, elderberry, apples and so much more. The bounty was there and we enjoyed every morsel. Why not tap into that once again, learn new plants and thrive as you walk the trails. Local guides from the Wye Valley will show you the ropes.
The Wye is a birders paradise. If you've never thought of bird watching on the Wye before then why not fly with the idea. Spot Peregrine, Goshawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Hobby, Red Kites, Raven, woodpeckers, Dippers, Mandarin, Sand Martin, Kingfisher, Skylark, Lapwing, Curlew, Wood Warbler, Grey Wagtail, Reed Warbler and more. You could contact any group such as the Cambrian Ornithological Society or Hereford Ornithological Group and so on. It's good to have expert guides.
The art of bush craft is hugely popular helped by leading purveyors of survival such as our friend Lofty Wiseman and Ray Mears. The Wye Valley with its vast woodlands and mountains is ideal for taking up the art and learning the skills. There are a number of operators but these two in the Lower Wye and one in the upper Wye come highly recommended. Click Wyeadventures for the lower Wye or in the Upper Wye nearer to the mountains go to the Wilderness Project.
Wild camping on trail or just over night is a liberation akin to having the chains cast aside. Relinquish the competition in the world and simply connect with your natural surroundings as the remote spot seeps into your awareness. Rekindle your primordial being and no that you are made up of much more than just the machine as you strengthen your wild side. Nearly everyone can learn to wild camp. All you need do is observe others, read some articles and become familiar with the gear, the places and the protocol. In fact hook up with others or even us if ready to try it.
Nature photography is a great way to engage with the natural environment whether its micro photography or some other. We are never short of subjects to get fully immersed in. And that's the point about photographing nature we enter a dialogue as we seek to capture the subject. The dialogue is far reaching and always satisfying. Here are some creative photography experts who operate in the Wye Valley and the borders. If you've thought of it then they might be right up your lens.
Wild swimming is taking off right now across the UK throughout all age groups. There's nothing better for getting up close to nature and destressing from the day. The Wye is one of the best places to wild swim and is renowned for its swim spots. Swim with mountains looming large, find the pools, enjoy the rapids or simply swim for miles. In fact join in with an event such as Wild Wye swim. Whatever you decide the flowing waters vibe you up a goodun. If up for it contact us - we'll happily swim with you.
Nearly everyone uses a car to get around town, the country or to their favorite walking or camping destinations. However, why not try the bus? Throughout the Wye catchment there are great bus services that will take you to the best spots. All you have to do is let the drive do it. It is in fact good fun just sat watching it all go by and waiting for your return journey. Listen to the locals from Rhayader or Monmouth and reduce car numbers in the roads while you're at it. Bus services page coming soon.
Night time exploration (see video) is a real adventure. Everything has retreated bar a few nocturnal creatures - things lay still and the stars come out and so to does another side to yourself as you engage with your senses in what is an altered state of being. Follow the Wye at night and feel it meander peacefully under the moon light. There's nothing better for bringing everything alive or into sharp focus. Here's a great article or if you would like to walk at night get in touch with us we're always up for it. That's us in the video.
There are 12 Wye peaks over 600 meters in the Black Mountains alone. In fact 3 are 700 meters plus. Factor in the Radnor Forest, the Cambrian Mountains and some in Mid Wales (all within the Wye basin) and we have summits to make us smile for a good portion of the year. Catch a bus for some or hitch a ride for others. If you have your own transport then all's good for you. The point is there are some great summits out there. For a summits list click here.
Many of us see Buzzard, Red Kite, Owls and other such raptors but have you ever thought of getting up close and photographing them. That's exactly what you can do at Wye Valley Falconry. You can photograph birds on static perches, branches, fences or posts. You can also have a go at moving shots of birds flying towards you, chasing after a lure or catching objects high in the sky. Great fun and educational.
Find Your Way
This is a small list of things to explore and experience in the Wye Basin. There are many more adventures and activities from navigation courses through to climbing at Symonds Yat, van camping, scenic drives in the Cambrian Mountains, mountain biking, packrafting the Wye, observing Red Kites, hunting down waterfalls, paragliding in the Black Mountains, glider experiences, fossil hunting, crystal hunting in the Cambrians, stone circle and ancient site location, spring and well explorations, old farm ruins, churches and even veteran tree adventures let alone a spot of cafe culture or shopping as you hike the valleys and summits close to the valley. It's all out there to immerse yourself in. You simply can't be bored in the Wye region. So, not forgetting the environment and the precious Wye as we explore, get out there and pick your adventure. Have a good one!