The Wye's 4,000 Square Km catchment is home to numerous rivers, mountain ranges, moorland plateaus and lowland hills feeding the main channel with a plethora of life there. Here we take a snap shot of the Wye rivers whilst including the diaries from our multi day river hikes, which are long but 'Optional.' Explore the Wye's tributaries therefore through our eyes and be surprised by the area through which they flow.
River Lugg - River Frome - River Arrow - River Honddu - River Monnow - River Ennig
River Llynfi - River Edw - River Irfon - River Angidy - River Trothy - River Dore -
River Elan - River Bachaway - River Ithon - Rivers Tarennig & Bidno - River Marteg - River Wye
Location: Radnor Forest/Powys Wales (Map)
Parking: Farmstead GR SO184729
Public Transport: Llanbister Heart of Wales
Source GR: SO171749 - Length/Flow: 63 Miles
The Lugg is the Wye's largest tributary contributing 20% of its flow and starts from a small depression on Pool Hill in Radnorshire. From there it flows through a ravine providing a great day out. Glyndwrs Way a trail that celebrates Owain Glyndwr the 12th C Welsh independence campaigner skirts the source. The river passes through Presteigne, Leominster and Hereford discharging into the Wye at Mordiford adjacent to the Famed Woolhope Dome.
Parking: None Available
Public Transport: Bromyard DRM Buses
Source GR: SO610607 - Length Flow:26 Miles
The Frome is a narrow sub tributary of the Wye winding its way through North Herefordshire via the market town of Bromyard. It's source starts unceremoniously out of a pipe in a copse. Although not pretty it's contrasted by many orchards and hop fields in the surrounding rolling countryside, which is peppered with rights of way. A planned short walk along the river is recommended for the bucolic scene, which will take you through to Bishops Frome, Yarkhill and around the base of the famed Woolhope Dome. The annual Bromyard Folk and Nozstock Hidden Valley Festivals take place amid the rivers course each year.
Location: Gwuenceste Hill/Powys Wales (Map)
Parking: Forest Inn GR SO170585
Public Transport: Llanfihangle Nant Melan Sargeants Buses
Source GR: SO166554 - Length Flow:45 Miles
The Arrow is another sub tributary river that flows through Kington in Herefordshire whereupon it enters the Lugg downstream South of Leominster. The source is a deep cut ravine that can be hiked all the way to the top where views of the range and the Black Mountains to the South East can be enjoyed. This is for fit and capable walkers. Nearby is the Offa's Dyke path national trail, which passes through Newchurch where you can get some refreshments at St Mary's Church if hiking the path or river into Kington.
Explore More - They Keep Flowing
Parking: Hay Bluff GR SO239373
Public Transport: T14 Hay On Wye
Source GR: SO245362 - Length Flow: 24 Miles
The Honddu is a mountain stream feeding the Monnow then the Wye that starts high up in the Hay Bluff/Black Mountain interior. It's a wild part of the range rarely visited. Inside it's cathedral like providing the explorer with an impressive sense of the mountains interior, which is cut into by deep ravines. Further on it flows through the Vale of Ewyas one of the most beautiful valleys in England & Wales where the famed Llanthony Priory resides amid the slopes.
Parking: Bulls Head Craswall
Public Transport: See T14 Dorstone
Source GR: SO271383 - Length Flow: 42 Miles
The Monnow like many Wye rivers is a cross boarder river flowing through England and Wales then into the Wye at Monmouth. Starting up on the slopes of the Hay Bluff and Cefn Hill it's an incredible part of the catchment that inspires with its awesome views of the Bluff, The Eastern escarpment of the Black Mountains and the Monnow Valley itself. Numerous trails pepper the area from the twin valley trail through to the 3 Castles Walk & Offa's Dyke.
Parking: Small Layby GR SO161328
Public Transport: T14 Talgarth
Source GR: SO200318 - Length Flow: 5 Miles
A sub tributary mountain stream that starts high up in the bowls of the Cwm Y Nant the Ennig (Video) is an explore with great views and numerous water falls to be stoked by. Starting inside the Cwm Y Nant (valley) it flows into Talgarth and on into the Lynfi before reaching the Wye at Glasbury. Be surprised by the main falls of them all the twin falls of Pwll Y Wrach otherwise known as the Witches Pool in the beautiful ravine reserve.
Roam On - They Flow Beautifully
Public Transport: X43 Abergavenny Brecon
Source GR: SO144228 - Length Flow: 13 Miles
The Lynfi rises beside the 12th C Blaenllynfi Castle in a marsh. Although it hasn't a lot left to exhibit the castle is worth a quick look and you can sit there. Nearby the source is Mynydd Llangorse at 508 meters, Allt Yr Esgair and the largest natural lake in South Wales Llangorse lake, which the river flows through making it a Wye tributary a fact not many people know. The whole area with nearby Talgarth is stimulating to the senses with eating and drinking nearby.
Parking: Llandegley Church GR SO141619
Public Transport: 461 Hereford/Llandrindod
Source GR: SO132615 - Length Flow: 15.5 Miles
The Edw is a great little river. Starting on the Eastern slopes of Llandegley Rocks, which is part of the ancient Builth Inlear, it flows through some of Mid Wales's most enchanting valleys. With ancient history evident throughout and pretty hamlets it's also home to weathered old hill farms passed down by generations. Friendly expect a confab with the locals before reaching Aberdw Rocks where this famed trout river discharges into the Wye.
Parking: Claerwen Res GR SN870633
Public Transport: X47 Llandrindod/Rhayader
Source GR: SN837609 - Length Flow: 28 Miles
The Irfon has a wild and remote start up on Bryn Garw. Peat bog is the order of the day up here but if you like your mountains free of people then follow the river from source (see map above) but expect a sweat on. Further down is the amazing Abergwesyn valley, which leads to woodland trails in the Irfon valley. This is a river valley after our own hearts.
Drift Along - With The Ebb & Flow
Parking: Angidy Tintern GR SO526001
Public Transport: 69 Monmouth/Chepstow
Source GR: SO489028 - Length Flow: 6.5 Miles
You can follow the Angidy and the Angidy trail from it's confluence at Tintern all the way up through the wooded valley. There's industrial history to consider, enchanting places to chow down in and even pools where fisherman kick back to a leisurely old time just off the main Wye Valley (Google Map). It's peaceful and worth an amble and a ramble up into the woods.
Location: Campston/Monmouthshire (Map)
Parking: Hunters Moon
Public Transport: X3 Pandy
Source GR: SO369220 - Length Flow: 28 Miles
Source Elevation: 180 M 590 Ft
The Trothy starts in a gully on Campston Hill with the Skirrid Fawr and the Sugar Loaf looming overhead. With numerous trails to traverse you're afforded some unique views of these iconic peaks while nearby the 12th C Hunters Moon Inn serves as a good place to stop by. Further on above the Trothy valley White Castle beckons an explore. One of the best preserved of the Marches castles this area and river will keep you lingering.
Parking: Arthurs Stone GR SO319431
Public Transport: T14 Dorstone
Source GR: SO307440 - Length Flow: 12 MIles
Merbach Hill, the source of the Dore, is worth a walk up. The views of the Wye valley to the North East are spectacular as are those towards the Black Mountains. The Dore, a river known for its Brown Trout and Grayling, starts in a garden. It then flows through the beautiful Golden Valley before entering the Monnow at Pontrilas but not before passing by the incredible 11th c Dore Abbey. There's a pleasant walk along the river starting at the Abbey.
Meander More - Keep Flowing
Parking: Mt Car Park GR SN853758
Public Transport: X47 Llandrindod/Rhayader
Source GR: SN812733 - Length Flow: 23 Miles
Another mountain river the Elan gives the super far out Elan Valley its name. Starting up on Banc Yr Wyn this is a bog fest but a good one. If you like it desolate with nobody to bother you then follow the Elan from source. It will take you through the valley, passed all the reservoirs, through wooded vales and beyond to the Wye. It's a great trail. We call it the 'Wild Elan Way.'
Public Transport: T14 Hay On Wye
Source GR: SO153488 - Flow 14 Miles
The Bachaway? How do you think you pronounce this little beauty? It's pronounced the Ba - howee. Starting up on Llanbedr hill famed for the hermit of Llanbedr the Bachaway flows through a pleasant valley with a bloody medieval history at Painscastle. Home to drovers to it's a tributary that forces reflection upon you as well as sooths.
Parking: Cider House GR SO109849
Public Transport: T4 Llandrindod/Newtown
Source GR: SO102848 - Length Flow: 53 Miles
The Ithon starts in wild rugged farming country where sheep die and melt into the embryonic waters. Home to Trout and Grayling the Ithon flows through incredible Mid Wales past great hills such as Beddugre Hill where the valley of Abbey Cwm Hir can be seen and the Lugg source to the East. Peny Bont is on route where the old Thomas shop can be explored. Definitely a must! Across the way is Llandegley Rocks birth place of the EDW whilst in its midst is an old castle and an enchanting bridge. This ones worth walking the length of. Well, they all are.
Flow To The End - Just A Few More
Rivers Tarennig &
Location: Pen Pumlumon Fawr/Esgair Y Maesnant
County: Ceredigion Wales
Parking: Pont Rhydgaled GR SN840826
Public Transport: X47 Llandrindod/Aber
Length Flow: Tarennig 5 Miles Bidno 6 Miles
A short mountain Wye stream the Tarennig packs a punch in terms of its setting. Quit simply it's the water course that keeps you company as you walk up to the barren summit of Plynlimon from Eisteddfa Gurig. Some rain chasers paddle it for its steep fast flowing waters in full spate. We can testify it does flow fast and full when wet. With many streams coming off the mountain this is a water world to savor as is the Bidno, which has forest for company.
Parking: Church Bwlch Y Sarnau GR SO029746
Public Transport: T4 Llandrindod/Llanbadarn F
Source GR: SO035793 - Length Flow: 12 Miles - Source Elevation: 460 M 1,509 Ft
We met Rhydian the farmer up at source, which lent the river Marteg a friendly air. A humble stream it flows through a wide valley. At the base of the boggy source with great views of Mid Wales is Bwlch Y Sarnau a hamlet where you can refresh everything at the Glyndwr’s Way Cafe. The best stretch of the river however must be the incredible Gilfach Valley and Nature Reserve. Cathedral like with slopes either side this is where the Salmon spawn. Well worth a walk along its banks here.
Parking: Pont Rhydgaled GR SN840826
Public Transport: X47 Llandrindod/Aberystwyth
Source GR: SN801871 - Length Flow: 136 Miles
The River Wye has been voted Britain's favorite river and its easy to see why when considering its start inside the mighty Plynlimon massif on the Eastern slopes of Plynlimon. We walked its 136 miles in 2020 and was stoked every step of the way as it meandered through Mid Wales with its undulating hills and market towns, into England and then back into Wales to finish its journey at the River Severn in Chepstow. Hiking it is well worth it as is the preservation of it.