Details of access points, events and facilities on the River Wye.
The River Wye is 251km long. It drains a catchment containing a rich and varied landscape spanning the Welsh and English borders. It rises in the uplands of mid Wales, flowing past the towns of Rhayader, Builth Wells, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth, entering the Severn Estuary at Chepstow.
The Environment Agency is the navigation authority for the River Wye, from Hay to Bigsweir Bridge. Navigation on the tidal Wye, below Bigsweir, is the responsibility of Gloucester Harbour Trustees.
The Wye Navigation Advisory Committee meets in spring and autumn, helping to maintain sustainable recreation and navigation on the River Wye.
For details of the committee and a copy of approved minutes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
River access for boaters
Boaters have confirmed legal access on the River Wye between Hay-on-Wye and Chepstow (where the River Wye enters the Severn Estuary). Upstream of Hay-on-Wye there are a number of negotiated access points.
Access upstream of Hay Bridge
- there is no confirmed legal right of navigation upstream of Hay Bridge
- access to navigate the upper Wye is disputed
- there are two arrangements to help facilitate shared access and river use between anglers and paddlers; please refer to the Wye & Usk Foundation website and the Canoe Wye website for further details
- much of the upper Wye isn’t recommended for beginners, or boaters who don’t have considerable experience of white water; please read the available guides before paddling
- it is recommended that you check and if necessary obtain permission from the owner(s) of the riverbed along your route before you access the river
Access downstream of Hay Bridge
- the public right of navigation doesn’t give an absolute right of access to the river bank downstream of Hay Bridge, except in an emergency, or to prevent one
- other than at accepted public sites or where there is public access to the river bank, you should get permission from the owner of the riverbank/surrounding land before you launch or land your boat
- any use of the banks must be not only incidental to your navigation, but also reasonable and considerate to the needs of landowners and other users
- permission is needed to camp or picnic on the banks or neighbouring fields
River Wye event calendar 2018
There may be river restrictions around each event.
If you are participating in an event make sure you’re aware of the Wye Code of Conduct; a guide to using the river without reducing the enjoyment of others or damaging the environment:
|Sunday 16 September||A Trust Riverfest Qualifier – all waters||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Sunday 23 September||Monmouth Autumn Head at Monmouth Rowing Club||Monmouth Rowing Club|
|Sunday 23 September||Wild Wye Swim – Lydbrook to Symonds Yat||Severn Area Rescue Association|
|Sunday 30 September||J Burrows Charity Match – all club waters||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Sunday 7 October||Winter League - Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Friday 12 October||Under 25’s 2 Day Festival||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Saturday 13 October||Under 25’s 2 Day Festival||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Saturday 13 October||Slalom at Symonds Yat rapids||Cheltenham Canoe Club|
|Sunday 14 October||Slalom at Symonds Yat rapids||Cheltenham Canoe Club|
|Sunday 28 October||56th Wye Championship on River Wye at all club waters||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Sunday 4 November||Winter League - Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Monday 5 November||Bonfire and Fireworks night at Monmouth Rowing Club||Rotary Club of Monmouth|
|Wednesday 7 November||Hereford 3 Day Festival - Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Thursday 8 November||Hereford 3 Day Festival - Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Friday 9 November||Hereford 3 Day Festival - Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Saturday 17 November||Angling Trust Riverfest Final – Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Sunday 18 November||Angling Trust Riverfest Final – Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Saturday 24 November||Angling Trust Riverfest Final – Belmont (reserve date)||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Sunday 25 November||Angling Trust Riverfest Final – Belmont (reserve date)||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Sunday 9 December||Monmouth Winter Head at Monmouth Rowing Club||Monmouth Rowing Club|
|Sunday 2 December||Winter League at Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
|Sunday 16 December||Winter League at Belmont||Hereford and District Angling Association|
If you are planning an event or know of an event which isn’t on the Environment Agency calendar, please email email@example.com.
If you would like more information about an event please contact the event organiser:
To help you plan and enjoy your canoe trip on the River Wye the Environment Agency produced a detailed guide to the River Wye, Canoeists’ guide to the River Wye or you can buy a hard copy online or in bookshops near the River Wye. Updates for the 2009 and 2011 editions of the canoeists guide are available online Updates to Canoeists’ guide to the River Wye, July 2012
The guide contains practical information to help plan your journey, featuring:
- a series of 12 maps, based on Ordnance Survey data
- navigation and recreational advice
- health and safety guidelines
- where you can launch and land
- river grades for the Wye
- tourist information on local parking, refreshments, camping, useful addresses and telephone numbers
- Code of Conduct for the River Wye
The Environment Agency are indebted to Ron and Ruth Shoesmith who wrote previous editions of this guide and to the late Allen Greenhill who was the co-author of the first edition in 1968 and the inspiration behind its publication. The Environment Agency would also like to thank the local access officers of the British Canoe Union and the Welsh Canoeing Association, who provided advice on the contents of this guide.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this guide is accurate. No liability can be accepted for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions. In particular, readers should note that details such as land ownership, camp sites and landing places can change