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GUIDE TO THE RIVER WYE

(Monmouth to Redbrook)

NAME OF RIVER: Wye.

WHERE IS IT?: Gloucestershire/ Monmouthshire, It pretty much runs down the England/ Wales border.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put-in is in the town of Monmouth, perhaps the best option is the steps just downstream of the Rowing Club on river right. The route into this by car is a bit tricky as Monmouth has a one way system which you need to get around first, I don't know it well enough to describe.

Take out is at Redbrook, which is south of Monmouth on the A466. There is a gravel car park next to the road. The get out is on the right close to the footbridge which crosses the river, it is necessary to carry boats over the footbridge to reach the car park.

APPROX LENGTH: 4 miles.

TIME NEEDED: 1 to 1.5 hours.

ACCESS HASSLES: One of the few rivers in our country with a long and undisputed Right of Navigation, from Hay on Wye at least. This has not stopped efforts to alter the management and character of the river in recent years.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Paddleable at all levels including mid summer when it's probably at it's best.

GRADING: Grade 1. Mostly flat.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: None.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: After the get in you pass under the A466 road bridge, a little way beneath the bridge the river Monnow enters from the right. The river here is relatively wide and shallow, and often covered in weeds making progress difficult.

Most of the trip is completely flat interspersed with faster moving weedy sections or short grade 1 rapids. The valley is much more open at the start than the two sections above this with grassy fields bordering the river.

The second half of the river is followed by the A466 to left. Not quite so picturesque as some of the other parts of the Wye but still well worth doing. Makes a nice gentle open Canadian paddle. There is also a very nice pub at the get out.

OTHER NOTES: I haven't done this trip for a few years but I remember combining it with a trip to Brockweir one day, which was absolutely miles. The details of the get out and such like are a bit hazy so I've not written a guide for that part of the river. Brockweir is the point at which the river becomes tidal, and the weir can vary in size depending on tide conditions. I only remember it as being a simple rocky little fall. About a mile further down is Tintern, this would probably make a nice place to egress but only at high tide, unless you like wading knee deep in mud!

Jim Thornton (April 2004)...'I've been canoeing it below Glasbury for 30 years and a couple of years ago did a river itinerary on an environmentalist website I run.'

CONTRIBUTED BY: Martin Harrall, also Jim Thornton.