Welsh Dragon
Cymraeg

The Picturesque Wye Tour

Just Wordsworth, Turner and You…


The beauties of the Wye Valley were discovered for the first time at the close of the eighteenth century when it became fashionable to take a boat tour down the Wye Valley, to view its romantic sites and picturesque landscape.

‘Tourists’ dined at defined locations, took walks to particular viewpoints and visited specific romantic ruins, making the Wye Tour one of the first ‘package holidays’.

Year of Legends

Events

Birthplace of British Tourism


In 1745 a rector from Ross-on-Wye, Dr John Egerton, was the first to build a boat to take his guests on excursions down the Wye. By the late eighteenth century there were at least eight boats operating on a commercial basis, in response to growing demand from tourists. Much of the demand was a direct result of the book, the first tour guide to be published in Britain in 1782, entitled ‘Observations on the River Wye and Several Parts of South Wales’ by William Gilpin.

If you have never navigated the Wye, you have seen nothing (William Gilpin 1782).

Today the Wye Valley is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) recognised as one of the nation’s most treasured landscapes.

It is thought that the views from Whitestone and Cleddon inspired Wordsworth to write ‘Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey’:

Five years have passed; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur. Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion, and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.

Sites of Inspiration

Rooms with a view

The Wye Valley Hotel

The Wye Valley Hotel

The Wye Valley Hotel is situated in an area of breathtaking natural beauty at Tintern in the heart of the Wye Valley. The Wye River runs through the village less than 100 yards from the hotel.

Best Western Royal George Hotel

Best Western Royal George Hotel

Ideal for the business traveller for Bristol, Gloucester, Newport and Cardiff. Golf nearby. Ideal for visiting the Forest of Dean and Chepstow Castle.

Single bedrooms are spacious

Foxes Reach

Five star comfort. Hot tub. Sleeps 6 ,4 bedrooms. Flagged floors. Woodburner. Wonderful Touring & Walking Base,. Excellent cycling, walking, fishing & riding. Rural not isolated. Cosy for winter breaks. Close to Tintern Abbey. Pet friendly

Tintern Abbey Cottage painting

Tintern Abbey Cottage

Directly opposite Tintern Abbey sleeps 6 in 6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, facilities including whirlpool bath, range cooker, 37" TV , WiFi , IPod docks. Strolling distance of pubs and eateries , Wye Valley Walk from the doorstep. Pet friendly.

vanilla exterior

Vanilla Cottage

A delicious gem of a stone built 19th century cottage sleeping 3 near Usk. It has been completely refurbished to a luxury standard and features a 5ft bed and whirlpool bath, large TV and woodburner. Pet friendly

Wye Tour & Picturesque Walks

Picturesque Wye Tour Brochure

Picturesque Piercefield

Angidy Trail

Puddingstones & Pubs

Head to the Hillforts

Mills, Hills & Manors

Picturesque Wye Tour

Ross on Wye
Goodrich Castle
Yat Rock
Monmouth
The Kymin
Whitestone
Tintern Abbey
Devils Pulpit
Piercefield
Piercefield
Eagles Nest
Chepstow Castle
Chepstow Castle
Eagles Nest

Wye Tour Stops

Activities on the Wye

Art Galleries


There were two types of landscape painters in the eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain; topographical artists (photographers today) and picturesque artists who produced romantic and sublime paintings.