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image for Historic Site item typePicturesque Wye Tour at Chepstow Museum

  • Visit Wales VAQAS

Historic Site


View over the Wye Valley

View over the Wye Valley

Visit Monmouthshire. Later.

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Chepstow Museum,
Bridge Street,
NP16 5EZ


Ms A Rainsbury


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'.

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.




See location of Chepstow Museum on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: ST 535941  Lat: 51.64462 Long: -2.67250

Town centre

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Chepstow station


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