As we launch our Green Traveller's Guide to the Wye Valley, Jackie King picks out a selection of outdoor adventure activities in this glorious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Welsh section of the Wye Valley AONB is a relatively small area yet this little corner of Wales packs a big punch when it comes to keeping all age groups entertained. Centre to much of the activity is the River Wye of course, meandering in the AONB from Monmouth to Chepstow. It can seem there are two sides to the river's personality: on the one hand it offers serenity and hours can be spent in virtual silence on its banks watching wildlife, bird spotting, fishing, picnicking and snoozing; on the other, when you're in the mood for action and fun, it rises to the challenge and resounds to the sound of people splashing about in canoes, taking on its white water or taking their chances on questionably buoyant rafts.
Inspire2Adventure will take groups from four to twenty on guided open canoe trips from Monmouth to Redbrook. The trips take half a day and you’ll receive expert tuition, instruction and safety advice. Canoes usually hold two and children from age 10 upwards can join in. All guides are appropriately qualified and are practicing professionals with experience of training and delivery of adventure activities and team building. inspire2adventure.com
"The great thing about the Tidal Wye trip from Tintern to Chepstow is that the high tide does some of the work for you as you glide downstream. The Tidal Wye outing takes half to a full day; to cover even more of the beautiful Valley, try the Monmouth to Chepstow option. Monmouth Canoe also offers white water kayaking, raft building and team building days. monmouthcanoe.co.uk/river-wye-canoeing
Chepstow Walkers are Welcome
Chepstow Walkers are Welcome has an Annual Festival 6-10 April 2016. The walks happen all year, though, and include walks on local history, wildlife, heritage and landscape. Join in to hear stories of poachers, find out where Self Raising Flour was first created and visit an Alpaca breeder. Or you could embark on a 2-day romp around ancient woodlands honing your bushcraft skills and experiencing wild camping. walksinchepstow.co.uk
Offa's Dyke Path
An internationally renowned walking trail that ambles through 177 miles of English/Welsh border country. It begins in Prestatyn and ends just beyond Chepstow at Sedbury Cliffs next to the Severn. The path is named after the dyke that King Offa commissioned in the 8th century and it touches eight counties and in its southern reaches passes through the Wye Valley AONB; in this stretch catch sight of Tintern Abbey from Devil's Pulpit, Redbrook, Kymin Hill and the 13th-century Monmow Bridge in Monmouth. nationaltrail.co.uk/offas-dyke-path
Humble by Nature
The Monmouthshire area has a real added sparkle thanks to Kate Humble’s inspiring enterprise that offers courses in rural skills, a smallholding school plus food and cookery pop up events, too. Come to learn about hedge laying, animal husbandry, beekeeping, pig care, cider making or how to make green wood furniture, plus lots more. Check for seasonal opening of the café, shop and adventure playground. Accommodation available all year. humblebynature.com
David Broadbent Photography
Fancy a 'jargon-free' photo training adventure? David will create a one to one session tailored to your experience and needs and take you on a photo safari in the Wye Valley. He gives expert tuition on taking better pictures and how to get the most out of your camera and collaborates with Way2Go Adventures to offer photography combined with a canoe trip. David also delivers courses at the Wye Valley Arts Centre in Llandogo and at Humble by Nature in Monmouth. davidbroadbent.com
‘Get up, get out, get active’ is way2goadventures’ motto and with them you can try your hand at canoeing, nordic walking, geocaching, bushcraft and much more in and around the Wye Valley. Their expeditions in the Valley include camping trips where a day’s fun on the water is rounded off with a camp fire, stargazing and a night under canvas before a big cooked breakfast the next day. All age groups and levels of fitness are catered for and all activities are with qualified and experienced instructors. way2goadventures.co.uk