River Wye  
General Information
Paddle Points

Tree hazard

River wide tree hazard on the lead into Letterbox rapid on the Upper Wye.

Town Falls, Rhayader

Town Falls at Rhayader. Grade 3/+ at low levels going up to Grade 4 at higher levels.

Builth Wells river access

Simple launch point adjacent to carpark, with good clean public toilets, ideal start for run to Llyswen / Boughrood or Glasbury or finish to run from Newbridge-on-Wye.

Ownership: Powys County Council

Access: there are no restrictions imposed on access by Powys County Council. However, this section of river is the subject of an access arrangement managed by the Wye & Usk Foundation. This means that, if you paddle within the terms of the arrangement, you can expect to be welcomed – but if you paddle outside its terms you may be challenged from the banks. The arrangement provides for hassle-free paddling on this stretch 18 Oct-15 Mar & summer spate only - see https://wyeuskfoundation.org/navigation/wye.php for details.

Directions: follow the one-way system in town to reach the Groe Pay & Display car park (look for the statue of a bull!), LD2 3BL.

Moderated and updated by CanoeWalesWaterways, 18 Oct 2018

Bachawy Brook

A good access / egress point to shorten the stretch from Builth Wells to Llyswen / Boughrood, about 1km upstream of Hell Hole.

Ownership: private farmland

Access: There is an agreed (and signed) access point just off a public footpath, river left (east bank), at Bachawy Brook. Park in a layby on the back road between Llanstephan and Erwood bridges and carry over a stile, under the bridge / across the stream, through a gate and turn right along a signed path to the river. Please do NOT use the adjacent fields for warmup activity (the farmer has complained in the past). Conditions for access have been agreed between the farmer and the Wye & Usk Foundation: 18 Oct-15 Mar & summer spate only - see https://wyeuskfoundation.org/navigation/usk.php for details.

Directions: the back road between Llanstephan and Erwood bridges is an old railway track, which passes over Bachawy Brook on a narrow iron bridge. Look out for the sidewalls of the bridge as you drive and stop in one of the laybys (each side of the road) immediately north of it. The access is via a public footpath (signposted at the road) over the fence on the east side. I'm not even going to attempt a postcode!

Moderated and updated by CanoeWalesWaterways, 18 Oct 2018

Hell Hole

The famous Hell Hole. In low-medium water serves as a good G2+ to borderline G3. In high water conditions spate and flood the Hell Hole lives up to its name, forming an almost river wide grade 4 stopper.


An unexpected sting in the tail on this run, a grade 2+ perhaps.

At a sharpish bend, there is an island. The main flow keeps right, but there is a ledge drop at the bottom of the first ramp which can catch out the unwary as it isn't obvious from above.

Llyswen (Boughrood) river access

Official access point, strictly in Llyswen but more commonly known as Boughrood (which is the other side of the river!). The primary school was rebuilt in 2018 and now has a security barrier, so ad-hoc parking by canoeists is no longer possible at the school. The Chair of the School’s Governors has politely asked that canoeists park in Boughrood village after dropping-off boats – PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL!!!

Ownership: unknown

Access: There is an agreed access point river right (west bank), just upstream of the bridge, accessible down steps from a narrow lane by the bridge. Please ONLY drop-off boats here then go and park elsewhere (to avoid blocking school access or the lane). Conditions for access have been agreed between the owners and the Wye & Usk Foundation: 18 Oct-15 Mar & summer spate only - see https://wyeuskfoundation.org/navigation/usk.php for details.
Directions: from the A470, take the turn towards Boughrood at the north end of Llyswen village. DROP-OFF ONLY by Archdeacon Griffiths Primary School, LD3 0YB, then find parking nearby.

Facilities: Roadside parking in Boughrood village (across the bridge) – please be considerate to local residents. The Bridge End Inn in Llyswen (on the A470 just by the turning) may allow parking if you ask beforehand and buy a pint after paddling (please don’t use the pub car park without checking). Organised groups may be able to arrange in advance to use the school car park – phone 01874 754334 during school hours.

Moderated and updated by CanoeWalesWaterways, 15 Nov 2018

Glas-y-Bont, Glasbury

Official launch point from Glasbury. Free parking in the carpark. Landowner permits launching between 10am and 4pm. Excellent cafe/restaurant just across the bridge. This section of river is very popular for showing beginners the ropes of canoeing and kayaking and is a really nice place to be on a hot summer’s day.

Downstream of Glasbury, the River Wye is a popular touring river all the way to its tidal reaches. The Environment Agency publishes a helpful canoeists’ guide with details of the river, amenities and access arrangements. This is due to be reviewed when stocks of the (2011) hard-copy booklet run out.

Ownership: Powys County Council

Access: From Glasbury to Hay-on-Wye there is no confirmed Public Right of Navigation but launching of canoes is permitted by Powys County Council at Glas-y-Bont common between 10am and 4pm and canoeists should plan their journey so that they are off this stretch of the river no later than 5pm. The Council’s permission is given on the condition that those launching canoes abide by conditions signed by the river (which also shows the only ‘approved’ landing sites on-route), while commercial providers must sign up to a formal Code of Conduct (see the website link below for details of the Powys CC arrangements). For more information about how to do this or to seek permission for other activities, please contact Powys County Council’s Countryside Services team, during office hours using the details below.

Many birds – including Little Ringed Plover – nest on shingle banks along this stretch of the river and can be very sensitive to disturbance during the breeding season. One particularly important site at the oxbow lake is marked on a map on the sign. Birds may be nesting at any time between the middle of March and mid-August, so it is important not to go onto the large shingle areas at these times.

Directions: Look for the black-and-white building (Scout hut) on the north bank, next to the bridge, HR3 5NW.

Facilities: Limited free parking, toilets

Telephone: 01597 827500

Email: cefngwlad@powys.gov.uk

Website: Canoeist's Guide https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/301603/gemi1011bujd-e-e.pdf
Powys CC arrangements: https://www.canoewales.com/touring-rivers-1

Moderated and updated by CanoeWalesWaterways, 30 Oct 2018

ACCESS CLOSED at Hollybush Inn

THIS ACCESS POINT IS CURRENTLY CLOSED 'for refurbishment' following acquisition of the Hollybush Inn by Hillandale Caravan Parks.

Ownership: Hillandale Caravan Parks

Directions: on B4350 between Glasbury and Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5PS

Telephone: 01299 822024

Moderated and updated by CanoeWalesWaterways, 30 Oct 2018

Hollybush Inn Camping


A character full campsite in the trees between the pub and the river. Odd, but a nice place to stay. Can get busy. Campfires allowed.

Dangerous concrete/iron bar structures

From British Canoeing:

??All Canoe Operators and paddlers??

Please be very aware if paddling Glasbury to Hay - the recent floods have exposed fresh very large concrete rubble with steel reinforcing rods sticking out - these are akin to tank-traps for canoes and kayaks. They are potentially very dangerous with the water at its current height and are in the middle of the river, by the sandmartin cliffs at Llanthomas. Keep clear! Please forward to any other canoe users in the area.

Location approximate, could be further upstream.

natural weir

Stay right, especially in low water as nothing more embarrassing than getting out and pushing your kayak ????

Taxi kayak pick up Hay Bus Hay Taxi

16 seater mini bus and ability to transport 8 canoes/kayaks

Lovely, friendly service. Happy for you to book ahead and then if weather awful cancel on the day


Whitney bridge campsite

The Boat Inn, Whitney on Wye

The Pound

Campsite and B&B next to the Boat Inn at Whitney.

The Boat Inn, Whitney on Wye

Purpose built steps/ramp have replaced the old steep "ladder" here. This put in is for customers of the pub/campsite/B&B only, though if contacted you may be able to pay a fee.

Car park near Bredwardine launch

Car park for max 10 cars at T junction approx 100m from bridge, launch is across bridge which is single track, so park, unload and carry kit across bridge to launch point.

Bredwardine bridge launch

Launch point is gravel bank river right approx 50M downstream of bridge, access is over stile on waymarked footpath off road.

Parking for Max 10 cars is other side of bridge at T junction.

A rope may well be useful for lowering or recovering boats from shingle

Byecross Farm

The nicest campsite in England! Well, possibly. Lovely camping in an orchard with fires positively encouraged.

Launch here if camping.

Day Two Gold

SO 374 425

Byecross Farm Campsite

The nicest campsite in England! Well, possibly. Lovely camping in an orchard with fires positively encouraged. Launch here if camping.

Monnington Falls

More of a slope than a fall. A fast channel drops down close to the left bank, G1 or easy 2 depending on conditions. Possibility of fallen trees in fast flowing section below - take care in high water.

Hereford Rowing Club

Launch Fee applies, as do parking charges. You can camp here too - facilities in the club are good, though it does feel like camping on a playing field in a town centre...because it is!

Friendly and helpful, but the charges rack up quickly!


Hereford Rowing Club

£10:00 push in letter box

Code for door 7780

mordiford bridge launch

A useful get out particularly if running the Lugg or a run from Hereford

very little parking here

Wonder Wye 3

Camp Site

New Harp Inn, Hoarwithy

A great pub where many a paddler has been made welcome. Right next to the campsite at Hoarwithy, a couple of hundred yards from the river.


Hoarwithy to Ross on Wye

Amazing flat water route with easy riffles included at Hole in the Wall. A lot of fishermen on the river bank tho, so be careful with inflatable kayaks.

Tresseck Campsite

Basic but handy camping in a pleasant spot right by the river. Pub nearby.

Camp Site

Tresseck farm £18:00 for D of E

£6:50 adults

Wonder Wye 3

If unsure portage right of river here and past "Hole in the Wall" along track then re launch.

Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall riffles. This section of the river is notorious for an over zealous gentleman who likes to illegally pretend that he is an Environment Agency Officer. Be prepared to be shouted at and otherwise abused by this rather sad example of humanity.

Tree hazard

Canoe England have reported this hazard as being near the church at Foy. Exact position unknown, so caution required after Hole in the Wall.

Current and levels are taking people into the obstruction, causing some capsizes.


Kenny's Taxis - Wye Valley Canoe Transport

Wonder Wye 4 you

Wonder Wye 4 you

Ross on Wye steps

Launch spot for Ross on Wye.

Wilton Bridge launch point

Beach area under the eastmost arch of the bridge. Layby on the left side of the road (when traveling from Ross) and steep steps down to the river side

Tipi Adventure

Glamping site right on the river. Each tipi sleeps 6 so reasonable price if travelling as a group and the owners were really helpful. Very comfortable. Easy access to/from the river on shingle beach and we left our kayaks on the top of the bank.

Kerne Bridge to Monmouth 23km

You can launch the boat on private land tho, after kissing gate, nice decent muddy beach after 100m.

Kerne Bridge

Car park can be busy. This is a popular launching point for a nice paddle down to Symonds Yat

Welsh Bicknor Youth Hostel

Hostel and camping with purpose built launch platform

Symonds Yat viewpoint

A nice spot to visit after paddling and to look down on the river.

Peregrines nest in the cliffs here, & the RSPB have telescopes and an info point set up here in the summer.

Symonds Yat West

Symonds Yat East

On the campsite, so fees will apply. Free if camping.

Hard launch and also a kayak shute

Symonds Yat East

Parking and camping available. There is a charge for both.

Wyedean Canoe Club

Main meeting place of the Wyedean Canoe Club.

Symonds Yat

A grade 2 rapid that is owned by the British Canoe Union, and has been "improved" with the addition of rock walls to create eddies.

Straightforward if you get the right line (watch for the rock just to the side of the V as you go over the lip). Many hire boats swim here :)

Monmouth Rowing Club

Easy steps with free gravel car park. Accessed from Old Dixton Road, then under bypass to Rowing Club. Park round to right.

A very useful taxi service, Kenny's Taxis, will take you & your canoes or kayaks to any point on the Wye to save shuttling, for a reasonable price. http://www.kennystaxis.com