Hector's Holiday: A Three Day Adventure in Symonds Yat

It’s hard work being a hound. All the sniffing, the snoozing, the waiting for treats… a holiday is just what I need. 

My humans too. Poor things, staring at those screens all day. You know they never take the time to just lie in their basket and look longingly towards the door. A short break in Herefordshire will do us all good. Fresh air, forests, fireside naps, off-lead walks, all those new smells.

They read my mind! While we’ve lived in Herefordshire for a while now, there’s still so much to explore locally. So we’re off to Symonds Yat in the Wye Valley. Straddling the river Wye and close to the Forest of Dean, this little village has so much to see and do. I heard Human One (she’s the one who’s really good at ear scratches and tells me I’m handsome. I am handsome) talking to Human Two (she’s the one who always asks me if I want a cuddle. Of course I want a cuddle) about climbing and kayaking, river cruises, fishing and wildlife trails. Pubs, I asked, with a slight head tilt? Yes, they said. Dog-friendly pubs overlooking the water. Paws crossed, they’ve got one of those biscuit jars on the bar.

Rapids Cottage

We’re here and our new house is amazing. After a quick perimeter check - nose to the floor, explore every corner - I told the Humans to unpack and light the fire. The Rapids Cottage is a hidden gem, lying deep within the woodlands of Symonds Yat West. Human Two was very excited about the luxury free-standing bath and something about a hot tub? Not exactly what I’d call a treat but, bless her, she doesn’t know how good it feels to get mud all over your belly because she’s never tried it. It’s all about the balcony for me. I could lie out here in the sun, lazily listening to the world around me, for hours. So I did. It was bliss. When evening arrived I found an equally comfy spot on the bed.


herefordshire hound

The Rapids Cottage

King’s Arthur’s Cave

Next stop, King Arthur’s Cave. I don’t know who Arthur is because he wasn’t home when we got there but his cave is fascinating. It sits at the foot of a low cliff in a place called The Doward. Woolly mammoth bones and prehistoric tools were once uncovered inside. I wonder how the hounds back then lived their lives. Did they even have biscuits back then? There are five walking trails around King Arthur’s Cave, including a route that takes you to the top of the Seven Sisters Rocks. I saw Humans on bikes and with picnics, and there’s a cafe.

Speaking of food, I’m peckish. We’ve just found a little beach. A good place to stop for a fresh bowl of water, a few treats and a paddle in the river. Human One poured fresh coffee from their flask and we sat side-by-side. It was perfect. 

herefordshire hound

Symonds Yat East and Symonds Yat West

Human Two tells me that the Wye is the fourth-longest river in the UK and it actually splits the village in two - Symonds Yat East and Symonds Yat West, with a plethora of pubs and things to see and do on both sides. In the summer you can be carried on board a hand-pulled ferry boat that will take you from one side of the river to the other. I’ve never been on a boat before, but I reckon I’d be good at it.

Something about a lockdown and current government guidelines meant the pubs weren’t open when we took our trip to Herefordshire, but we all agreed that we’ll be back for more adventures. The question is where next?

herefordshire hound

Symonds Yat