Riverside beauty. Vintage heaven. Neighbouring Symonds Yat.

  • The birthplace of tourism
  • Perched on a sandstone cliff above the River Wye
  • Located in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 
  • Close to Symonds Yat & Ledbury 
  • The hedgehog is a symbol of the town
Ross-on-Wye Boat

Embraced by the River Wye, Ross-on-Wye is an inviting place to potter. Back in 1782, William Gilpin wrote Britain's first guide book, focused on the Wye Valley, and sparked the craze for 'picturesque tourism'. Today you can tour the independent shops, saunter around the mock gothic walls (built in 1833) and pass The Gazebo Tower folly and pastel-coloured dwellings which tumble down the hillside to the river. As for the hedgehogs? Historically this region was named Archenfield or 'Land of Hedgehogs' - find many examples of the icon in St Mary's Church, dating back to the 17th Century and on more recent memorials to the Boer War and WWII.

symonds yat

Meanders on the River Wye

Two hundred years ago, taking a boat tour from Ross along the River Wye was the height of fashion. The draw? Viewing the Wye Valley's Picturesque landscape, beloved of artists and poets from Turner to Coleridge. These days, canoe trips are more à la mode, but the countryside is just as dreamy. Embark at Ross-on-Wye, calling at the Inn on the Wye at Kerne Bridge for lunch, before meandering under Symonds Yat Rock where you may be lucky enough to see a peregrine falcon.

Ross on wye church

The Man of Ross

The philanthropist John Kyrle dedicated his wealth to improving Ross-on-Wye and his legacy remains today. Walk to The Prospect, the public gardens originally laid out by Kyrle for the wellbeing of locals. It's remains a superb look out point over the horseshoe bend of the River Wye, 100ft below. From here, you can walk under the stone Kyrle's Gateway into the churchyard.

Return to the front of St Mary's - perhaps calling in to 'hunt the hedgehogs', the emblem of Ross which also appears on the Kyrle family crest. Pass the almshouses and stroll along to the 17th-century sandstone, arcaded Market House. Here you'll spot Kyrle's logogram composed of the letters F and C on the east end, standing for Faithful to Charles in heart.  Directly opposite you'll see the timber-framed building (now shops) where Kyrle lived. Finish with a pint of Herefordshire's finest Butty Bach at The Man of Ross Inn before descending through the fragrant terraced public garden for a promenade along the river.
Ross on wye high street

Vintage Shopping Trail

There is an abundance of choice for aficionados of antiques, vintage and retro. Follow the Vintage Shopping Trail to ensure you don't miss a single store! Pick up everything from curios and collectibles, nostalgia and knick-knacks, to jewellery and art. Along the way, mooch around gift and lifestyle shops. A ten-minute drive will bring you to Baileys, an interiors shop based in a series of farm buildings, which lives by the mantra of plain, simple and useful.


River Loops Cycle Ride

A scenic 50km bike ride which closely follows the River Wye, visiting Hoarwithy, How Caple and Hole-in -the-Wall. There's a few climbs along the way, resulting in fabulous views, as well as many excellent country pubs, including The New Harp Inn, The Cottage of Content and The Greenman.

symonds yat

Walk the Wye Valley

The Wye Valley Walk is easily accessed from the centre of Ross-on-Wye. Take a short stroll or tackle the section to Hereford. It varies from relaxed riverside strolling to hilly up and down scrambles and traditional orchards, before tracing the Wye floodplain to the city's Cathedral.