For the visitor who likes to get off the beaten trail, follow our recommendations and discover unique wildlife and stunning scenery for yourself. Sense the tranquility the Wye Valley AONB offers the visitor and give our hidden gems a try Here are just a few to sample.
An Exploration of Coppett Hill
How to get there
Head for the village of Goodrich, where Goodrich Castle offers convenient parking (charges apply) and a café. The Castle makes great starting point for any exploration of the area. From the car park the hill that rises up before you is known as Coppett Hill. We recommend a walk on Coppett Hill to take full advantage of the stunning scenery the area has to offer. The walk takes you on a circular tour to Coldwell Rocks, home of the Peregrine falcon, and back on a route offering commanding views towards the Malvern’s, Marcle ridge and the Black Mountains.
Coppett Hill is owned and managed by local people. The Coppet Hill Common Trust web site hosts a wealth of fascinating information on the history, geology and wildlife of this special area. The blog holds information on the latest wildlife sightings, if you spot something interesting you can always drop them a line.
An Outing to Trellech Beacon
How to get there
High above the Wye on the Trellech Plateau, commanding a magnificent panorama is Trellech Beacon also known as Beacon Hill.
It can be approached from the village of Trellech and any trip to the viewpoint could be easily combined with a wander around the village, which in the middle ages was among the largest settlement in Wales. Head for and park in the Forestry Commission car park, located about half a mile outside of Trellech. The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association have developed a circular walk that takes in some of the highlights of this area. If your visit takes you to Trellech Beacon during dusk on a warm summers evening in late May or June, you may be lucky enough to hear or catch sight of an elusive bird, the nightjar. These summer migrants can be heard ‘churring’ from the undergrowth and with patience you may catch a glimpse of one as it quarters the evening sky in search of moths.
A Picnic at The Narth
How to get there
From Trellech go past the Lion Inn and onto the Narth. A half day will pleasantly glide by in the beautiful woodland surroundings of Manor Wood at the Narth. Manor Wood has a small car park with a picnic site and rustic children's play area where you can let little one's run wild. The real pull is the woodland and the meandering Manor Brook that burbles mischievously around gnarled tree roots. Wellies are the order of the day as the woodland path meanders across the stream bed, offering the opportunity for plenty of messy water play.
If you visit during spring be sure to seek out the blue bells that carpet and perfume the woodland. Follow the path beyond the play area, and continue down hill to get the best views. There is an interpretation board at the site which is worth checking out for information on walks in the area. For inspirational ideas to occupy youngsters on a woodland outing go to Nature detectives the Woodland Trust site and download a wealth of fresh ideas all for free.
A partnership between the AONB Unit, Ross-on-Wye Town Council and Natural England have started tree management work on the banks of the Wye where it passes through Ross, to benefit biodiversity and create river views.
If you are 14-18 years old and love exploring the countryside of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, then the Wye Valley AONB Youth Ranger programme is looking for you! Come along to our Taster Day on September 30th.