A family canoe expedition in an open Canadian canoe is a great fun adventure which the whole family is sure to remember for years to come. The Wye Valley is a really accessible place for a beginner’s canoe trip with kids. You’ll spot loads of swans, ducks, herons and bridges and can stop off on pebbly beaches for a picnic along your journey. There are over 100 miles to paddle on the River Wye and lots of canoe companies operating from different places along the river where you can hire canoes, discuss itineraries and arrange pick ups at the end. Nearly all of them offer half day/ whole day and multi day options. For a multi-day trip there are riverside B&Bs along the way as well as several campsites. Some of the canoe hire places will rent out tipi tents and camping equipment.
Here are some of the canoe hire companies operating on the River Wye. You can typically hire Canadian canoes which take up to 4 people. The canoe hire places recommend that the trips are suitable for children over the age of 4.
River Wye Canoe Hire
Wye Valley Canoes is based in Glasbury, four miles west of Hay-on-Wye. There is a bunkhouse here and you can order packed lunches next door at the River Cafe. Half a day will take you to Hay-on-Wye, which is a lovely town with interesting second hand bookshops and a fabulous ice cream shop!. For the more intrepid, a full day will take you a couple of hours further on to either the Toll Bridge or The Boat Inn. If you are looking for a longer break you could try camping or B&B’ing it down the Wye for a few days and reach Hereford, Ross or Monmouth.
Celtic Canoes can also be found at Glasbury-on-Wye.
Wye Dean Canoe Hire is based at Symonds Yat East. They offer half/full-day and multi-day trips including a 9 mile/3-hour trip ideal for first time paddlers and families.
Canoe The Wye is based at Symonds Yat. They will take you up the river and then you paddle back.
Wye Canoes is based at Ye Old Ferrie Inn, nested on the bank of the river in the beautiful Symonds Yat. They can offer half, full-day or multi-day trips. They provide you with dry barrels and bags for your belongings and then transport you to your launch site to start your Wye Valley adventure, then at the end of your trip, if you are not finishing in Symonds Yat they meet you at your place of choosing and bring you back to Symonds Yat and your car.
River Wye Canoe Hire is based in Ross on Wye and have various itineraries available.
Monmouth Canoe are based in Monmouth. They can also offer tipi tent hire for multi-trip expeditions.
Where to Stay
Here are a few ideas of places to stay on a Wye Valley river adventure.
Check out Wye Valley Canoes bunkhouse at Glasbury – perfect for big groups. There is an awesome tube slide to get downstairs.
Try The Pound riverside campsite and B&B at Whitney-on-Wye. Campers can also order a cooked breakfast to get set for the day. The Boat Inn is just next door for an easy evening meal.
East Friars B&B is right on the river in Hereford, next to the rowing club. It has a bohemian feel and offers several spacious family rooms. The breakfast is fantastic!
Lucksall Park riverside campsite has caravan sites, camping pitches and glamping pods. We didn’t stay here but stopped off for lunch at the riverside cafe. It looked very smart and the food was good too.
If you’re looking for somewhere extraordinary to stay, check out Wriggles Brook Gypsy B&B at Hoarwithy (between Hereford and Ross -on-Wye). Stay in a gypsy caravan here and enjoy an awesome breakfast to power your paddling. Read our Red Kite Days review here.