Symonds Yat WestForest of Dean
Herefordshire HR9 6

The River Wye flows right through the middle of Symonds Yat village. The half of the village on the west bank is known as Symonds Yat West.

During the summer months, pedestrians can cross the river by a hand pulled ferry but motorists must cross the river upstream by using Huntsham bridge; which is a five mile (8 km) trip.

The ancient hand-pulled river ferry leaves from the Ye Old Ferrie Inn. The ferryman pulls the ferry across the river using an overhead cable. Naturally, the ferryman charges a small fee for his labours.

Symonds Yat West is on the Herefordshire side. It has a large caravan and camping site at river level but the village itself clings to the steep sides of the valley. A good pair of legs is needed to negotiate the narrow byways and steps that make up the village.

Bilbins Bridge
Three counties meet at Symonds Yat Gorge – Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire at an area known as The Biblins. There is a campsite here and it is connected to Symonds Yat East by a pedestrian suspension bridge. In 1957 the Forestry Commission built the bridge out of local oak timbers. It was refurbished in 1997.
The bridge is designed to take up to 30 people, but a sign asks that no more than six at a time use it. That said, although safe, the walkway of the bridge does wobble when used – and some refuse point blank to cross over it.
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For centuries, the Yat Gorge was mined for iron ore and it is at Symonds Yat West that you can see the remains of this activity. One mile (1.6 km) downstream from the Symonds Yat Rapids, are the remains of a smelting works. Smelting of iron started in the 1500s and continued until the New Weir Iron Works closed in 1798.
An archaeological dig carried out at New Weir Iron Works has clarified the processes undertaken between the start of smelting in and the decline of the works in the 1800s. It was found that the works included a 'slitting mill', for making wire nails and a rolling mill powered by water wheels.
The Old Court Hotel in Symonds Yat West, which was built in the 16th century, was the ancestral home of the Gwillim family and was home to John Graves Simcoe, who was governor and one of the founding fathers of Upper Canada.
Nearby Attractions
The Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo and The aMazing Hedge Puzzle.
Google Maps - Symonds Yat West


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