We chose the perfect weekend for a two-day canoeing experience on the river Wye. The weather was absolutely stunning and made the experience even more memorable. We were a group of 27 and had arranged to meet Wye Canoes at the Ye Olde Ferrie Inn (where they are based) at 9:45 on Saturday morning. It was a 10-minute walk from the campsite where we were staying (Sterrett's Caravan Park). Despite our best efforts, we were running late and missed our spot. When we finally arrived, it took a long time until everything was sorted, i.e. until we’d been given our vests, paddles and barrels. We also had to wait a while for the minibuses to arrive to drive us to our starting point. However, we were relieved that Wye Canoes didn’t get more annoyed with us for running so late, and when we finally did set off in the canoes (at 11:45!) we still had plenty of time to make our way back to Symmonds Yat. We stopped at one of the pubs on the way, although it turned out to be the “wrong pub”, not the one they recommend where you stop right under the bridge but the one after that. The food was decent enough though.
The only thing we did feel a little miffed about was that although we had ordered nine 3-person canoes they only had five, so they turned some 2-person canoes into 3-seaters by adding an extra seat, although really the canoes were too small for this so we were a bit squashed (especially with the barrel on board as well). Not a big deal but disappointing, especially as we had booked in advance and were not a Groupon deal.
On the second day, we managed to get to the meeting point in time and the canoes were already waiting for us. This time, there were enough 3-seaters and we were able to set off straight after a security briefing about some rapids on this stretch of the river. We had to wear helmets for the first 20 minutes of the trip. The rapids were manageable, only one accident where one of our canoes hit a big rock in the middle of the rapids. Although they did not capsize, one of the passengers hit his shins on a crossbar with quite some impact and had two massive bumps to show for it.
Wye Canoes had told us about a beautiful pub in Redbrook, which was our final destination, and we got there in record time. The pub (The Boat Inn) is beautiful indeed, food good and portions absolutely massive!
We were told that there was a “beach” somewhere on the way where we could stop and have a swim, which we would have liked to do but we couldn’t see anything resembling a beach. That was a shame as the trip to Redbrook is quite short, and stopping off would have been great especially in the sunshine. When I asked one of the drivers on the way back where the beach was meant to be, he didn’t know what I was talking about. Would be good if staff could agree on the information they give us!
To arrange a pick-up from Redbrook, we called Wye Canoes once we’d arrived and asked to be picked up at 2.30 PM. They were running a little late (but fair enough!) but picked us up alright and took us back to Symonds Yat.
All in all a fantastic weekend and excellent canoeing experience. Take a spare set of clothes in case you capsize and don’t keep your mobile phones or cameras in pockets (as some of us did) because you will get completely soaked if you capsize!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC