“How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro’ the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!”
Wordsworth did indeed bestow the Wye Valley with an element of immortality through his poem “The Tintern Abbey”. This region near the boundary between Britain and Wales has captured the imagination of poets and artists over the ages, chiefly on account of its profound beauty, its wild contours and dramatic landscapes. No wonder the Wye has been acclaimed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). So if you are among those who find it hard to resist the call of the wild and the wondrous, set off for this splendid destination without much ado.
The picture-perfect valley, of course is dominated by the river Wye, the fifth longest river of United Kingdom. The AONB area extends from the city of Hereford to Chepstow, including the counties of Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire— each vying with the other for fantastic natural beauty. However, this traveller’s dreamland is not just renowned for its scenery, but also boasts of a rich industrial heritage. The Wye is actually designated to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and the surrounding countryside of Whitebrook, Redbrook and Tintern gave rise to the first paper milling, copper works and brass manufacturing industries.
This place is also associated with the birth of British tourism as famous Romantic poets and artists helped to popularize the Wye through literature, poetry, and various works of art. The Blaenavon Industrial Landscape has been turned into a World Heritage Site where you can experience the real-life plight of generations of miners. Take a foray into the past at the Nelson Museum of Monmouth, which prides itself on having the largest collection of England’s most famous admiral’s personal items, including his celebrated glass eye.
The Wye also offers a good selection of castles to visit. The most reputable attractions include Carleon, the Roman Legion fortress town, The Caldicot Castle, the Chepstow and the Abergavenny Castles. If you feel flushed after a hard day’s sight-seeing, worry not. The Moon and the Sixpence, the Stonemill Restaurant and the Whitehart Village Inn are ready to serve you with steaming hot English dishes and refreshing drinks.
So book your tickets today for this picturesque countryside — yield to the wild, the natural, the free.. experience the Wye’s wonders!