River Wye: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Wye.

  • The River Wye is the UK’s 5th longest river, at almost 215 km long.
  • It flows from Plynlimon in mid Wales, to the Severn Estuary in southwest England.
  • It forms part of the border between Wales and England for some of its length.
  • Its source is in the Cambrian Mountains, where legend has it there is a sleeping giant.
  • The River Wye flows through Hereford, the only city located along the river. The city’s Victoria Bridge was built over the Wye to celebrate Queen Victoria‘s diamond jubilee.
  • The River Wye is one of the best salmon fishing rivers in the UK. The Wye is also known for sea lampreys, fish a metre in length, capable of moving rocks in their mouths.
  • Covering over 300 square km, the unspoiled Wye Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The area was the birthplace of British tourism, and attracted poets such as Coleridge and William Wordwsorth.
  • The town of Hay-on-Wye is on the River Wye, and it is known for its many second-hand bookshops. In 1977 bookshop owner Richard Booth declared Hay to be an independent country.

River Wye

  • Whitney-on-Wye Toll Bridge was built in 1779 and is one of only 8 privately owned toll bridges in the UK. Cars have to pay the owner a pound to drive across the bridge.
  • The 219 km long Wye Valley walk follows the River Wye for much of its length. A point on the walk marks where the counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire meet.
  • The 12th century Tintern Abbey is on the banks of the Wye, in Monmouthshire. The abbey is said to be haunted by medieval knights, and it was featured in a painting by the famous artist, Turner.
  • Ross-on-Wye is located on high sandstone cliffs overlooking the River Wye. The town’s Wilton Bridge was built in 1597 and funded by taxing the residents of Herefordshire.

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