Why this Walk?
In 1770 Rev. William Gilpin took a boat trip down the River Wye, sketchbook in hand, and eagerly pursued the British equivalent of the European Grand Tour. A pioneer of the 'Picturesque' and the way we explore and appreciate landscape in Britain, his book ‘Observations on the River Wye’ was arguably the first tour guide to be published in Britain and became an essential item for Victorian travellers, poets and artists visiting the area; his guide recommended that tourists should “examine the face of a country by the rules of picturesque beauty”.
The 'Wye Tour' is acknowledged as the Birthplace of British Tourism; in 1745, a Rector by the name Dr. John Egerton began entertaining guests with trips down the Wye in a specially made boat. Inspired by the publications of Gilpin's guidebook, by the late 18th century there were at least 8 boats taking visitors along the tour.
Find out more about Gilpin's Wye Tour here and the 2020 Anniversary here.
Walking the Wye Tour provides a fantastic blend of hills, rivers, charming borders villages and the scenic route that connects them as you follow the course of the Wye downstream. The Wye Valley is designated a ‘Site of Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation’, highlighting what an inspiring place it is to visit and explore.
The AONB have created a great visitor guide which can be found here.