Kayaking in Wales – Wye not?!

Before starting, I would like to clarify something: it is not a typo – Wye is the name of the river.

Now that we have that out of the way – last year somewhere in the middle of the (short UK) summer we started our first course of kayaking here in London with Phoenix Canoe Club along with Cristi’s cousin, Gabriel. After passing the one star course, we decided to sign up for the second level as well since we really enjoyed it and the guys from the kayaking club are really great. One of the weekends, a camping and kayaking trip was organized by the club members to Wales and we decided to join them.

Getting into the water Kayaking One Star Course

Paddling

And so, on an autumn Friday evening, we set out westwards. The trip to the Biblins campsite took a bit more than we expected since one of the routes was closed down. By the time we reached the campsite most tents were already up. Luckily, ours is quite quick to set up, so we didn’t waste time and went to sleep.

Kayaking day

Next morning we had quite good weather for an October day. Sun was shining, birds were singing – everything that you expect from an outdoor setting. After breakfast we set out for the river, with the entry point being near a parking lot. As we started to paddle downstream, we passed by some nice cottages on the riverside but soon we were surrounded by nature alone and the scenery was changing at each bend. At one point we were surrounded by forest on both sides, looming over the paddlers under them, the next we were  in an open field soaking up the autumn sun. We even passed under one of those old stone bridges. For lunch we stopped on a rocky shore near a field before continuing onwards. The river was quite calm which made kayaking on it quite a pleasure.

Kayaks in Biblins Campsite

Kayaking in Wales

Kayaking under the bridge

Kayaking Wye River

Wye River

Launch on Wye River

We encountered some small sections of rapids as well but nothing too frightening – until we reached Symonds Yat. This is a rapids section where, unfortunately for us there was a competition when we got there. For some reason they did not let us descend on the rapids, so we had to wait. Although we weren’t cold while we were paddling, the cold started to creep up on us while waiting and the rain didn’t helped either. After what seemed to be more than an hour we were given green light on descending the rapids. It seemed pretty scary at first but there was no other way, so one by one we paddled through. While staying focused and trying not to capsize, I forgot to look up as well. Good thing I had my helmet on – halfway through, one of the hanging poles used for gates in the kayaking competition managed to swing and smack me right in the head. I was knocked a bit off balance but managed to maintain position and reach the bottom safely.

Kayaking - River Wye

Paddling on River Wye

River Wye - surrounded by nature

After the rapids there was another short, calm paddle back to the campsite. We took a hot shower, changed back to dry clothes and we had dinner after which we went to the closest pub – The Saracens Head Inn which is really cozy and welcoming, sitting right on the riverside. After a pint we headed back to the campsite, tired and looking forward to the following day. Next day we woke up to the sound of rain on our tent. Outside it was cloudy and rainy – a bit demotivating, especially when it means getting back into the cold and wet gear from the previous day. We decided to join the others a bit later on – joke was on us, due to a misunderstanding we thought there is going to be another session during mid-day, which was not the case. After lunch we packed up our tents and helped loading the kayaks onto the trailers.

Biblins Campsite

Foggy morning Biblins

Biblins Campsite covered in fog Biblins Wooden Bridge

Biblins Bridge

We left a bit earlier and stopped by Bath where we only got the chance to walk around the city a bit but we decided that we will return another time to visit more of it, especially the roman baths which were closed.

Bath's Street

The Abbey Church

Bath Abbey

If you like it, pin it!

Our next adventure took us in Wales where we camped in Biblins and went kayaking on river Wye. We tackled Symonds Yat and had a pint at the Saracens Head Inn.

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34 Comments

  1. February 3, 2017 / 10:57 am

    My husband did an overnight kayaking/camping trip and absolutely loved it! You were so lucky with the weather as well, it looked glorious and what fabulous views you had. So glad you had a good time and thanks for sharing. #feetdotravel

    • Oana N
      February 4, 2017 / 7:26 pm

      Thank you, Angie. We were lucky with the weather first day, the views were fabulous and paddling on Wye river was a pleasure.

  2. February 3, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    Never been kayaking but visiting Bath is really something I would love to do!

    • Oana N
      February 4, 2017 / 7:26 pm

      Unfortunately we didn’t had much time to visit Bath but we will return for sure soon.

  3. February 3, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    What a cool kayaking trip! I never think to look for kayak adventures when I’m traveling abroad, but now you have me asking myself “Wye not?” Thanks for sharing the awesome pictures too!

    • Oana N
      February 4, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      Thank you, Laura. We recently did 2 days of kayaking in Krabi during our holiday in Thailand: one between the limestones and jungle and one to the caves. It’s always nice to try something new while traveling. Again, “wye not”?!

  4. February 3, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    What a wonderful adventure you had on the weekend canoe trip. All except the rapids and getting hit in the head with the branch. That for sure would happen to me too. 🙂 The pictures are stunning and now I want to go outside and have an adventure. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Oana N
      February 4, 2017 / 7:30 pm

      Thank you, Stephanie. It was an amazing experience although we had to descend on the rapids where I got smacked on my head.

  5. February 3, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    Looks like you had a great adventure! love camping when it’s nice weather!! Bath is a beautiful city too!

    • Oana N
      February 4, 2017 / 7:31 pm

      Thank you, Garth. We did has an amazing time in Wales although it rained the second day. Bath is amazing and we will go back, this time to properly visit it.

  6. February 5, 2017 / 11:44 am

    Beautiful part of the world not far from where we live. The Saracens Head Inn is always good for a refreshment break. Great post! #feetdotravel

    • Oana N
      February 7, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      Thank you, Paul and Carole. It is indeed a beautiful area to spend time in.I would love to come back and discover more about those places.

  7. February 5, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    I think I could do that especially with the weather you had and the river looked lovely & calm.

    • Oana N
      February 7, 2017 / 8:12 pm

      Shona, the river and the weather made this trip so enjoyable.

  8. By Land and Sea
    February 5, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    Sign me up! We started kayaking about a year ago and this looks like so much fun. We’ve been wanting to go to Wales and the UK for awhile now too!

    • Oana N
      February 7, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      We don’t have a year yet but we really enjoy paddling. When the weather is getting better, we will definitely go for the 3 star course. Wales is a great area for kayaking, hope you get there soon.

  9. February 5, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    Looks like great fun! And wow you got some lovely weather!

    • Oana N
      February 7, 2017 / 8:15 pm

      Tracy, it was a really nice experience and the weather was super nice for that time of the year.

  10. February 6, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    What a beautiful area to go kayaking and Bath looks like an exquisite town to explore. Love the suspended bridge! I am looking forward to visiting this area. Thanks for sharing other things to do here.

    • Oana N
      February 7, 2017 / 8:18 pm

      Paddling on river Wye is a nice way to discover the area. I hope you will visit soon, I totally recommend this place.

  11. February 6, 2017 / 10:15 pm

    I love kayaking and you guys really did have an adventure! Just shows that there is so much to do closer to home – will definitely add this to my list as I would love to explore Wales more!

    • Oana N
      February 7, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      Discovering Wales is always a good idea and we did had a great time in here. I agree with you, there is more to explore closer to home.

  12. February 7, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    You guys had some great weather for an October day in Wales. It can get pretty terrible on a bad day. The visit to Bath afterwards looked interesting, it’s a UNESCO site and I want to visit there too.

    • Oana N
      February 7, 2017 / 10:49 pm

      We were lucky to have such great weather in October. Bath is a place where we will definitely go back to discover more as the time was quite short this time.

  13. February 8, 2017 / 4:20 am

    Your first line made me chuckle. Also, I am glad you had your helmet on! That would’ve left a mark. The whole trip looked fun. Pinned for later.

    • Oana N
      February 9, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      I am also glad I had my helmet on and that I managed to keep my balance without capsizing. The trip was short but fun.

  14. February 9, 2017 / 6:16 am

    Kayaking to Wales definitely seems really thrilling. Moreover, the serenity of camping in such a beautiful place and the lush greenery is breathtaking.

    • Oana N
      February 9, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      Sandy, Wales is a nice area to visit. We were happy we could camp and kayak in there.

  15. February 10, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    Looks like you had an amazing day! I’ve never been kayaking but I’d love to try one day 🙂 Really liked Bath when I visited a few years back. Hope to go back soon 🙂

    • Oana N
      February 10, 2017 / 8:33 pm

      Sina, we did had a great day and Bath is amazing – we will definitely go back soon.

  16. February 10, 2017 / 5:18 pm

    Despite the rain and smacking your head, it sounds like this was a lot of fun. I’ve never done a combination camping/kayaking kind of thing but it does look like fun. Wye not indeed!

    • Oana N
      February 10, 2017 / 8:34 pm

      David, this was my first time doing this combination and I loved it.

  17. February 13, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    Such an English trip! I’ve been on so many UK kayaking trips and it always rains, you get freezing and then you warm up afterwards in the local pub and realise what an awesome time you’ve had.

    Also, give me a shout next time you’re in Bath! It’s my hometown and I’m always up for giving tips/showing people around 😀

  18. February 14, 2017 / 12:24 am

    This seemed like great fun until I read you hit your head and then had to get back into your wet clothes form the previous day ha! Only thinking about it makes me feel uncomfortable and I would have probably done the same as you! It’s a shame the roman baths were closed as they truly are worth seeing! Hope you have a chance to go back some day!

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