Why the Wye? Because this Stunning River Valley is an Outdoor Adventure Hotspot!
The River Wye is the fifth-longest river in the UK at 134 miles long. The upper part passes through mid-Wales, but it is the lower Wye Valley which is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) and where we offer our outdoor adventure activities. Here the river straddles the border between England and Wales for much of its route and flows into the Severn at Chepstow, covering around 58 miles in total through the counties of Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. It is one of the most dramatic and scenic landscapes in Britain and its limestone gorge scenery and dense native woodland, as well as its wildlife and history bring people from all over the world. But for us, it’s all about the outdoor activities we can run on the water and in the surrounding countryside. The Wye Valley is a hub of adventure and an incredible natural playground which lends itself perfectly to what we do. Its meandering river, gorges, waterfalls, rapids, crags, cliffs and forests never fail to inspire us and the adventure seekers who we take out.
Easy Access from the South West – No More Severn Bridge Tolls
In December 2018, the Severn Bridge tolls were abolished, meaning that it is now free and much quicker to travel into South Wales from the South of England. It often surprises those in the South West to hear just how close we actually are. The bridges are only a few miles long and you can be in the glorious Wye Valley in just minutes. Our base in Monmouth is only 30 miles from the centre of Bristol, and many of the locations our activities take place in are even closer! So it’s perfect for a day trip for those living nearby and offers a wide range of outdoor adventure activities much closer at hand than anywhere else.
There are two Severn Bridges: the M48 which comes into Chepstow and is easiest to access the Forest of Dean and the lower Wye Valley; and the M4 which comes into Magor and is a quicker choice when travelling to Abergavenny and the Brecon Beacons. To really experience the Wye Valley, take the M48 and travel into Chepstow, home to the oldest castle in the UK. Travel on and you’ll quickly be surrounded by lush green countryside, hills and forests and cliffs falling dramatically into the valley below. Follow the A466 which hugs the Welsh side of the river as it winds its way north carving a channel between Wales to the west and England to the east. Pass Tintern Abbey, travel under old railway bridges, see vast viewpoints, and maybe stop at one of the many riverside pubs. It really is an incredibly stunning part of the world with so much to offer. Then onwards to your meeting point with us to take part in one of our fun outdoor activities!
Outdoor Adventures and Activities in the Wye Valley – We Have Plenty of Options
We run activities in other parts of South Wales including the Brecon Beacons, as well as the Forest of Dean. But it’s the Wye Valley where we run the majority of our outdoor adventure activities. Whether you’re looking for a canoe or kayak trip down the Wye – the most popular way to travel – or something with a little more adrenaline, we’ve got you covered. Perhaps you’re interested in challenging yourself to the rapids at Symonds Yat or climbing its famous cliffs? We can take you out on mountain bikes, or we can get you taking on new heights at our high level ropes course. Introduced in 2018, our stand-up paddleboarding trips down the Wye are proving incredibly popular too. So there are plenty of options!
At Inspire2Adventure, we can show you a different side to this area of outstanding natural beauty than is written about in the travel guides and get you exploring the Wye Valley as Wordsworth never did. With spring around the corner and half-term just a week away, we’re looking forward to introducing a whole new audience to the area and helping them discover this hotspot for outdoor adventure with us. If you’d like to book any of our outdoor activities in the Wye Valley please get in contact.
Outdoor Adventure Stag and Hen Parties are More Popular than Ever
We take many groups out adventuring with us including families, holidaymakers and youth groups. But one type of group that has become increasingly popular over the last few years is the stag/hen party. A last hurrah before the betrothed is married, our adventurous hens and adrenaline-fuelled stags don’t want the stereotypical hen/stag party. They just want to spend some time with their friends and family in a carefree environment, to have a memorable weekend away, a chance to enjoy each other’s company and a little (or a lot) of adventure!
Stag and hen parties often throw together a mix of people who have never met before, so getting everyone to try a new activity together is a great ice-breaker. Once we’ve got everyone out in the water in their canoes or kayaks, climbing waterfalls, scrambling through gorges, biking through the forest or stand-up paddleboarding, all their differences and barriers quickly melt away. Many of our activities require coordination and communication too so they are a great way to get everyone working together, bonding and getting to know each other. We love seeing those relationships blossoming.
We took a fantastic group of ladies on a hen party out last summer. They wanted to take part in stand-up paddleboarding but a couple of members of the group were less keen on getting into the water. That’s when our Mega SUP really came into its own. The mother of the bride and a few others who didn’t feel confident enough to get on the individual boards were able to coordinate themselves on the Mega SUP and get out paddling down the river together. The Mega SUP is extremely buoyant and requires all on it to work as a group. At the end of the activity they were all delighted to have stayed dry and had thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was brilliant to see.
All stag and hen parties differ of course, and we’ve organised so many that we like to think we’re pretty good at putting them on now. We get our groups working together, having fun in the great outdoors and getting to know each other while enjoying their new activity. We get them navigating gorges, climbing cliffs, paddling down rivers and no matter the activity, finishing their day with a huge sense of achievement. They often then go on to stay in local accommodation to make a weekend of it. We’ve known many go glamping to continue their enjoyment of the great outdoors or stay in one of the many large houses in the area. The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean are great areas for hen and stag groups looking for a little adventure as there are so many options all within a small distance.
Sten parties are something we’ve only been familiar with recently, but they are proving more and more popular too. There are lots of people out there who want their pre-wedding get together to break the stereotype of the drunken pub crawl, plus there are plenty of people who don’t want to have only men or only women at their party. So a sten party is all the stags and hens together. It’s all the same to us, there’s no difference between the expectations of a high adrenaline stag party or a thrill-seeking hen party and we get everyone involved just the same!
For a hen, stag or sten party in the gorgeous Wye Valley and Forest of Dean with added adventure, get in contact with Inspire2Adventure.
Looking Back on 2018: A Year of Change
As we put our paddles away for the year and look towards winter, we’ve been reminiscing on what a great 2018 we’ve had. It’s been our busiest year yet at Inspire2Adventure with a summer full of sunshine, our new activity stand-up paddleboarding proving more popular than we could ever have hoped for, and lots of outdoor adventures with groups and families across the Wye Valley, South Wales and Forest of Dean.
Here’s our recap of the best bits from our adrenaline-filled year:
Introducing Stand-Up Paddleboarding in the Wye Valley
We introduced stand-up paddleboarding to our range of outdoor adventure activities for the first time in May 2018. We could never have predicted just how popular it was going to be! We started with six individual boards and a Mega SUP which can take up to eight, and we will be increasing our board numbers for next year so that we can take even bigger groups out.
We had a lot of people intrigued and wanting to try it for the first time, we also had a lot of large groups wanting a fun cooperative activity and this suited them perfectly. SUP is very adaptable and flexible so ideal for all ages and skill levels, and when there is a large group or family there is often a range of both. We’ve had so much brilliant feedback and so many happy customers and it’s been great to see the activity go down so well with such a variety of people. Find out more here!
We Were Awards Finalists
We were thrilled to get through to the finals of the Monmouthshire Business Awards this year in the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism category. We were up against some stiff competition and although we didn’t win, it was great to get through to the finals and get the recognition for all our hard work. We also loved meeting the other finalists and celebrating the brilliant county where our business is based and its huge diversity. Maybe next year will be our year!
Brilliant Summer Season
After a tonne of snow hit in the spring, we were very grateful to have the sun shine down on us for the following months, and what a season it was. The long hot summer saw us spending a lot of time out on the water. Our canoeing, kayaking and new activity stand-up paddleboarding were very popular with much more water splashing and jumping in than usual! Being next to (or in) the water was perfect as the sun beat down, although it feels like a long distant memory now we’re into winter. Gorge scrambling – where you have no option but to get wet – was impossible by the end of the summer as the gorge we use practically ran dry! By the autumn that was no longer a problem though… you’ve got to love the British weather!
Here at Inspire2Adventure we thrive on seeing our customers exhilarated at the end of an outdoor adventure session with us. We are all about making the experience as smooth and worry free as possible and it's always a thrill to see those happy faces at the end.
Winter Outdoor Adventures
Although the weather does affect what activities we can do, the winter doesn’t stop us keeping active and getting outside. We’ve been out playing on the rapids which are at their best (if you like that sort of thing) at this time of year. Check out our latest videos of us stand-up paddleboarding on the rapids at Symonds Yat on our Facebook page We’ve also been taking groups out mountain biking in the woods – no matter the weather, cycling is loads of fun in the Forest of Dean and getting a bit muddy is part of the pleasure!
We also work with a local college to deliver land-based adventure activities. We’ve been practising navigation with them up in the Brecon Beacons recently which is ideal at this time of year with the various changing weather conditions. It’s additionally challenging and really tests their knowledge. They did great though.
Plans for 2019
We’ve had lots of exciting things going on this year, and made some brilliant memories. It's been great fun, but we’re now making plans for 2019. In fact we have already taken quite a few bookings for next year including hen and stag parties, scout groups, family groups, and schools!
In 2019 we’ll be adding more individual stand-up paddleboards due to demand and we’re hoping to work in partnership with local accommodation providers to make booking an adventure holiday in the Wye Valley or Brecon Beacons even easier. We’re also aiming to introduce an online booking system so that our customers can book automatically which will make the process quick and easy for all.
What we’re really looking forward to is taking lots more families, friends and groups out next year. We love being part of their adventures and seeing their sense of achievement at the end of a challenging new experience. Inspiring a sense of adventure is what we’re all about after all!