Symonds Yat kayaking & paddleboarding – Launch & route

By March 27, 2023 April 7th, 2023 No Comments

This Symonds Yat kayaking and paddleboarding route is from Kerne Bridge to Symonds Yat, and takes you on a journey through unbroken countryside, river rapids and peaceful sparkling waters. 

Symonds Yat

Symonds Yat is a small village located on the River Wye in Herefordshire. It is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world, mainly because of its stunning natural scenery and its range of outdoor activities, including kayaking. Kayaking in Symonds Yat offers a unique and unforgettable experience, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, river rapids, and wildlife. The River Wye offers a range of challenges for kayakers, from gentle paddles to white-water rapids. The river is also home to a range of wildlife, including otters, kingfishers, herons, and even peregrine falcons.

River Wye

The River Wye is one of the UK’s most beautiful rivers, renowned for its crystal-clear water and stunning scenery. It is a popular destination for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts who come to explore the river and the surrounding area. Symonds Yat is a great starting point for exploring the River Wye. The village is situated in the heart of the Wye Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The valley is dotted with charming villages, historic sites, and stunning countryside, making it a perfect location for a relaxing getaway.

Route Summary

Start & Launch, (Own equipment) Kerne Bridge Car Park £6 to park all day (Walford, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5QT)

Start & Launch, (hire) Wye Canoes, Kerne Bridge Car Park £6 to park all day (Walford, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5QT)

Route, Kerne Bridge to Symonds Yat West (roughly 8miles one way, 3-4 hours duration)

Return, (hire) transport provided by hire company. (own equipment) 5km in land difference between start and end location. Organise return travel/route beforehand.

Safety, check out the weather beforehand

Wear the relevant safety equipment (recommendations on this page) 

Pub stop, Ye Old Ferrie Inn pub (Ferrie Ln, Symonds Yat, West, Ross-on-Wye HR9 6BL)
Symonds Yat Kayaking & Paddleboarding
Symonds Yat Kayaking & Paddleboarding

Kerne Bridge to Symonds Yat

This route is 8/9 miles of the scenic River Wye, you’ll be spoilt by beautiful views, wildlife and peace and quiet. Regardless of whether you are exploring Symonds Yat by kayak or paddle board, the route remains the same, what needs to be given consideration is how you will return to your start point. When hiring your equipment from Wye Canoes, they also offer a return shuttle service to get you back to your starting point. There is a light current on the river, so paddling back the same way will be more strenuous and time consuming. If you are happy to walk/run the distance back to your start point you are looking at a 5km route.

Start & launch

The launch point for this kayaking trip is, Kerne Bridge Car Park, £6 to park all day (Walford, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5QT). If you are hiring equipment you will also start here at Kerne Bridge Car Park, £6 to park all day (Walford, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5QT). You can hire your equipment for the day from Wye Canoes. There is also a sweet little riverside cafe here that sell cake, coffee and other refreshments, for both hire customers and members of the public.

Symonds Yat Kayaking & Paddleboarding

Finish point

Along the banks before you reach the Ye Old Ferrie Inn pub (Ferrie Ln, Symonds Yat, West, Ross-on-Wye HR9 6BL). The hire finish point is Paddocks Hotel, although this isn’t particularly visible from the River, it’s just before you reach the Ye Old Ferrie Inn pub (Ferrie Ln, Symonds Yat, West, Ross-on-Wye HR9 6BL).

If you have time to stop for a drink, I would recommend checking out Ye Old Ferrie Inn, there’s plenty of outside seating right on the river, and plenty of food and drink on offer to refuel. It really does have the most dreamy setting, as well as offering ‘YOFI Paddlesports’ with a range of guided canoe trips, hourly boat hire and SUP sessions on offer. Make sure you also check out ‘Wye Go With The Flow’ which is a sustainable and responsibly sourced leisure wear clothing line by Lauren Gilmore, which is in the cutest little retail unit outside the pub.

Symonds Yat Kayaking & Paddleboarding


To stay safe on your trip, make sure you wear a buoyancy aid (you can find a recommendation at the bottom of this page). Make sure your buoyancy aid is a snug fit, with no risk of slipping over your head. Make sure you pack enough water for the time you are planning to be out, and always ensure you take a phone in case you need to call for help in an emergency.

There are rapids on this route. Rapids can be unpredictable and even the most experienced kayakers can encounter unexpected situations that may lead to accidents. Take the time to scout the area, look for obstacles such as rocks, logs, and branches that may cause danger. Plan your route ahead of time and avoid dangerous areas.

The River Wye is a non-tidal river, which means that the water level is not affected by the tide. The river flows from its source in the Welsh mountains and eventually empties into the River Severn in Gloucestershire, England.

Symonds Yat is located approximately 22 miles downstream from the river’s source, and the water level in this part of the river is primarily affected by rainfall and water flow from the upstream areas. The river flow can vary depending on the season and the amount of rainfall, but it is not influenced by the tides.

Recommended kit for Symonds Yat kayaking & paddleboarding

Check out the below kit to ensure you have everything you need for a safe and exciting adventure paddleboarding or kayaking in Symonds Yat. Please note that this blog contains affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, Destination Downtime earns a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Thanks in advance for your support. 

Buoyancy Aid

New lifejackets sold in the UK, Ireland and Europe are required to meet the international Standards Organisation standard ISO12402. For kayaking you need a buoyancy aid at level 50. Make sure the lifejacket is a good fit, comfortable and non-restricting.

Waterproof Phone Case

A cheap purchase that brings hours of piece of mind! The exact model I use is no longer available however, this is extremely similar. I would recommend testing your case out before you hit the water by popping something inside and submerging it in water.

Waterproof Dry Bag

To ensure your personal belongings are kept dry on your kayak consider investing in a good quality waterproof bag. This bag features 2 adjustable shoulder straps and buckles to make it easy to carry. To free your hands you can use it as a large volume backpack, it also comes in plenty of cool colours to choose from.

Water Shoes

It’s a great idea to purchase a pair of water shoes to ensure you don’t ruin your trainers form submerging them in water. These water shoes are quick drying, lightweight, and fit snuggly on your feet.