Wye don’t you?

Jonathan Manning encourages you to get on your bike and enjoy wonderful views while following a fabulous river

Some rides have focal points at their hearts, such as a castle, knockout viewpoint or first class café, and others have the ‘wow’ factor running through them, like writing in a stick of rock. This tour of the Wye Valley, starting from Lucksall Caravan and Camping Park, falls very much into the second camp.

There are far-reaching views, exhilarating descents, a fascinating church and a 15th century pub, but the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.

This is rural Herefordshire, a sublime landscape of lush, rolling hills, broadleaf woodland and, of course, the River Wye. Those hills do mean a couple of challenging climbs, but the vistas from the top are worth the effort and provide a great excuse to take a breather.

Of particular interest is St Catherine’s Church in Hoarwithy, where a steep set of steps beneath yew trees leads up to the loggia, or cloister walk. With mosaic tiles on the floor and ‘glassless’ arches gazing out over the churchyard and fields beyond it feels more like Tuscany than the West Midlands, especially when the sun shines.

A long stretch of the ride then follows the River Wye, with fabulous views over the water and convenient benches to stop and admire the surroundings.

A couple of miles farther on, the timber- framed Cottage of Content sits in the hamlet of Carey. The pub’s name may suggest Cynthia Payne, but this is an inn that dates back to 1485, was named the Good Pub Guide’s Country Pub of the Year in 2017, and last year was ranked sixth by The Times in its list of the UK’s most magical Christmas stays.

For one last captivating view of the Wye, it’s worth taking a short detour to St Cuthbert’s just before the route reaches Holme Lacy.
The 13th century church, with its 14th century tower, sits in a bend in the river staring out towards the Herefordshire hills.

There is one final crossing of the river, a last chance to gaze into the sparkling waters of the Wye before pedalling back to the Affiliated Site.

You can download this route from our dedicated Strava page here.


1. From the Affiliated Site turn left and in 200m turn left, signposted to Holme Lacy, immediately crossing the River Wye. Continue through the village for 2.5km and at the bottom of a hill, as the road bends sharply to the right, look for a turn on the left.

2. 2.5km – Turn left, following signs to Bogmarsh, Aconbury and Newtown. Continue up a long hill for 4km to reach an offset crossroads.

3. 6.6km – Turn left at the crossroads to Hoarwithy and Little Dewchurch, passing The Plough Inn on the left. Stay on this road as it descends through Little Dewchurch, reaching the outskirts of Hoarwithy in about 4km.

4. 10.8km – Before the Hoarwithy sign, look to the right for the steps up to St Catherine’s Church. After visiting the church, turn right and in 50m turn left, signposted to Ballingham, Carey, Kings Caple and the Cottage of Content. In another 50m, turn left again to Carey and Ballingham. Stay on this road, with the Wye to the right, for 7km, eventually arriving at a T-junction.

5. 18km – Turn right at the junction, signposted to Holme Lacy and Hereford. In 1.5km there’s the out-and-back ‘Historic church’ brown sign diversion to St Cuthbert’s. Alternatively, keep straight ahead to reach a T-junction in Holme Lacy.

6. 20.4km – Turn right along Bridge Road, signposted to Mordiford and Fownhope. Continue on this road, which eventually crosses the Wye to reach a T-junction. Turn right and the Affiliated Site is 200m on the right.

About the route

  • Start/finish: Lucksall Caravan & Camping Park, Mordiford, Herefordshire HR1 4LP.
  • Distance: 14m/22.6km.
  • Time: 11⁄2 hours.
  • Level: Suitable for fitter cyclists and e-bikers – quiet, hilly lanes.
  • Terrain: Asphalt.
  • Landscape: Wye valley, farmland and woodland.
  • Refreshments: The Plough Inn, Little Dewchurch; Cottage of Content, Carey.

The Caravan and Motorhome Club make no warranties concerning the accuracy or completeness of the routes published, which to the best of our knowledge were correct at the time of publication. Your use of the routes is at your own risk and we accept no responsibility for the suitability orsafety of any routes published. Routes may be out of date or affected by changes to the physical environment and, to the extent permitted by law, we accept no responsibility for personal injury or property damage caused by your use of the routes.

About the author