The good thing about this particular walk is that there is a rather good Pub at which you can stop for lunch before walking back.
Our starting point is Monmouth which is where we pick up the Wye valley walk on the eastern side of the river. To get to this part of the foot path one needs to cross the bridge and head towards Mayhill before taking Hadnock lane on the left (signposted Peregrine Path) which will take you past the entrance to Monmouth School Sport Centre. Continue along this “metal” road for about a mile or so until you find the finger post directing you on to the Wye Valley cycle and foot path. This then takes you along the old railway track and past a rather impressive view over the river toward Wyastone Court. Look out for the homage to our Queen on the hill above, planted so I am told the year of her Coronation and best seen during the autumn /winter for best affect. Continue along the given track to Biblins Bridge, you will revisit this on the way back so I will talk some more of this later. At this point you be pleased to hear that there is approx 1.5 miles to lunch!
You will know you are getting near to Symonds Yat as the amount of people out enjoying the walk increases somewhat. The Saracens Head can be seen from the car park; I am sure there is probably an interesting drive to get to the same destination, but I can tell you nothing of this as I have only ever arrived on foot.
The menu is excellent in both mine and Iain’s opinion. A good selection of light snacks as well as more substantial main courses and desserts, and a varied choice of well kept Real Ales for those who are connoisseurs of this beverage! If you have a dog, there is plenty of seating outside although these can get taken up quite quickly on a warm day as everyone likes to make the most of the view across the river to Symonds Yat West.
After you have eaten and drunk your fill (Tip; remember on ordering you have to carry the extra weight back!) make your way back along the track towards Biblins. At this point we make for the other side of the river by way of Biblins Bridge. A typical Jungle type bridge that sways when you walk across. I don’t like it much and nor does Mole, but at least you end up on the prettier side of the river. It is here we turn left after the bridge and through the camp site, through Little Doward Woodland Trust (great at this time of year swishing through the fallen leaves) and then on to Wyastone Court, which is known for its music concerts in the summer months. From here it is about 2 miles until Monmouth Rowing Club Boat House, passing St Peters Church on the way. From this side of the river you can get a spectacular view of the Bridge over the Wye heading into Monmouth.
Here is where our walk ends. Time taken from start to the Saracens Head is approximately 1½ to 2 hours depending on the pace at which you wish to walk at and approximately the same back depending on how much lunch you have enjoyed!