In the interests of researching all good days out, I decided to take Alexandra, Olivia, my Mum and some of our French family canoeing on the Wye yesterday. I wonder why we have not done this before? What a fabulous way to spend the afternoon. I think I may do it more often.
Having not paddled an open canoe before, I was not sure what to expect, especially with four children in tow. However, as soon as we arrived at Wye Valley Canoes in Glasbury, it quickly became the fun afternoon intended.
With two to a canoe (we found an adult and a child in each to be successful), we spent a happy afternoon paddling our way to Hay-on-Wye. The Wye is low at the moment, and as novices, we all felt quite safe. The scenery is extremely beautiful and the river tranquil at this time of year. We loved sailing past the numerous swans, who are clearly quite used to canoeists and spotted plenty of wildlife along the way and some not quite so wild ducks and ducklings. Swallows and Martins swooped down around us, catching flies for their chicks and we also saw many Sand Martin holes in the banks of the river.
Once we arrived at Hay, our canoes and our clobber were collected by some extremely nice and competent young chaps, who then drove us back to our car.
Wye Valley canoes hire out their canoes for a half or full day and give you a safety briefing, some top tips on paddling and some practice to make sure you are happy before you leave. They also collect you at Hay-on-Wye if you wish and bring you back to Glasbury. However, you might like to have l a few hours in the pretty book town before you head back. Alternatively, have lunch at the River Cafe before you take to your canoe.
It takes about 25 minutes to get to Glasbury from Gliffaes and the hire of a canoe is about £30-£35 for an adult / child combination.