The birthplace of British tourism

We’ve been away for a few days visiting friends in Herefordshire.

Last Friday we all walked along the banks of the River Wye, near Symonds Yat, also taking in the picturesque view of the Wye from the Yat Rock. This area is credited with being the birthplace of British tourism. It’s easy to understand why, when walking along the Wye valley and experiencing the view from Yat Rock. The variety of trees, flora, and fauna – lots of evidence of wild boar rooting around for grubs – is one of the attraction. All set against the charms of the River Wye itself. A good long walk gave us an appetite that was satisfied at Saracens Head pub in Symonds Yat.

This from the Wye Valley AONB website describes the beginnings of tourism in Britain,

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries it was fashionable to take a boat tour down the Wye Valley, to view its romantic sites and picturesque landscape. ‘Tourists’ dined at specific locations, took walks to particular viewpoints and visited specific romantic ruins, making the ‘Wye Tour’ one of the first ‘package holidays’!

Much of the demand was a direct result of a book, the first tour guide to be published in Britain in 1782, “Observations on the River Wye and Several Parts of South Wales”, by William Gilpin.

Here are a few photos – just a few, although I took plenty.

4 thoughts on “The birthplace of British tourism

  1. Fab photo’s, reminds me of doing a circular walk there a couple of times quite a few years ago, that start with the ferry crossing behind the pub. As Surinder said keep up the good work.


  2. Did you see the falcons that were nesting on and flying from the cliffs to the right of the viewpoint the last time we were there ?


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