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Symonds Yat

Symonds Yat is a popular tourist destination which straddles the River Wye in England.

Symonds Yat West is on the Herefordshire side of the river and Symonds Yat East is on the Gloucestershire side. The only connection between the two banks are two ancient hand ferries by which the ferryman pulls you across the river using an overhead rope, for a small fee! The only connection by road is upstream over Huntsham bridge, and this is a five mile trip. Symonds Yat Rock is a scenic viewpoint which towers 500 feet above the river.

From the viewpoint it is possible, betwen April and August, to witness a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the cliff side. Volunteers from the RSPB assist visitors to use telescopes provided in a joint project with Forest Enterprise, who own the site.

The river at Symonds Yat has cut a deep gorge in the Carboniferous Limestone exposing many impressive cliff faces. At the nearby 'King Arthur's cave' on the Great Doward, there have been many important archeological discoveries including the remains of a hyena family and sabre tooth tiger bones.

Popular tourist activities in the area include canoeing down the rapids, boat trips, a maze, an oriental garden and many country pubs! The Old Court Hotel in Symonds Yat West was the ancestral home of the Gwillim family and was home to John Graves Simcoe who was governor and one of the founding fathers of Upper Canada.