King Arthur’s Cave

The outward route is the quickest and easiest route to Symonds Yat. The return is more adventurous, seeking out the impressive King Arthur’s Cave and secret viewpoints over the Wye Gorge.

Technical sheet
No. 18974685
A West Dean (Gloucestershire) walk posted on 02/02/22 by Walks from the Door. Update : 03/02/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h40[?]
Distance Distance : 12.89km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 342m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 349m
Highest point Highest point : 221m
Lowest point Lowest point : 25m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : West Dean (Gloucestershire)
Starting point Starting point : N 51.81351° / W 2.627128°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) From the Forest Retreat, turn left down the hill.

(1) Pass a gateway with a cattle grid on the left, then turn right off the road at a public footpath sign, past a barrier onto the waymarked Christchurch to Symonds Yat Rock Walk. Keep right of the assault course and follow the mostly level path with woodland dropping away to your left.

After 3⁄4 mile you cross a forest road within earshot of the public road to your right, and then another, before passing to the right of Mailscot Lodge. Continuing along the yellow-waymarked path, descend past a bench.

(2) A track joins from the left and 400 yards later the path crosses the metalled exit road from the main Symonds Yat car park.

After a further 600 yards, cross the car park entrance road before emerging onto the road behind a house. Walk through the disabled/staff car park on the left, to the Forestry Commission café.

(3) Beyond the café, walk to the far left-hand corner of the picnic area, where stone steps descend with a wooden handrail. Beyond a low cave on your right, descend another flight of steps.

(4) Bear left, away from the road, down yet more steps and continue through the woods until you meet a broader crossing path just below a barrier (for a longer but gentler descent to Symonds Yat East, turn left here, then right when you meet the river). For the direct route, take the path almost opposite. At a wooden fence, bear left (still heading downhill).

(5) The path eventually emerges between gardens at the car park by the Royal Lodge. Turn right to the Saracen’s Head pub.

(6) Take the hand ferry across the River Wye. Once across, climb the steps and turn left. Beyond a white-painted cottage on the right, and opposite Wyeside Cottage on the left, turn right up a narrow path signposted through the hedge. This steep stony path cuts a corner in the road.

(7) When you regain the lane, turn right. Opposite a turning place right, turn left into a narrow path beside a telegraph pole. This path winds uphill between premises to meet a larger path in front of a cliff face, with a Woodland Trust sign at its left-hand end. Turn left and follow the path as it bears right.

At a path junction where the path ahead starts to descend, turn right (uphill). Pass between a partly fenced-off cliff face with a cave on the right, and a rocky pinnacle on the left.

(8) Again, before the path starts to descend, turn sharp right, to the right of a fenced-off pit. At a further Woodland Trust sign, bear left, keeping the fence on your left. Pass a small stone ruin on your right and then a mineshaft within a circular fence on your left.
Follow a generally level track along the top of the wood, with gardens and properties to your right.

(9) At a junction of tracks, go straight ahead along a driveway to reach a house called Woodview. Follow the metalled lane beyond. When you meet a junction of byways with a small car park and interpretation panel to your left, turn right. At a road junction just beyond the entrance to Doward Park Campsite, turn left.

(10) After about 100 yards, turn sharp left onto a signposted public footpath that cuts back downhill. Pass the remains of various small quarry buildings. When you emerge in a disused quarry, bear right back into the trees.
Pass a shallow cave with a rock pillar and continue past further cliffs and caves until you reach the larger King Arthur’s Cave, with its mound of spoil in front of the entrances.

(11) Beyond the cave, follow a path that bears left to a waymark post. Bear left at another waymark and scramble up through a low crag. The path continues along the contour with regular waymarks, and at one point a short diversion to the right leads to a viewpoint at the top of a cliff overlooking the Wye valley. The path continues before dropping down and up and then reaches the wide gravel drive to Biblins.

Turn right and follow the drive downhill (keeping right when a track fork left) until you approach the campsite buildings.

(12) Turn right to a barrier, then turn left to the Biblins footbridge over the Wye. On the opposite bank, turn left and follow the river for 400 yards. At a major junction of tracks, where the riverside path divides, turn right along a track up a side valley.

Pass the Oldstone Well spring on your left after 250 yards, then shortly afterwards cross the Wysis Way. Continue up the valley for 3⁄4 mile, passing a disused mine level on the left.

(13) When you reach a crossroad of tracks, turn hard left at the grey waymark post. At the top of this track, turn right to pass the entrance to Bracelands campsite. Follow the road for 1⁄2 mile back to the Forest Retreat. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 221m - The Forest Retreat
1 : km 0.18 - alt. 217m - Mailscot Lodge
2 : km 2.56 - alt. 155m - Symonds Yat car park
3 : km 3.49 - alt. 148m - Forestry Commission café
4 : km 3.96 - alt. 110m - Wood
5 : km 4.36 - alt. 36m - The Royal Lodge
6 : km 4.54 - alt. 32m - Hand ferry
7 : km 4.73 - alt. 42m - Cliff face - Woodland Trust sign
8 : km 5.56 - alt. 121m - Small stone ruin
9 : km 6.11 - alt. 141m - Woodview - Doward Park Campsite
10 : km 6.8 - alt. 154m - King Arthur’s Cave
11 : km 7.24 - alt. 111m - Viewpoint - Biblins Campsite
12 : km 8.98 - alt. 31m - Biblins footbridge
13 : km 11.63 - alt. 152m - Bracelands campsite
D/A : km 12.89 - alt. 221m - The Forest Retreat

Useful Information

The outward route is the quickest and easiest route to Symonds Yat. The return is more adventurous, seeking out the impressive King Arthur’s Cave and secret viewpoints over the Wye Gorge.

Allow 4 hours. Several moderate climbs and descents. This route uses the hand ferry at the Saracen’s Head to cross the Wye, which may not run when the river is high. Call ahead on 01600 890435 to check availability. Woodland paths may be muddy.

Pdf file : http://walksfromthedoor.co.uk/i/walks/Gl...

The Royal Lodge
www.rhhotels.co.uk
Tel 01600 890 238

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • All Saints, Staunton, is another Grade I listed church with features from throughout the medieval period. Of particular interest is a font which may have originally been a Roman altar. Opposite are the remains of a 14th-century village cross and Church Farmhouse, dating back to the late 1500s.
  • The Suck Stone is said to be the largest detached conglomerate boulder in the British Isles.
  • St Mary’s Church in English Bicknor has a fine Norman arcade with an example of ‘beakhead’ carving. Other treasures include three 14th- century effigies.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.