Symonds Yat is a small village that sits on either side of the River Wye: Symonds Yat East and Symonds Yat West. You have to cross the river to get from one to the other and the roads that go into both sides both end in a dead-end – on the bank of the river.
The River Wye winds backwards and forwards throughout the Wye Valley to such an extent in places that it often looks like more than one river.
Above Symonds Yat East and overlooking Symonds Yat West is Yat Rock.
Yat Rock is one of my favourite places in the world. When I lived in the midlands, I could nip down there for a day trip in the depths of winter, with a flask of hot chocolate, and watch the peregrine falcons that nested in the cliffs to one side of the rock.
When we went on our two-centre camping holiday in Wales just before the pandemic, I took the poet to Yat Rock so that he too could appreciate what I did, and he fell for the place as well. Sadly, the peregrines weren’t there that year, but everyone was hopeful that they might come back. And we said that we would certainly go back.
We made that return trip last week and this time we stayed in a cottage in Symonds Yat West, taking both of the animals with us. On our first afternoon the poet was admiring the view at the front of the cottage when he noticed some big birds flying up in the trees. It took him a few minutes to convince himself, but it seemed that the peregrines were back!
On our last day we went up to Yat Rock, just to enjoy the views. But we were delighted to see the falcons hunting over the tree tops and nipping in and out of the cliffs where they always nested.
The picture above is just a taster of how lovely the Wye Valley is. I’ll be sharing more of the poet’s pictures in the next newsletter, so if you want to see more, make sure you’re signed up. You can use the form below, and you get a bonus short story with every issue.
I’m back at work tomorrow, when I have lots of news to share.
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