Explore

Whether you’re looking for a gentle adventure or an adrenalin high the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley is a region rich in natural beauty and outdoor activities, castle, culture and heritage and world class food and drink.

Here’s our Top 40 places to visit:

Attractions & Activities

Get on your bike or paddle down river on a watery adventure, with such fabulous scenery it’s a great place to ramble and marvel at the wildlife, follow a sculpture trail or explore a TV or movie set from Dr Who, Merlin, Atlantic, even the new Stars Wars movie.

1) Chepstow Races – race meetings throughout the year including the Welsh Grand National FIND OUT MORE

2) Puzzle Wood – 14 acres of atmospheric ancient woodland now a popular film set TAKE A LOOK

3) Humble by Nature – Kate Humble’s farm offering rural courses and unique events FIND OUT MORE

4) Perry Grove Railway – narrow gauge railway and treetop adventure for all the family FIND OUT MORE

5) Pedalabikeaway – cycle centre on the heart of the forest caters for all VIEW

6) Canoeing and Kayaking – relax and explore Britain’s favourite river FIND OUT MORE

7) Fishing/Shooting FIND OUT MORE

8) Golf – we are spoilt for choice with a great range of courses on our doorstep including Forest Hills, Bells, Rolls of Monmouth and the Ryder Cup courses at Celtic Manor TAKE A LOOK

9) National Diving and Activities Centre FIND OUT MORE

10) Go Ape – tree-top adventures for the over 10s FIND OUT MORE

Food, Drink, local produce and local artisans

A treasure trove of foragers, farmers and artisans, our local suppliers are the lifeblood of the hotel. Here is a selection you can visit for events and experiences.

1) Foraging – our in-house forager Raoul van Den Broucke supplies the hotel with produce collected nearby and runs foraging expeditions that take guests off the beaten track.

2) The Chocolate Strawberry – original cake design to fine decoration including handpainting on cakes FIND OUT MORE

3) Harts Barn Cookery School – fun, affordable and easily accessible cooking experiences for all ages and abilities. TAKE A LOOK

4) Karosa Jewellery – jewellery making in Clearwell FIND OUT MORE

5) Rachel Shilston – mosaics, events and arty parties VIEW

6) Mary Rose Young Pottery – a ceramic artist who’s unique pottery finds its way into homes around the world TAKE A LOOK

7) Wine Tasting we have two award winning vineyeard on our doorstep, both conduct tastings and vineyard tours PARVA FARM ANCRE HILL

8) Brewery Tours: Kingstone Brewery KINGSTONE BREWERY and Hillside Brewery HILLSIDE BREWERY

9) Smarts Cheeses – you can visit them on a Tuesday and Thursday when they make cheese TAKE A LOOK

10) Cats Eye Carving – stone carving courses FIND OUT MORE

 

Nature & Outdoors

One of England’s last ancient forests this is a destination for all seasons from bluebell carpets in spring, perfect summer picnics of local produce, to an autumn ablaze with glorious colours and winter wonderlands.

1) Our own grounds. 14 acres of ancient grass land with views over the surrounding countryside.

2) Walking: There are picturesque walks straight from the doorstep of the hotel. Ask at reception for printed info on local walks or borrow a walking guide.

3) Sculpture Trail – The four-mile Sculpture Trail is a unique collection of contemporary installations such as the Giants Chair or Cathedral of the Forest. TAKE A LOOK

4) Lydney Park Spring Gardens – beautiful woodland garden on the site of a former Roman temple FIND OUT MORE

5) International Centre for Birds of Prey – oldest dedicated birds of prey centre in the world TAKE A LOOK

6) Severn Bore – the river Severn has the 2nd highest tidal range in the world and the bore is a natural phenomenon not to be missed VIEW

7) Symonds Yat – ancient hilltop fort with spectacular views across the Wye towards Herefordshire TAKE A LOOK

8) Nagshead Nature Reserve FIND OUT MORE

9) Cyril Hart Arboretum TAKE A LOOK

10) Soudley Ponds/Bluebells – one of the many (too many to list!) natural havens on our door step VIEW MORE

 

Heritage & Culture

Full of fascinating history Wye Dean has influenced a generation of writers and poets from Wordsworth and Tolkien to our own JK Rowling and Dennis Potter. The Wye Valley inspired the picturesque movement which started the tourism industry. Medieval castles and abbeys made way for logging, mining, and iron casting which makes up the rich industrial heritage of the region.

1) Hay-On-Wye Festival – the Woodstock of the mind, this is one of the world’s leading literary festivals TAKE A LOOK

2) Cheltenham Festivals – jazz, science, music and literature. Cheltenham is a host to festivals from April through to October FIND OUT MORE

3) Abergavenny Food Festival – a spectacular annual gastronomic event not to be missed TAKE A LOOK

4) Monmouth Agricultural show TAKE A LOOK

5) Dean Heritage Centre – 5 galleries of heritage, art and culture plus great exhibits this a a must for all the family VIEW

6) Clearwell Caves – natural caves which have been mined since pre-historic times TAKE A LOOK

7) Hopewell Colliery Museum –a working colliery and museum in the heart of the forest FIND OUT MORE

8) Castles – once contested border country there are many historic castles to visit, Raglan Chepstow or Goodrich

9) Tintern Abbey – the best preserved medieval abbey in Wales TAKE A LOOK

10) Wyndcliffe Sculpture Garden – sculpture shows FIND OUT MORE