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Ross Walking Festival gives visitors a great way to enjoy Forest of Dean

Posted on 07th September 2016

For three days starting from 23 September, the Ross Walking Festival will celebrate the natural beauty of the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley with a series of walking programmes. Offering a variety of challenges, the festival includes 15 different opportunities for guided walks through the countryside.

Wye Valley

Supported by a number of local businesses, visitors and locals alike can enjoy walking through this amazing region. The festival lasts three days – 23-25 September – and has a number of routes of varying difficulties. The entire weekend offers you some great ways to enjoy a cottage holiday in the Forest of Dean.

The first walk on Friday is the John Kyrle Walk – a 3.5 mile journey along the River Wye. It passes through St Mary’s church and the Prospect Gardens. Also on Friday, there is the Backney Bridge walk. A 5-mile challenge, it offers great views of the Wye Valley and the village of Brampton Abbotts.

One highlight of the event is the Wye Walk and Lunch Cruise on Saturday. Starting in the morning, walkers will cross the Wye using an ancient rope ferry. At Symonds Yat, the adventure culminates in a 40-minute cruise and picnic lunch.

Sunday morning offers another great walk with an 8-mile moderately difficult walk that covers the area of Rolling Hills to Yatton Chapel. The highlight of the walk is the medieval chapel and grounds.

For most of the walks, ticket prices apply and there are some charges. To get more information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Ross Walking Festival website.

Image Credit: David Evans (flickr.com)

Chepstow Festival captivating summer crowds in Wye Valley

Posted on 30th June 2016

The Chepstow Arts and Community Festival is a month-long celebration of theatre, music and creativity in the town. The event brings together the entire Forest of Dean community, with over 80 events being staged over the course of the festival.

Chepstow Festival

The festival began on June 24th and will come to a spectacular conclusion on July 24th. Many of the festival’s theatrical and musical productions will be staged at Chepstow Castle and held under the protection of an audience rain cover in the case of rain.

The festival draws in some of the country’s best professional theatre companies.

There will be a murder mystery production – the “Murder on the Terrace” – at the castle. There will also be productions of Shakespeare’s classics including Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other great stories will take to the stage, such as Sense and Sensibility and Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World. For the full event programme, please visit the festival website.

With help from Chepstow Town Council, there will also be a number of musical performances held at the town bandstand. Held on each Sunday until the end of the festival, Monmouth Big Band, The Don Fox Scandal, Twysted River and the FB Pocket Orchestra are scheduled to appear at the festival.

If spending time in any of our fantastic holiday cottages in the Forest of Dean, the Chepstow Festival is a great way to enjoy your holiday in the county.

Image Credit: Nic Trott (flickr.com)

Humble Farm welcomes everyone for a `Big Day Out’ in the Wye Valley

Posted on 18th June 2016

The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley will again celebrate the region’s vast natural history with a family-friendly event that is sure to help you enjoy your stay.

Wye Valley

The Big Day Out is an outdoor farm festival held over the first weekend in July. A great event to enjoy whilst staying at a holiday cottage in the Forest of Dean, it is a mixture of fun, farming, food, and live music. Celebrating life in the Wye Valley, the event takes place at Humble by Nature – a working farm owned and run by TV presenter Kate Humble.

There are plenty of things for the family to enjoy at the Big Day Out – especially the children. The Jitterbug Circus, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Wild Tots outdoor play, and a number of craft workshops are set to entertain the crowds. In rural education, attendees will be taught important survival skills such as den making and building fires.

It includes a wide range of celebrity guests as well. On Friday, a new comedy evening will feature Miles Jupp, the host of BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz. Saturday Kitchen presenter Matt Tebbutt will be on hand to present cookery demonstrations where he’ll create some mouth-watering dishes. And famous choir master Gareth Malone will lead children in attendance in a sing-along on Saturday afternoon.

There is also live music with performances Swing from Paris, Remi Harris, Railroad Bill, Grace Hartrey, The Monty and Life of Reilly.

Humble by Nature was started in 2010 when Humble and her husband bought the land in Monmouth in the Wye Valley. The working farm focuses on helping visitors get a better understanding of agriculture, conservation and cooking as well. Humble is best known for presenting a number of BBC programmes on science and wildlife.

For more information about the festival, please visit the event page.

Image Credit: Danny Chapman (flickr.com)


Forest of Dean welcomes back the Fire and Wood Festival

Posted on 18th May 2016

In the aptly named Cinderford, the Fire and Wood Festival returns to the Forest of Dean. The annual celebration brings together food, drink, arts and timber activities.

Charcoal burning

Held at the Dean Heritage Centre over the Bank Holiday weekend, the event promises to be an entertaining affair. The Fire and Wood Festival is inspired by the ancient traditions of the charcoal burn – the time-honoured process of transforming wood to charcoal. Visitors can see this in action during the three-day festival from May 28 to 30. There will also be chainsaw carving demonstrations, axe throwing, and cross cutting competitions.

There will be circus acts and face painting for the kids and a beer tent for the adults.

The Dean Heritage Centre is one of Gloucestershire’s most exciting and educational attractions, and is the perfect destination for those enjoying a cottage holiday in the Forest of Dean. The centre finds itself in the perfect spot amongst five acres of forest land. The goal of the heritage centre is to protect and preserve the unique living history and heritage of the forest. Its museum offers a collection of more than 20,000 artefacts, all in galleries housed in a former Mill building with a functioning waterwheel.

The museum has a number of historic objects, including fossils, working engines and geological finds. It endeavours to educate visitors on topics such as archaeology, iron making, coal mining, childhood history, transportation and pop culture.

For attendees of the three-day Fire and Wood Festival, organisers are offering admission discounts for attendance on multiple days. See the website for more information. 

Image Credit: stwn (flickr.com)

Wye Valley River Festival returns for 2016

Posted on 21st April 2016

The Wye Valley River Festival is returning for 17 days of watery fun for visitors to the region. These exciting events help to celebrate the vital natural resources and cultural contributions of the river to the local area.

 Wye Valley

The festival was created by artists who were inspired by the amazing landscape of the Wye River Valley and the Forest of Dean. The event will kick off in Hereford on 29 April and last until mid-May – ending in Chepstow on 15 May. The Wye Valley River Festival 2016 takes place in and around the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The primary purpose of the event is to entertain and wow. But organisers also hope it will highlight the environmental needs of the river. They try to show all visitors that the Wye River defines the personality of the region and that it’s one of the primary reasons why cottage holidays in the Forest of Dean are so enjoyable and memorable.

For the duration of the multi-week festival, environmentalists, artists and local communities will celebrate through themed events. During the festival, there will be events based on fire and flame, a variety of riverside parties, artistic installations, nature walks, and educational lectures.

There will be performances by the Wye Valley River Festival Choir at a number of locations. For a truly beautiful sight, there will also be a luminous birds art installation in Tintern to enjoy.

Image Credit: David Evans (flickr.com)