Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Tourism members gear up to welcome toll-free Easter fun seekers
Looking forward to longer and hopefully warmer days, as well as the liberation brought to many by the lifting of the Severn bridge tolls, the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean is gearing up for a busy Easter break. Outdoor activities range from archery, bush craft and a dragon egg quest around a castle, while crafty indoor activities include children’s chocolate cookery classes and Easter egg cup painting. Also, proof that family fun doesn’t have to break the bank, there’s also a free Easter egg hunt and ‘kids go free’ at a family race day.
Plus, the region has so many accommodation options for those looking to stay longer with plenty of stylish hotels, B&Bs and cottages, still with availability over Easter. Prices start from £528 for a family of four for 7 nights on a self-catering basis.
Further details can be found below, with more information on what’s going on in the Wye Valley & Forest of Dean here: http://www.wyedeantourism.co.uk/whatson
Easter Events and Activities – indoor and outdoor
Harts Barn Cookery School Kids Cookery Courses – 16,18 & 20 April
Cookery school isn’t just for grown-ups, it’s also a great opportunity for kids to get messy and develop new skills. Over Easter, Harts Barn Cookery School is hosting a number of themed cookery workshops including a Kids Cookery Day, making a two-course lunch and decorating cupcakes on the 16 April, Kids Easter Baking and Kids Easter Chocolates on the 18 April. There’s also an Easter Chocolate Dreams workshop on the 20 April where little ones will learn how to create simple chocolates, truffles, lollies and more.
Details: The courses take place on 16,18 & 20 April, 10am-3pm or 10am-12.30pm and cost £25 per child. Soft drinks and aprons provided. Recipes to take home. For more information visit www.hartsbarncookeryschool.co.uk or call 01452 831719.
Easter Special Crafty Printing at Penhein Glamping – 20 April
Take the family to Penhein Glamping for a family craft class hosted by Rachel Cadman. Let the brood’s creative flare run free and make handy egg baskets and cards ready for Easter Sunday and the all-important egg hunts.
Details: The 3-hour course is running on the 20 April and is priced from £25pp. For more information visit www.penhein.co.uk or call 01633 400581
Archery Sessions and Survive and Thrive in the woods with Borderlands Outdoors – 16,18 & 20 April
Spend Easter soaking up fresh air while learning new skills with family archery sessions or bush craft experiences. Kids and grown-ups can build shelters, learn to cook, firelight and wood carve. For those looking to unleash their inner Robin Hood there’s a chance to hone bow and arrow skills on the archery taster day.
Details: The Family Archery Sessions are running on the 16 and 18 April and priced from £20pp (suitable for 6+). The bush craft experience is available on the 20 April and priced from £70. To book visit www.borderlandsoutdoor.com
Hunt the dragon eggs with Easter Adventure Quests at Goodrich Castle – 6-22 April
Head to beautiful Goodrich Castle near Ross on Wye, to hunt dragon eggs on a quest with the whole family. Find tasty chocolate treats along the way and receive a certificate once all the quests have been completed.
Details: The Easter Adventure Quest is running 6-22 April. General admissions (adult £8 & kids over 5 £4.80) apply as well as an additional £1 per child. For more information and to book visit https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/goodrich-castle/
Easter Monday Family Race Day at Chepstow Racecourse – 22 April
Spend Easter Monday at Chepstow Racecourse for seven great races plus plenty of other entertainment including live music, circus skills, face painting, go karts and donkey rides. Kids go free and there’s free parking.
Details: Takes place Easter Monday 22 April. Family tickets are available from £25 for 2 adults and kids go free. For more information visit www.chepstow-racecourse.co.uk
Free Easter Egg Hunt at Bathhurst Park – 17 April
Head to Bathhurst Park in Lydney for a free family fun hour session of hunting eggs. Families can follow the clues to find all the delicious hidden treats.
Details: There are two sessions on the 17 April either at 11am or 2pm. For more information visit http://www.wyedeantourism.co.uk/whatson/all/e-2076-Free_Easter_Egg_Hunt?date_filter_from=1554073200&date_filter_to=1556578800
Hot Pot Pottery – Easter Bunny and Egg Cup Painting – 18 -21 April
Head to Coleford in the Forest of Dean for a spring and chocolate theme where Hot Pot Pottery run by husband and wife team, Charles and Katie, are offering families the chance to paint bunnies and egg cups. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a slice of Simnel cake, a cuppa and get creative! The painting sessions from 10am-12 noon on Easter Saturday and Sunday will also include the help and encouragement of Frances Palmer Artist.
Details: Easter bunny and egg cup painting are available from £8pp during the 2-hour sessions at either 10am or 2pm with the price of the pieces chosen to paint typically costing an additional £10. The pieces will be glazed and fired on Sun eve for collection Mon morning and if collection is not possible then delivery can be arranged at an additional cost. To book visit http://hotpotpottery.co.uk.
Taurus Crafts Easter Antiques & Vintage Fair – 21 April
Delve into the past at the Taurus Crafts Antiques & Vintage Fair this Easter and discover treasures amongst the 25+ plus stalls, offering a diverse selection of antiques, memorabilia, bric-a-brac and vintage items. There will be a selection of specialist sellers trading in vinyl records, glassware, fossils and minerals, historical local books & prints and French vintage.
Visitors will also be able to listen to musical performances of Jazz by ‘Chepstow Big Band’, and ‘Blitz Time Sally’ who sources inspiration from old black and white films, her Grandmother and stories during the war times. Not to be missed is the pop-up cinema showcasing old black and white films and the Taurus Crafts BBQ. This free event will include lots of kid’s creative activities – from soap making to rock painting.
Details: Sunday 21 April 2019, 10am until 4pm at Taurus Crafts, Lydney, Gloucestershire, GL15 6BU. For more information visit www.tauruscrafts.co.uk.
Whitebrook with Rooms, near Monmouth – gourmet Easter with Michelin starred dining
This Michelin starred restaurant with rooms is the ideal destination for those looking for a foodie Easter getaway in the heart of the Wye Valley. Just a few miles from Monmouth the 17th century cottage offers eight sleek rooms with the opportunity to sample chef and owner Chris Harrod’s culinary delights each evening during which guests will come to fully understand why this inventive cook was the winner of last year’s Great British Menu on the BBC.
Details: A 2x night Easter gourmet break from 19 or Saturday 20 April is available from £620 per double (£310pp) – based on dinner, bed and breakfast for two people. Book via http://www.thewhitebrook.co.uk or call 01600 860254.
Blaisdon House B&B luxury Easter weekend escape for two
In a sleepy hamlet on the edge of the Forest of Dean this luxury guesthouse with three rooms and a beautiful garden is a dreamy retreat. Base yourself here and enjoy all the great cycling and walking on the doorstep. Or stay put and enjoy spring flowers in the garden and the local pub which serves excellent food.
Details: 3x night Easter break from Friday 19 April is available from £270 per double (£135pp) – based on bed and breakfast for two people. Book via http://blaisdonhouse.com or call 01452 830437.
Cottage or Lodge with breakfast at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
The Angel Hotel has Easter availability at The Lodge, a Victorian house within the Abergavenny Castle grounds and a 2-minute walk from the hotel, as well as Sugarloaf Cottage a lovingly restored 17th century property, directly across from the hotel’s car park. Both have two bedrooms so are perfect for a family of four with space to stretch out and prepare a meal. Families can still take advantage of the wonderful hotel breakfast served until 11am where all the breads and pastries are freshly made from legendary The Angel Bakery.
Details: 2x nights from 12 April are available from £590 based on a family of 4 staying in a two bedroom cottage/lodge. Book via https://www.angelabergavenny.com
Sleep under starry skies on a Welsh Hillside at Penhein Glamping
Penhein Glamping is tucked away in secluded woodland surrounded by endless countryside on the edge of the Wye Valley. As well as the onsite kids cooking and craft sessions there is still availability over the Easter school holidays to stay over a few nights in a beautiful alachigh tent (a Persian take on a Mongolian yurt).
Details: 2x nights during Easter holidays (between 5 and 25 April) are available from £260 based on a family of 5 staying in a tent. Book via https://www.penhein.co.uk
Brooks County House, Near Ross on Wye
Brooks Country House is a striking 22-bedroom Georgian manor hotel located between the market town of Ross-on-Wye and the cathedral city of Hereford. It’s perfect for those after a quintessentially British break in the countryside boasting characteristically English décor (like Cole and Son wallpaper, antiques, chesterfield sofas, paintings from the owners own grandmother) alongside new pieces such as Graham and Greene lighting and Phillippe Starck Ghost chairs. Families will love retreating here after time in the Forest of Dean to relax on-site with a wander around the hotel’s own vineyard and large trout lake or hunker down in front of the roaring log fire. The restaurant is housed in the building’s original library and serves an array of seasonal, locally-sourced dishes.
Details: 3x nights from 9 April are available from £297 based on a family of 4 sharing a Superior King Four Poster on a B&B basis. Book via
www.brookscountryhouse.com or call 01989 730211.
The Get Active Explorer Break at The Speech House Hotel, near Coleford, Glos.
For a family of four with kids aged 8 or over the active explorer break offers amazing value for stays on Sunday and Monday night during the Easter holidays. The Speech House Hotel is a former 17th century hunting lodge set in the heart of the Forest of Dean. The hotel has 35 rooms, several with impressive antique four-poster beds. For dining there’s the informal Orangery or Verderers’, the à la carte restaurant. Built in 1669 there are still many original features including fire places, paintings and carved oak chairs. Perfectly located for active families to explore the area plus it’s dog friendly too!
Details: 2 x night break is priced from £472 which includes 2x dinners and 1 x picnic lunch on one day and two nights B&B for family of four, perfect for active teens who can add any of the following full day activities for £60 per person including Gorge and Upright Paddle Boarding, High Ropes and Gorge Scrambling or Climbing and Gorge Scrambling.
Book via https://www.thespeechhouse.co.uk/2019/03/11/get-active-this-easter/ or call 01594 822607.
Forest Barn Holidays, Littledean, Forest of Dean – properties sleep 2-8 with hot tubs, kids play area and pizza oven
Forest Barn Holidays is a tiny hamlet in its own right offering five 5 star self-catering properties. Several properties are still available over Easter including Orchard Barn, a warm, inviting and spacious escape with its own very private 6 seater hot tub with meadow and woodland views. Alternatively, there is the Manor House which can accommodate a party of up to 8 or the Meadow Brye, the former milking parlour which sleeps 4 also available over Easter. There is a wood fired pizza oven for a make your own pizza evening, a dedicated children’s play area with swings and slide or stroll and the heated games room for snooker/pool, air hockey, table tennis or table football. The under 5’s have their own play barn too and Young Farmers Club area with Dennis the Dexta Tractor to climb on and chickens to feed, collecting eggs and feeding the rabbit. There is also a Treetop Picnic Platform!
Details: 7x nights staying in Orchard Barn from 5th April are available from £1,820 based on a family of 6. Or x5 nights staying in Meadow Bryre from 18th April are available from £1,266 based on 4 sharing and The Manor House, sleeping up to 8 free from the 18th April for a 5x night stay from £2,754. Book via https://www.forestbarnholidays.co.uk/ or call 01594 827311.
Broughtons Cottage, Newnham, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire sleeps 4
Set high above the River Severn, Broughtons Cottage is surrounded by gardens and fields offering views across the Severn Vale and towards the Forest of Dean. It sleeps up to four in two cosy bedrooms and the sitting room has a flat screen TV, DVD player, games, books and puzzles as well as plump sofas and a fireplace. Play tennis on the hard courts and little ones will love the resident Docile and Kune Kune Pigs in the fields.
Details: 7x nights from 13th or 20th April are available from £520 based on a family of 4 Book via http://broughtonscottage.co.uk or call 01452760293.