August 23, 2018
Hiking is suddenly the ‘peak of chic’. As this article in the Telegraph highlights, by 2019 hiking will have overtaken yoga as the ‘it’ fitness trend. Where once our Instagram feeds were inundated with images of celebrities and fitness bods doing yogi headstands at sunrise captioned ‘namaste’, this summer it’s all about the hike. Over 36 million posts now feature the hashtag #hiking beneath images of toned, long limbs before backdrops of Insta-friendly woodlands, streams and mountains.
Now that might all seem a bit silly, but there’s science behind it. Firstly, walking is a secret powerhouse when it comes to exercise. An hour’s walk uphill burns around 400 calories – the equivalent to nearly an hour on the treadmill. And what’s more it’s good for our mental health too, getting outdoors into nature is the ultimate stress-reliever and boosts our sense of wellbeing.
At Penhein, we might prefer the word ‘walking’ to ‘hiking’ but after all, it’s really the same thing and it’s been at the heart of our offering since 2014. The Penhein experience is about enjoying nature – whether that’s taking a foraging class, cooking outdoors, sleeping under twinkling stars or going for a long, head-clearing walk.
There are endless Nature Trails and routes around our secluded glampsite. Here are three of our favourite local walks to try during your stay at Penhein:
Best for Families: Brockweir
There are plenty of short family-friendly walks around the glampsite itself, but if you’re after an outing and a bit of an adventure this figure-of-eight walk right in the heart of the Wye Valley is a great family option. Start at The Old Station in Tintern, follow the railway tracks to the delightful village of Brockweir and continue along the Wye River stopping along the way to pat the ponies at Gregory Farm.
Distance: 2 miles
Best Longer Walk: Lancaut Loop
Not for the faint-hearted this loop walk starts in Chepstow (15 mins drive from Penhein) and will take 3 hours +. The scenery is dramatic; expect to go up and down as you weave your way past 300ft limestone cliffs along the River Wye past limestone kilns and 11thCentury St James’ church, with an option to detour for a victory pint at to The Rising Sun pub at the end.
Difficulty: More Challenging
Best For Views: Walk Up Grey Hill
The benefit of this walk is that it starts directly at the glampsite. Lace up your boots and set off for the peak of Grey Hill. Enjoy sweeping views from the summit over Monmouthshire and take in ancient forest, Wentwood Reservoir, the Castrogi Stream and Cribau Mill on the way.
Distance: 5 miles
Directions: Find a guided map in your alachigh.