May 12, 2022
It is often true to say that if you live somewhere you can take it for granted. We promise this is not the case for us! We love our county and all it has to offer. However, we may be guilty of not shouting loudly enough to others about how wonderful Monmouthshire is, and how much it has for our holiday guests to enjoy. So here is a list of 10 top things to do in Monmouthshire for those of you looking for the perfect holiday location.
1. Stunning views and wonderful walks
The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean have some of the most beautiful walks you can imagine. With acres of ancient forest and a stunning winding river valley, walking is (understandably) one of the most popular outdoor activities in the area, and there are plenty of options for walkers of all types. If you are staying at Penhein there is also the utterly fabulous Wentwood Forest right next door to the farm, so guests can walk around our own 450 acres and get to Wentwood Forest without getting in the car!
2. Go Ape Forest of Dean
For some family fun there is Go Ape Beechenhurst or for adult adventure just down the road there is Go Ape Mallards Pike, both located in the Forest of Dean. Go Ape rope courses provide not only an adrenaline filled day but also a wonderful way to view the forest from the treetops. Mallards Pike’s Challenge course is definitely one for the bold and brave with its extended zip wires but if you enjoy your fun closer to earth you can zip off on one of the all-terrain electric Segways. To make a day of it, you can then explore Beechenhurst which lies at the heart of the Forest of Dean and is one of Britain’s oldest and largest woodlands. With its family activity trail, Sculpture Trail, play area and Family Cycle Trail it really does have something for all ages. If you don’t have your own bicycles there are plenty of places to hire them for the day. You can refuel in the café or take your own food and enjoy the beautiful picnic area.
3. Perrygrove Railway
The Perrygrove strapline is ‘Treehouses, Trains and Treasure, whatever the weather!’ which gives you just a flavour of what’s on offer! It is a wonderful family attraction, aimed at those with children up to ten years old. There are four stations on the railway, each with paths leading to lovely walks through beautiful woodland. A round trip takes 30 minutes and there is no charge for extra train rides. The Twilight Village is great fun for children and just about big enough for most grown ups too! The Treetop Adventure is perfect for some outdoor fun, with a slide, bouncy bridge and ladders to climb. Well worth a visit!
4. Raglan Farm Park
A firm favourite in the local area, Raglan Farm Park is the perfect spot for a family day out and is particularly good for younger children. Since the Williams Family threw open their barn doors to the public in June 2016, Raglan Farm Park has quickly grown to be a ‘must go to’ for visiting families. There’s so much to do, with play areas for age ranges from 18 months to 11 years, and then going outside there are zip wires, swings, slides, roundabouts, trampolines, ‘ride-on’ tractors and go-carts. There are ‘astro-turf’ paths around the park, so, even if the ground is damp, you won’t be!
5. Tintern Abbey
For all the culture vultures and beauty seekers there is the stunning Tintern Abbey, made famous by William Wordsworth’s poem ‘Tintern Abbey’ written in 1798. One of the most iconic sights in the Wye Valley this beautiful building and its surrounds has been astonishing visitors for years. A good time to visit is in the evening or early morning, when its ethereal beauty is at its most breathtaking. Once you have been round the Abbey there are some great places to eat in the area, or you can use it as a stopping place on a longer walk in the valley itself.
6. Big Pit, Blaenafon
This is underground history at its most fascinating. Blaenafon Big Pit, also known as the National Coal Museum, is the history of coal mining in Wales. A day trip in itself, you can go on the underground tour to see what life was like for the thousands of men who worked at the coal face, visit the Mining Galleries to hear the story of how the industry evolved and go to the Pit Head Baths and see how the life and work of a miner has changed from 1850 to 2000. This is one of the most popular trips for visitors to Penhein (we even list it in our Handpicked Days Out guide!), who will often then spend the rest of the day in the charming nearby town of Abergavenny
7. Go wild on water
If it is adventure you are looking for then the River Wye, can deliver. Canoeing, kayaking, wild swimming, stand up paddle boarding, abseiling, climbing – these are all available along this fabulous river and its banks. All you have to do is choose!
8. Fabulous food
Monmouthshire has been developing quite a name for its culinary abilities over the years, not least through the internationally recognised celebration of food that is The Abergavenny Food Festival. There is also a wonderful range of places to eat in the area, from Michelin starred restaurants to classic coffee shops, we are sure there is something for everyone. Find a list of just few of our favourites here.
9. Castles, castles, castles
As a border county, the centuries of our history have been filled with endless skirmishes between noble families and wars between nations. This has led to any number of castles being built in Wales over the years, many of them here in Monmouthshire. Chepstow, Raglan, Whitecastle, Abergavenny, Caldicot and more are all part of a magical history tour for the history buffs amongst you. They are great fun for the young too. Nothing to beat a bit of rampart climbing!
Yes, there is a wonderful choice of exciting activities for all ages in Monmouthshire, but if your plan while at Penhein is simply to lock the car door and stay at the farm for the duration, then we have some adventures of our own! Take a look at what’s on offer and have a fantastic time without leaving the farm!