September 3, 2021
Summer has come to an end, time to pack the bikinis and flip flops away. But wait! We think Autumn is one of the best times of the year, just as much fun as summer and just as beautiful. Here at Penhein we love watching the colours changing, with our woods slowly turning from green to rich browns and golds as the weeks go by. Wherever you live there are so many ways to enjoy this wonderful pre-Christmas season so here are some of our best suggestions.
The title might sound a bit odd, but yes Leaf Peeping is a thing, and a gorgeous one! We are lucky enough to have areas of woodland on the farm that give us a personal display of the Autumn colours, but you can see this in parks and arboretums all around the country. Check out what is in your local area for some of the most beautiful sights of the year. For instance, we have the Wye Valley on our doorstop, with its 20 million trees across 200 square miles. That’s a lot of peeping opportunities; you can find out a bit more by going to Visit Dean and Wye.
Autumn isn’t called the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ for nothing. Blackberries, chestnuts, damsons, rosehips and sloes are just a few of the things nature lays out for us. Forage any of these to make some wonderful natural treats. We use the sloes on the farm to make our special Penhein Sloe Gin. This goes in The Penhein Pantry as just one of the fabulous goodies for guests so they can treat themselves during their stay.
Bonfires (watch out for hedgehogs)
Autumn is a time for bonfires and not just as part of the garden tidy up. As the nights draw in and the sky darkens there is nothing nicer than the sight and smell of a bonfire. Wrap up in a thick, cosy rug, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine or cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the flames crackling in front of you. You can have your own bonfire at any time, but they are also part of the ritual of Bonfire Night so see what is on in your area. Don’t forget though, if you are building your own please check there are no hedgehogs or other wildlife taking cover under the wood before you set it alight!
A child’s excitement during Halloween is infectious. Jam jar decorating, pumpkin carving, ghost stories and scary costumed trick or treating – there is so much to look forward to. We are already planning our guests’ annual half term (and this year, end of season) Halloween Party and if you would like to join in, you can see if there are still spaces by going to our Check Availability page. Alternatively, you can run your own Halloween Party indoors or out and if you need some help there is plenty of advice out there. Why not check out the Mumbler or County Living sites for some great ideas?
This has to be one of the cosiest, funnest, squidgiest, stickiest and most delicious things to do over a roaring outdoors fire (we know, grammar and spelling out of the window, all in a good cause). At Penhein every alachigh (alla-cheeg) tent has its own BBQ pit, and marshmallow toasting is almost a rite of passage for all our guests. If you are doing this at home, make sure you have some good toasting forks with non metal handles handy – and lots of marshmallows of course!
Night Sky Stargazing
Autumn is considered to be one of the best times of year to go stargazing, as it gets dark early but temperatures haven’t got too cold. In fact astronomers sometimes refer to it as an ‘observing season’. If you don’t know much about the night sky, there are plenty of good apps that will give you some great advice on what to look for and what you are seeing (interesting fact: many non-commercial observatories stay closed during the summer months as it simply doesn’t get dark at the time the public can visit!). Don’t forget to dress warmly, and give your eyes plenty of time to get accustomed to the dark. Pull up a chair and gaze away to your heart’s content.
The mornings are already turning colder and the days will follow soon. This is the perfect season for walking in the crisp air, wrapped up warm with gloves and wellies, while you take in the sights and sounds of Autumn. The walking at Penhein starts immediately outside the front door of your tent. From there you can go for miles around the farm and see some of the most beautiful views in the area from the top of the hill. Alternatively there is the stunning walking available in the Wye Valley also on our doorstep. Go out and enjoy the feeling of cold air on skin and put a glow on your cheeks!