The Symonds Yat Adventures have something for everyone. In one you start by abseiling down to Symonds Yat Rock where you will explore a series of caves and take in the beautiful views and drops of the Wye Valley. Traverse into Bowlers Hole, relax and have lunch. After lunch you have a 60ft abseil to negotiate and then on to Blue Spot where you will test your skills in climbing, as the only way is up. There are plenty of other adventures to chose from if this doesn’t suit!
Create your own unique magical memory of your group’s stay at Penhein. Design and create a momento from the inspirational setting of the farm, woodland and amazing views. A view of the river on a tea towel? One of the buzzards on a notebook? Or a set of postcards of your tent and campfire? Under the expert tutelage of Rachel Cadman, an inspirational local artist and tutor, whether you’re all complete beginners, experienced in printmaking or a mixture of the two, you’ll come away from this session with newfound skills and special souvenirs of Penhein.Find out more »
Come and discover our native herbal healing tradition with qualified medical herbalist Rowan McOnegal. Explore the herbal delights that Penhein has to offer, wandering in the woods and meadows finding and identifying medicinal herbs to make into teas and infused oil. You will make a medical balm for you to take away with you and taste some teas that you’ve foraged. On the way you will learn about the powerful healing qualities of some common plants that are often overlooked and disregarded as ‘weeds’. You’ll go home with a better understanding of herbs and our relationship with them, knowledge of how to collect & prepare herbal teas and balms, and perhaps go on to use herbs for your own health and well-being.
In the most delightful and civilised foraging experience imaginable, our forager Adele Nozedar will take you into the heavenly wilds of Penhein for a short forage to find ingredients which might go nicely into a gin. You will then return to base where you’ll find out a great deal of weird and wonderful info about this elegant drink, whilst enjoying a free cocktail (or maybe two). Adele will show you how to make your own unique blend of botanicals gin (or vodka) using foliage, petals, berries and bark from Penhein, supplemented by her own considerable collection of herbs and spices from all over the world. Finally, blend all your ingredients into a 300 ml jar to take home!
Join forager Adele Nozedar in a fascinating exploration of the sense of smell, culminating in you making your own unique signature perfume (or aftershave, or beard oil!).
Plant-lover Adele, who also runs the Botanical Gin and Forest and Feast workshops here, is passionate about getting people out into nature to experience the sensual delights of the outdoors. Having realised that our best-loved commercial perfumes use plant fragrances as a key ingredient, she invented the ‘sensory forage’, designed to make you really start to use your sense of smell.
Enjoy a tour around the grounds of Penhein, followed by a lesson in how to make perfume – and then enjoy playing with over 30 different oils to make your own!
Each participant will take home a 10ml bottle of his or her own fragrance, including the recipe for how to make it again.
In a forest environment using natural features, the group constructs a rope bridge (Tyrolean Traverse), under qualified supervision. The ravine is then crossed one person at a time wearing a harness and helmet, whilst attached to a safety line.These sessions are led by an Instructor with a Single Pitch Supervisor Award.
Ever wanted to go wild and learn to live off the land? Then our bushcraft course is for you! Learn from ex-servicemen in a relaxed and fun way about how to make shelters, build fires, forage and prep your wild food on our land. Just remember that the sheep don’t count!
If less than 2 people in your party are interested, please let us know and we will check to see if other guests may like to join in.
A great day out, this is fun and engaging for all involved. Interaction is the key for this trip as people have to work together and have fun completing challenges. The day uses the canoe as a natural team-building machine. Canoe skills need to be developed, requiring communication, planning and forward thinking. The trip ends by canoeing to the finish through outstanding landscape. Teams can stop at a riverside pub for lunch or packed lunches can be provided for a picnic. Reckoned to be one of the most stunning canoe trips in country.
The natural area around Symonds Yat and the Forest of Dean is the perfect place to go caving. Walk, crawl or sometimes shuffle through miles of passageways into vast open caverns with stalactites and stalagmites . A three hour session starts with the provision of a boiler suit, helmet and light. After an introduction and instruction you will then set off into the caves, led by a qualified instructor. Suitable for novices and experienced cavers alike.
Clay pigeon shooting is a wonderful way to have a great time at Penhein. Starting with a safety talk, you will then have tuition with practise clays. The group will then be divided into teams (or if a smaller group, individuals) for an exciting competition to see who can shoot the most clays. The sessions are run by Nigel and Stuart Hart of Hart Events. They frequently represent Great Britain in European and International championships and are members of the Welsh Clay Target Shooting Association so you are in truly experienced hands!
*If less than 4 in your party are interested, contact us and we will see if other guests are interested in joining in.
Our private Cupcake Decorating Parties are a great way to spend special time together. Two hours of fun for all ages, with four of your own beautifully decorated cupcakes to take home! Classes last for two hours and can be tailored to a theme if you would like, and include a demonstration of decorating with both sugarpaste and buttercream, personal tuition and a lot of sprinkles! Gluten Free, dairy free and vegan requirements can also be catered for. Classes are run by the wonderful Sharon of The Pocket Bakery and are ideal for a pre-wedding celebration, birthday group or just friends getting together
Immerse yourself in the Silver Circle artisan gin distillery, deep in the glorious Wye Valley. During this 2 hour combined tour and tasting you’ll see how Silver Circle hand-craft their unique gin, and sample each of ther different products, learning about the locally foraged botanicals along the way. One of the their distillers will give you an in-depth tour of the distillery, showing you how the gin is made and answering all of your questions. After the tour you will sit down for a gin tasting, learning how to identify different characteristics and flavours in gins. You will be taken through the history of gin, different gin styles and different ways to pair gins with tonics and other mixers. You’ll get to try at least 5 different gins with different mixers. Should make for a great time!
Experience the excitement of the hidden world of Penhein at night. Bats, Badgers, Deer, Hedgehogs, Owls and colourful moths roam the estate after the daytime creatures have gone to bed. Andy Karran, Senior Conservation Ecologist at Gwent Wildlife Trust will be your guide your through the dark, when you will listen to the echo-location of bats on specialised bat detectors and see what else is at large after the sun goes down. Andy will also explain how all these creatures are adapted to their nocturnal lifestyle and be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Get ready for your own wildlife adventure!
Dusk Safari starts will range from a 20:30 start at the beginning of May to a 21:30 start in late June, to a 19:00 start at the end of September. They will also be weather dependent as rain, strong winds or low temperatures would mean the bats particularly won’t be active.
Set off to explore the wild wonders of Penhein, looking at the woods, meadows, watersides and more. Immerse yourself in nature by making friends with the plants that many of us see on an everyday basis but don’t really think about. Find out the tales these plants have to tell! Take a break by a babbling brook and enjoy a cup of wild tea and maybe a slice of even wilder cake….
Back at base, your wild harvest will be used in your lunch or supper, cooked over a fire using additional ingredients, and washed down with wild cordials pre-prepared by well known forager, author and educator Adele Nozedar. Children always welcome.
Why not try one of our wonderful Forest Bathing sessions at Penhein?
Forest Bathing (also known as Shinrin Yoku) is a research based practice from Japan that is known to increase feelings of wellbeing, improve cognition and support the immune system, amongst other potential mental and physical benefits. It involves ‘bathing’ the senses in a forested or natural environment. It is slow, gentle and inclusive with some similarities to mindfulness.
Our experienced instructor, Carina Greenwood, is a Forest Therapy Guide and Forestry England Learning provider. She will introduce you to the basic principles behind Forest Bathing and its Eastern origins and guide you through a structured three hour programme where you will not walk further than two kilometers. This will include sensory ‘invitations’ with foraged tea and healthy snacks at the end. These invitations can be done together or more often alone, within sight of the guide and last between 5-20 minutes.
Nothing is compulsory and you can opt out of any one of these if you feel they are not for you. You can lie under a tree and sleep instead if you want!
Test your taste buds with the Fruit Wine Tasting Challenge at Penhein. We have teamed up with the wonderful VQ Country Wines to arrange a fun entertainment with a difference. This is all about learning with a competitive edge!
On arrival you will receive a welcome glass VQ Fruit Wine. Once you have finished this warm up, and after a short introduction to VQ Country Wines from owner Debbie Attrill, there will be 6 different wines laid out for you to guess the flavour. Don’t worry there will be some clues and the wines are gorgeous so right or wrong you will have a great time trying! There will be prizes for the winner, but to win you will need to guess all six right.
There will then be a follow up general wine quiz with more prizes on offer and you will finish with the chance to ask Debbie questions and find out more about how they make this delicious and unusual wine.
A variation on our Fruit Wine Tasting Challenge at Penhein this has the added treat of a series of local cheeses to try with the delicious wine. As before, this is all about learning with a competitive edge! On arrival you will receive a welcome glass VQ Fruit Wine. After a short introduction to VQ Country Wines from owner Debbie Attrill, there will be 6 different wines laid out for you to guess the flavour. Don’t worry there will be some clues and the wines are gorgeous so right or wrong you will have a great time trying! The cheeses will help cleanse your pallet between tastings as well as give you some great ideas of which cheese tastes best with which wine. There will be prizes for the winner, but to win you will need to guess all six right. There will then be a follow up general wine quiz with more prizes on offer and you will finish with the chance to ask Debbie questions and find out more about how they make this delicious and unusual wine.
Glam Hatter offer Millinery Hen Parties at Penhein Glamping. These hen party workshops are pure fun and a gorgeous hen party activity. Taught by highly skilled and fabulously fun Glam Hatter Girls, they are suitable for any level – even if you’ve never picked up a needle in your life. Choose from boho flower crowns, vintage-inspired fascinators, Jackie ‘O fascinators amongst others. All materials and tools are included in the price.
The National Diving & Activity Centre is based just outside Chepstow near the beautiful Forest of Dean. They offer a wide range of activities and events , as well as food & drink in the View Cafe.
Activities include Scuba Diving in the flooded quarry lake, with a range of depths to suit all abilities. The waters also have many underwater attractions including planes, armoured vehicles, sunken boats & helicopters. There is the Atlantis Aqua Park with over five floating zones to choose from where you can challenge yourself to an experience like no other – bouncing, hopping, jumping and diving all over the incredible floating park. There is the Wire Zip Slide, one of the UK’s longest, tallest and fastest zip slides, running the 700 metre length of the NDAC Quarry, and the Giant 3G Swing when you can experience weightlessness 245 feet in the air on an ultimate adrenaline-pumping blast! Other activities include a Drive-In Cinema, Fly Boards, Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP), Freediving, Kayaking, Bungee Jumping and Segway Experience.
This is a great one day event that involves canoeing, abseiling, navigating, walking and team work. Teams of 6-8 members must find their way around the forest to an abseil point and then down the river in canoes, completing mini challenges and finding stashes along the way that will help towards the overall goal of finding all the ingredients and recipe. The day finishes around the fire in a beautiful riverside setting where the teams present their final cooked outcomes of the day.
We have two versions of this, both best suited for groups, one suitable for groups with children and the other just for adults.
Both are a classic blend of general knowledge clues and creative tasks and are designed to get you thinking out of the box and off the wall…the keyword here is fun! This is a true test of teamwork, creativity and problem solving skills, making it one of our most entertaining events for adventurous and determined teams. The adventure begins the moment the teams open their sealed envelopes and fire up their team’s collective brain power!
This is for a maximum of four teams, each team with a maximum of six team mates, and you get to explore the best of the Penhein estate.
We’ll start you off and be there at the end to judge who is the best team and present the prize!
*Don’t worry if you are just one team, you can have just as much fun working all the clues out amongst yourselves.
These problem solving days are a great way to get a new or experienced teams working better together. After a few icebreaking tasks, the group will move onto more complex team challenges such as the Spider’s Web. These are stimulating activity days, ideal for promoting effective team work and developing communication skills within groups. The problems are a mixture of mental and physical tasks suited to the particular range of those involved. These are fun activities offering the opportunity for both creativity and design in a relaxed and beautiful setting.
Using barrels, poles, paddles, buoyancy aids and helmets, small teams of around 4-6 construct a raft of their own design with the encouragement of instructors. This is a wonderful activity for groups which requires planning, team-work, clear communication and co-ordination. Once the rafts are finished all teams will compete in a challenge race!
Symonds Yat in the Wye Valley couldn’t be a better place to experience the thrill and excitement of rock climbing. Climbing on the natural surrounding limestone cliffs with professional instructors is perfect for those who want to experience climbing in a safe and relaxing environment. A three hour climbing session starts at the centre at Symonds Yat Rock, with only a ten minute walk to the cliffs. Wye Dean also offer abseiling courses.
Stand Up Paddleboarding is easy to learn, safe to do and most importantly it’s FUN! Way2Go Adventures offers Stand Up Paddleboarding sessions in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. A cross between canoeing and surfing, SUP is great for family days out, children’s parties, couples and hen and stag parties. Way2Go provide SUP in a variety of locations in the Forest of Dean and on the River Wye in the Wye Valley. A standard introductory lesson lasts for 2.5 hours and costs from £40 per person. Everything you need to take part in the session of SUP will be provided.
Get close to nature by day with a Wild Walk at Penhein, exploring the farm, searching the woods, fields and stream for butterflies, birdlife and wildflowers. Penhein is home to lots of exciting wildlife, with the woodlands of particular interest as large parts are recognised as being of national importance through their protection as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Andy Karran, Senior Conservation Ecologist at Gwent Wildlife Trust will be your guide across the estate where you will go searching for whatever seasonal treats there are including our larger residents such as Badger and Fallow Deer. Andy will explain how to identify the wildlife present and tell you a bit about their lives, and be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Amanda Rayner started Wyldwood Willow in 2000 and her passion to share the skill of this ancient craft and her desire to limit the use of plastic in the world has helped her to create a thriving business. Based near us here in Monmouthshire, she has a wonderful variety of workshops and willow weaving demonstrations and we are delighted that she has agreed to offer her courses here at Penhein. There are six different willow weaving classes that you can try, so choose the one that best suits your group. If you are interested, let us know and we will check Amanda’s availability for you.
Weaving Workshop Options – all half a day except Frame Basket Weaving
*The minimum age is 10, but we do suggest that at this age they are joined by a parent/adult to help.
We are thrilled to have Tom Innes of Fingal-Rock Wine Merchants as our advisor/supplier/teacher and all round wine guru. Tom is something of a legend in the world of wine – as well known in London as he is here in his home county of Monmouthshire. He offers an outstanding selection of first class wines, handpicked using his own inimitable personal style and in depth knowledge; as an article in The Daily Telegraph (January 2020) pointed out if ‘(Tom) doesn’t like a wine, he won’t sell it’.
As well as ensuring our Pantry is stocked with glorious wines, Tom also runs wine tasting courses at Penhein. Tom’s wine tastings are all about discovering new wines to tickle your taste buds. Typically you will taste between 6 – 8 different wines during the session, and he can put together a bespoke choice for you on request (e.g. all Red, all Sparkling, all French etc). Tom knows the vineyards and producers of all his wines so the session will be packed full of interesting information. There will also be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and buy some of the wine you are trying. If you want to check out Fingal-Rock just go to www.pinotnoir.co.uk. Don’t be fooled by the website, the wines are spectacular!
We are delighted that the wonderful Miranda Shaw is joining the Penhein team to offer yoga classes to our glamping guests.
Having trained as a classical hatha yoga teacher Miranda’s personal style has evolved, in particular influenced by her time in America practising vinyasa flow with several renowned yoga teachers, including Shiva Rea and Janet Stone. Miranda is also trained to teach pre and postnatal yoga.
Our intention will always be to run the classes outdoors in our beautiful Wildflower Meadow. However, if the weather doesn’t allow this, Miranda will use Petro for groups of up to six (if a larger group have booked and the weather is inclement, Miranda will run consecutive sessions for groups of 6 in Petro and each group will be able to choose Gentle or Dynamic according to experience).
The cost is £20 per person, with a minimum spend of £120. Mats are included but you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.
If there are individuals who would like to book a session but want to share the cost, let us know and we are happy to then contact other guests to see if they would like to join in. All classes are subject to availability – booking in advance is essential.
To find out more about Miranda please click here to see her website.
If you’ve ever dreamed of swinging through the trees like Tarzan, this is your chance! Fly down zip-wires, rope swings and cross over obstacles in the tops of trees. You are briefed on safety beforehand and are always attached by a safety harness. Go Ape also offer a Segway adventure through the forests. A great day out for a group of friends and they also offer bespoke packages for corporate / team building groups.