Our exciting natural children’s playground is one of our most popular adventures for our youger guests. They particularly love the balance bars, tunnel and bridge. It has been rigorously tested by our in-house design team (aka Bastie and Archie) and has been deemed ‘brilliant’. Nestled in the glampsite itself, this is the perfect way for children to while away some happy hours while you enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee.
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.
Find the stacks of wood and coils of rope within the glampsite which are all you need to start building your Penhein den.
Ever wanted to go wild and learn to live off the land? Fed up with hearing about Bear Grylls? Then our bushcraft course is for you! Our ex-military instructors will help you make shelters, build fires (without matches!), forage and prep your wild food on our land. Just remember that the sheep aren’t on the menu!
For those who are extra adventurous, why not test your mettle in our Bush Tucker trials? Anyone want to be crowned king or queen of the woodland? £10 per person, additional 30 mins to your bushcraft adventure.
Our Junior Bushcraft course is specially aimed at the children – a fun way to learn survival skills and give mums and dads a few hours off! They will learn about – and have a go at – building different shelters and lighting fires without matches (multiple different ways) in the woods on our farm. A great way to experience what nature has to offer.
For those who are extra adventurous, have a go at our Bush Tucker trials? Want to be crowned prince or princess of the woodland? £7.50 per child, additional 30 mins to their bushcraft adventure.
Given the age range we aim to work with two separate groups based on age where possible. If there are less than two children interested we will check with other guests to see if anyone else would like to join in.
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 family or celebratory group.
See if you can find the 18th Century lime kilns on the farm.
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.
We’ve got 450 acres for you to explore from the top of Gray Hill to the Castroggi Stream 300 feet below with woodlands and meadows galore in between. For the spring we have a trail featuring the very best of the garlic and bluebells which will be at their best in April and May. Please leave the gates as you find them, open if open, closed if closed.
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 walking through Penhein woods, for about 2 kilometres.
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.
Our farm adjoins Wentwood Forest (which is over 1,000 acres, and the oldest forest in Wales) so you won’t even need to get in the car to enjoy this beautiful area for Geocaching or just walking.
Wentwood Forest comprises of some areas of ancient woodland (at least 400 years old) as well as some conifer plantations. It was once a hunting preserve of Chepstow Castle and stretched from the River Wye to the River Usk. It has a long recorded history and a number of heritage sites that give clues to the past uses of the forest, so while you’re looking for the caches there’s lots to see.
A place to play, a place to dream, a place to relax – Penhein is a magical world made for children. Each year we like to add a little something and this season it’s an awesome new den in the woods – the Hearn Hideaway! Send your children off to find the hideaway, their own space where they can make up exciting games and adventures!
Head down to the stream at the bottom of the valley for paddling, poo sticks and dam building.
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.
A wonderful way of seeing all that Penhein has to offer, the Penhein Wildlife Challenge is perfect for anyone of 9 or over to test their wildlife knowledge or learn more about the wildlife to be found on the farm. The pack that goes with the challenge contains a quiz based on what you will find on fact sheets called “Penhein Wildlife Wonders” which will be dotted throughout the glampsite and wildflower meadow. There will also be three wildlife spotter sheets to help you keep a track of what you see. The whole pack will be presented in a plastic folder with a pack of crayons for when inspiration strikes! A perfect adventure for all the family.
Just below our woodland glampsite is the 8 acre wildflower hay meadow that you can play around in, enjoy a picnic or simply lie back, watch and listen as nature goes by.
Create your own unique magical memory of your 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 postcard of your tent and campfire? Under the expert tutelage of Rachel Cadman, an inspirational local artist and tutor, whether you’re a complete beginner or experienced in printmaking, you’ll come away from this session with newfound skills and a special souvenir of Penhein.
Grey Hill adjoins our farm and is a lovely walk, finishing up with magnificent panoramic views across South Wales from the summit.
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.
Renowned willow weaver Amanda Rayner is bringing her wonderful willow weaving sessions to Penhein. Amanda has been creating natural products for homes and gardens for over 20 years and her passion is to share the skill of this ancient through a series of outstanding workshops which she runs all over the UK. We are delighted that Amanda has agreed to offer her courses here at Penhein and she has personally selected six different willow weaving classes to choose from. 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.
Let the children go off exploring around the site with this great fantastic Young Explorers Activity pack to help with the fun. Filled with lots of things to do, see and collect there’s plenty to keep them occupied and interested. The pack includes a Scavenger hunt, Word search, Dot-to-dot, an Eye Spy chart and a Woodland Letter Search (spot the letters dotted around the glampsite and make the word). It is all based on nature, and it comes in a practical plastic folder with a set of crayons that they can use as their creative juices start to flow!
Date: 9th April - 29th October 2020
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Date: 4th July-12th July 2020
Forest and Rivers Open, farOpen, first established in 1995, is a nine day art...
Date: 4th July 2020
Enjoy a relaxing journey along the Dean Forest Railway on board the Heritage...