Reasons to visit the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean this week

Abergavenny Festival of Cycling

Abergavenny Festival of Cycling has grown into one of the most established events on the Welsh and UK sporting calendar and celebrates the joy of riding a bike.

adminupload_55a22aa04a626cyclingTaking place from the 13th – 17th July, The Festival is a mixture of fun and real competitive action. It has seen the biggest stars of the sport riding across the beautiful countryside of Monmouthshire and through the streets of the tightly-packed market town, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas.

The award-winning Festival of Cycling was the first to include a sportive event which climbs the famous Tumble Mountain within its programme. Thousands of amateur riders have ascended as part of the Iron Mountain Sportif.

From a weekend format that included – and still does include – high-octane street riding in the shape of the Town Centre Criterium, the Iron Mountain Sportif and the showpiece Grand Prix of Wales, it has grown to a week of many and varied events both in and out of the saddle.

The Festival includes club runs, a tough Hill Climb event and a Fringe Festival which incorporates film nights of the best cycling movies and a weekend dinner which attract some of the most popular names in the sport.

The annual Sportif is the chance for fun riders and those cyclists who want to test themselves, to try out all or part of the one hundred miles route ridden by the stars at one of the most well-marshalled and serviced mass participation cycling events in the UK.

For more information, visit:

Enjoy a scrumptious cream tea overlooking the River Wye

Until the 15th July, The Royal Lodge in Symonds Yat is offering customers a fantastic cream tea deal to celebrate the launch of its new Kingfisher Suite function room.adminupload_570e484510d66Cream-Tea-Herefordshire

Enjoy a scrumptious cream tea for two complete with home-made scones, clotted cream, butter and jam with a choice of tea or coffee for just £10!

Overlooking the stunning River Wye, the new function room is available for weddings, meetings and conferences with seating for up to 100 guests. The room offers private dining for large groups as well a comforting large wood burner and large windows that open to showcase the stunning garden views.

Make the most of this great money-saving offer and visit before 15th July. Cream tea is available daily from 2:30pm-6pm. Booking is essential, please contact The Royal Lodge on 01600 890238 to arrange your experience.

For more information, visit:

Reggae Night

Providing a great evening of soulful music, Reggae on the Rocks are a fantastic five piece band of outstanding musicians specialising in Reggae and soul with brilliant vocal harmonies. The band has a vast experience in the music industry and a great range of songs, keeping the audience on the dance floor. Join in the fun on Friday 15th July to hear covers of Bob Marley, UB40, Aswad, The Temptations and a whole lot more, in addition to some unique Reggae versions of well-loved classics. All the great UK chart hits guaranteed to keep the party going.

Held at Whitemead Forest Park, near Parkend. £17.50 per adult including a two course dinner. This is an over 18’s seated event

For more information call 01594 560 400

Trellech BIG Weekend

The BIG Weekend is a community event for the residents of and visitors to the lovely village of Trellech in Monmouthshire.  The BIG Weekend was set up following a very successful Jubilee Weekend held in 2012.  A few people in the village felt it was a shame that it was a ‘one-off’ and so the idea of the BIG Weekend was born.

Events for this weekend are as follows:

Friday July 15th 2016

  • Trellech Teas 2:00pm – 4:30pm, Trellech Village Hall (The Babington Centre). FREE entry. The weekend will kick off with a weekly celebration of all things ‘cake’. Expect home-made cakes, proper tea and coffee and waitress service with a smile.
  • A concert will also take place in the evening – details to be confirmed

Saturday July 16th 2016

  • Skittles 1:00pm to 4:00pm, location to be confirmed.
  • Fun Dog Show 1:30pm to 3:30pm, Trellech Village Hall (The Babington Centre). £1 per class. Includes tombola and refreshments.  Dog Show will be judged by Helen Atton of FIDO Behaviour
  • A Wine Tasting Supper at Trellech Village Hall (The Babington Centre) may also be arranged. Details to be confirmed

Sunday July 17th 2016

  • Village Walk 10:30am, starts at the Village Car Park, next to the Methodist Church. FREE event. Lead by local archaeologist Stuart Wilson this walk has become very popular.  Trellech has a fascinating history which visitors can explore
  • Sunday Lunch and jazz 1:00pm, The Lion Inn. A laid-back buffet lunch accompanied by Steve Doolan and Trio FREE entry – donations gratefully received

For more information, visit:

Pop Up Spa Weekend with Hillside Brewery

Whether you crave a quiet relaxing time with friends and family or a fabulous getaway with a loved one, the pop-up spa weekend based in the beautiful Forest of Dean can create the ultimate bespoke experience. Set in a stunning 40 acre farm, the experience combines the great outdoors with the most luxurious comfort.

adminupload_56c2f8c5a741atubs and tentsOffering the ultimate pampering experience, there’s wood-fired hot tubs, saunas and a selection of luxury pamper treatments, all in a unique outdoor environment.

After a relaxing day you can spend the evening enjoying the outdoor cinema, sipping a cocktail or Hillside Brewery beer from the hot tub whilst watching a movie under the stars.

Day tickets are available for the Friday 15th July, Saturday 16th July and Sunday 17th July. This includes a full day’s use of the outdoor spa and onsite facilities plus a free overnight stay on-site when bringing your own tent. 2 day/2 night packages are also available.

Camping spots need to be booked in advance. Luxury, fully-furnished bell tents are also available for hire. Spa treatments and time slots can be pre-booked separately or on the day. Evening ‘Twilight’ tickets are also available on the Friday or Saturday and include a free drink on arrival.

To make the experience even more unique, Hillside Brewery is offering a ‘Brewery Tour & Tasting’ session at 3pm on Friday and Saturday at 3pm. This is an added extra to the pamper package.

There will be a pop-up café open during the day including a healthy juice bar, plus a licensed bar (which will always be open) and themed evening food available on the Friday and Saturday night.

Tickets can be booked via the Facebook page.

For any further information or assistance with booking call 01452 830222 or email

Mitcheldean Fete & Folk Festival

Offering a packed programme of poetry, music, and family fun, Mitcheldean Fete and Folk Festival will be setting up from 15th – 17th July in the Forest of Dean village for a summer showcase.adminupload_55805f1aead51mff

Bringing folk to the Forest of Dean, Mitcheldean Fete and Folk Festival promises a brilliant weekend of live entertainment and fun for the whole family.

Set to storm the Forest of Dean village from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 July 2016, the summer festival will offer a host of entertainment and activities, ranging from folk walks and Morris dancers, to poetry and a barn dance.

A highlight will be the series of showcase concerts taking place at Mitcheldean Paris Church on the Saturday, offering an eclectic mix of live performances.

The special guest this year will be Dame Janet Trotter DBE the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, who will carry out ceremonial duties on Saturday starting at the Parish Church.

Free to enter. For more information visit

William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors”

Enjoy one of Shakespeare’s most accessible plays for young and old alike in the beautiful open-air setting of St Briavels Castle.

Saturday 16th July – evening performance at 7.30pm

Sunday 17th July – matinee performance at 2pm

Tickets are £12 in advance, £15 on the gate.   All children and under-26s are only £5 per ticket.

Tickets available from Reception at St Briavels Castle or by calling direct on 01594 530272

Coleford Music Festival 2016

Coleford will be abuzz with music revellers during its summer festival, taking place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July 2016, with live music performances played across four different stages over the weekend in the town centre.

The jam-packed programme boasts an eclectic mix of top music acts designed to appeal to all tastes, with jazz, reggae, folk musicians and more on the line-up.

Music lovers can also enjoy a plethora of attractions spanning workshops, exhibitions, market stalls, demonstrations, street food, and much more.

A celebratory free event which supports the local community, Coleford Music Festival is sure to exceed festival-goers’ expectations and be a weekend for the whole family to enjoy.

Further details can be found at

Popup Opera – The Barbera of Seville

The Broom Farm Cider Barn, Herefordshire, will be filled with the beautiful sound of opera on Friday 17th July. Innovative touring opera company, Popup Opera is bring Rossini’s famous farcical comedy (The Barber of Seville) to the spotlight. Always a brilliant atmosphere in the barn, audience members can watch the performance with a glass of award-winning cider in hand, or indulge in one of Hilary’s famous cream teas before the show.

The performance starts at 4pm with teas and bar open from 2pm.

Tickets are priced at £17.50 and are available to purchase; online here, or by contacting Phil and Mike at Broome Farm by emailing or calling 01989 567232

Pop-up Opera is an innovative touring opera company dedicated to making opera enjoyable and inviting, without losing the quality of musical performance. We aim to broaden the appeal of opera and to challenge the way opera is performed, by taking it into unusual spaces and making it fun, fresh and intimate.

Robin Hood

Hitting the stage at the Everyman Theatre, Cathedral of the Forest, comes a new adaptation of Robin Hood. Jenny Wren and her Merry Men take on the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham. As he strives to win the Golden Arrow and the hand of the valiant Maid Marian, Robin and his motley crew entertain all the family with action, adventure, astonishingly attractive actors and… appalling green tights.

adminupload_573b30df33db2robinIt’s just Robin, and some men, and the forest… Perfectly delightful.

What more could you want from a summer’s evening?

Sunday July 17th 2016, Cathedral of the Forest, Newland, Forest of Dean. GL16 8NL

Performance 6pm – grounds open 5pm for picnics. Refreshments on sale. Tickets £10 adults; £7 children; £30 for 2 adults 2 children.

To book tickets and for more information, visit:

Victorian Day

Celebrate and immerse yourself in Victorian times at the Old Station, Tintern on Sunday 17th July. With a programme packed full of family fun, it’s a great day out for all the family. Expect Archery, Punch & Judy, Donkey rides, train rides, stalls and more. Entry is free.

For more information, visit:

Forest and Valley Open Studios

Giving visitors a taste of the fantastic creative work on display at the Forest and Valley adminupload_5777f0f2239f2fosOpen Studios, until 17th July the Taurus Crafts Café is hosting an Open Taster Exhibition. Free to enter, the exhibition will showcase the wealth of talent the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley areas has on offer.

It provides the perfect opportunity for planning visits to the artist’s open studios, which presents the incredible work from some of the top talents in the area.

The café is open from 10am to 5.30pm.

Chepstow Festival

The Chepstow Arts and Community Festival is a month long celebration of theatre, music and creativity in the town. With over 80 events being staged by a wide range of community groups.adminupload_57530fa7506d9chepstowfestival

This year’s Festival is underway and will culminate on 24 July 2016 with a 200th anniversary celebration of the opening of Chepstow’s historic cast iron bridge.

This summer there are 13 exciting theatre productions in Chepstow Castle by Britain’s top professional touring open-air theatre companies. With the great British summer giving us plenty of rain this year, visitors can be assured they will be kept dry thanks to the audience cover which was installed in 2012 and keeps audiences of over 250 dry in the event of rain. 

Music at Tintern

Come to the Old Station Tintern throughout the summer for fantastic musical performances from 2pm – 4pm:

  • Sunday 17th July – Brass instrumentalists from Chepstow Town Band
  • Friday 29th July – Alex Ishmael and Henry Blight (Young singer/guitarists in the style of Ed Sheeran and Jake Bugg)
  • Sunday 31st – Mad Toms Crowd
  • 7 Aug – Alex Kirk and Laura Bonar (Post-graduate pianist and violinist)
  • Sunday 14th August – 3 miles per hour (acoustic trio)
  • Sunday 21st August – Nataley Simpson (Folk/pop singer/guitarist)
  • Sunday 28th August – Jan & Ian
  • Sunday 4th Sept – Tripling Trio (Post-graduate RWCMD woodwind instrumentalists)
  • Sunday 18th September – The JAZZ LAdZZ (Jazz/funk fusion)

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