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

Monmouth Festival

Situated in the beautiful historic Welsh border town Monmouth Festival is a nine day festival offering the unique atmosphere of yesteryear festivals in the here and now. Attracting visitors from all over the world, it is proud to be considered one of the longest running, largest and best free volunteer organised festivals in Europe.adminupload_56ae369eb5d13mon1

Throughout its 34 years the Festival has got bigger and better and now includes the Carnival, Busking Festival and a growing Fringe.  The Festival prides itself on being extremely friendly, relaxed and an opportunity for families and all generations of people to come together and enjoy themselves.
22nd-30th July
Three Choirs Festival
For nearly three hundred years the cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester have taken it in turn to host an annual ‘music meeting’. The original performers were the three cathedral choirs, who remain at the heart of the festival, but the large-scale choral repertoire at today’s concerts is performed by the TCF Chorus drawn from the three cities, joined by an array of international artists and ensembles to provide a diversity unimagined in the eighteenth century. In 2016, the festival celebrates will be held in Gloucester.adminupload_569b8e446826f3choirs

For visitors and audience members, the Three Choirs Festival is a unique, immersive experience. Events take place throughout the day during festival week: you can start with a guided walk around the historic host city, take in an art exhibition or enjoy a lunchtime recital in a beautiful church, get on a coach for an afternoon concert somewhere in the surrounding countryside, be back in time for Choral Evensong or a tea-time talk, listen to an awe-inspiring choral and orchestral performance in a glorious cathedral setting, and finish with jazz and a drink at one of our more informal late night events.

23rd-30th July

Ticketed events

Children’s Activity Days at Nature in Art

adminupload_56f7cc1a6ced6easterThroughout the year during the school holidays Nature in Art are running a wide range of Activity Days for children.

Each Activity Day has a theme. Each workshop interprets that theme using age appropriate materials and techniques.

The times are:
10.30-12.00pm: for 3 – 7 years
1.00-2.30pm: for 3 – 18 years
3.00-4.30pm: for 8 – 18 years

26th Jul – Oil Pastels Inspired by Picasso
27th Jul – Marvellous Marbling
28th Jul – Garden Noughts & Crosses
29th Jul – Pond Dipping
2nd Aug – Paper Making
3rd Aug – Finger Print Doodles
4th Aug – Origami
5th Aug – Sun Print Photography
9th Aug – Paper Sculpture Lizard
10th Aug – Model with Mod Roc
11th Aug – Make a Clay Vessel
12th Aug – Wire Sculpture
16th Aug – The Art of Print Making
17th Aug – Cave Paintings
18th Aug – Painting Party
19th Aug – Pen & Watercolour in the Garden
23rd Aug – Marvellous Mosaics
24th Aug – Landscapes in Textiles
25th Aug – Encaustic Art
26th Aug – Weaving
30th Aug – Build & Decorate a Hedgehog House
31st Aug – Simon Says “Draw & Colour!”

Gorge Scrambling Experience Eisteddfod Special Offer

Rock climb waterfalls, scramble rocks, balance along ledges and go through a dark tunnel with water rushing by! A fun and exciting activity where you will get wet.  This activity has something for everyone, suitable for all, and is an enjoyable challenge.  The Gorge Scrambling Experience is perfect for visitors to the Eisteddfod festival looking for a mini adventure taking time out to explore the surrounding area.adminupload_56efc7a62add3Gorge scrambling

Duration approximately 2 hours; 10am & 1pm start time for morning & afternoon session.  Please call to check availability as places are limited.

£25 per person – price includes all activity and safety equipment along with qualified instructors. Minimum age 8 years olds and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Please email, telephone 01600 891515, or visit for information on how to book, confirmation of meeting point and time.

Location: Near Gilwern, within minutes from Govilon Park & Ride and Castle Meadow site.
Available from 29th July – 6th August 2016

National Eisteddfod
Held during the first week of August every year, the National Eisteddfod is a celebration of the culture and language in Wales.

adminupload_569b99d820cb7eisThe Eisteddfod is the natural showcase for music, dance, visual arts, literature, original performances and much more.  Encompassing all aspects of the arts and culture in Wales, it is an inclusive and welcoming festival, which attracts thousands of Welsh learners and those who do not speak the language as well as Welsh speakers every year.  Translation services are available in the Pavilion and bilingual information is available.  We also have a centre for learning Welsh on the Maes.

Described as Wales’ leading mobile regeneration project, Eisteddfod week is the highlight of a two year community project, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds from a different part of Wales every year.

With a mix of outreach work, lifelong learning and volunteering opportunities, the community project steers the preparations for the festival, giving local people a chance to make their mark on our national festival.

Most of Wales’ leading writers, musicians and poets have competed at the Eisteddfod, with many performers appearing on a national stage for the first time during the festival.

The Eisteddfod is held on Castle Meadows in Abergavenny from 29 July – 6 August.

Gruffalo Trail
A very familiar friend is returning to our woodland this Summer as our current woodland trail is replaced by none other than the Gruffalo trail. There will be various activities on offer throughout the day including Gruffalo themed arts and crafts, film showings and a procession to take part in.adminupload_5763cc9845c05gruff

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s Tea Trail
The Tea Trail celebrates Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday and Ross-on-Wye’s links to the hedgehog.

Treat yourself to a refreshment and enjoy one of the many activities along the Trail.
And, why not complete our ‘Mrs Tiggy-Winkle Tea Trail Quiz’ and be a lucky winner!
The Tea Trail venues are:

1.     The Friend’s Meeting House on Brampton Street     Create a hedgehog garden
2.     Hope Treasures Café (next to the Hope and Anchor pub)     Make hedgehog pom-poms
3.     Priory Coffee House on the High Street      Craft a hedgehog out of sheep’s wool
4.     Raglan’s House Café on Broad Street     Colour-in a hedgehog
5.     Globetrotters Coffee House on Broad Street     Enjoy hedgehog paintings, arts and crafts
6.     Mandy Moos on Cantilupe Road   Draw a hedgehog
7.     Return to Splendour on Gloucester Road   Write a special message to Ross-on-Wye’s ancient emblem: the hedgehog
8.     St. Mary’s Church Hall   Do a hedgehog-themed screen print on a small cotton bag

  1. WildPlay! Mud Kitchen on Dean Hill   Enjoy mud-filled hedgehog-themed activities

Sunday 31st July 2016 10am – 2pm
Summer Holidays at Taurus Crafts
THE FLOATING CASTLE. Lullaby Leesa and her amazing puppets with tales of recycling and King Arthur. Make your own fun puppet. (1hr), £3.00. 25th July, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22ndAugust 10.30, Age 3+, 11.30, 1.00, 2.00.

TED’EES ‘PATCH’ BUILD A BEAR. Create your very own special Teddy Bear, and design him a T-shirt or recycled bandana to wear.  (1hr) From £14.50. 29th, 30th July, 5th, 7th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th August, All Ages, 10.30-4.30.

PAINT YOUR OWN POT. Paint pottery items and have them glazed and fired. (20min approx), from £6. 23rd July till 31st August, All Ages, 11.00-1.00 + 2.00-4.00.

STONE CARVING with Cats Eye Carving, £5.00 to have a go (20min), £20.00 to carve a design on a 4” square piece of stone to take home (45min) 27th July, 3rd 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st August. Age 5+. 10.30 -4.30.

JEWELLERY & WIRE HEARTS with Balm Jewellery, make beautiful beaded jewellery or a heart decoration with new and up-cycled beads (20 min approx) £3.50, 26th July, 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th August. All Ages. 11.00-4.00.

WEDNESDAY WORKSHOP. Create something different every Wednesday with Mad Dog Designs using recycled materials. (20min approx), Free, 27th July, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st August. All Ages. 11.00-1.00 + 2.00-4.00.

ARNIE KAZZAM THE WIZARD. Laughter and magic show. (40min), £2.00 per child, Shows. 17th, 24th August.                     All Ages. 12-12.40 & 2.00-2.40.

T-SHIRT TO TOTE. Visit the Gift Shop to create your very own tote bag from a recycled T-shirt. Bring your own T-shirt or use one provided. (20min approx) £3.00, 6th & 13th August, All Ages. 11.00-1.00 & 2.00-4.00.

FINGER KNITTING with Silk Road Bazaar. Learn this innovative technique to create your own stunning necklace and bracelet. (2hr workshop), £25 (Includes enough yarn and buttons to make x3 necklace/bracelet set), 23rd July – 31st August. Adults and Children age 10+ Booking Only, 01594 840789.

RECYCLED BUG HOTEL. Artist Frances Warren will be demonstrating how she creates her bug hotels using found and recycled materials to create a valuable refuge for insects. 11.00-1.00 +2.00-4.00. 21st August. Free demonstration.

SING & SIGN. Learn baby signing the fun way and help your baby to communicate before speech. (40-45min), 6 months+ £5. 10th August. 10.00-11.00. Numbers are limited so booking is essential.  For more info or to book email:

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.

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:

Music at Tintern

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

  • 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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