In winter, the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean is naturally decorated for festivities with its 42 square miles of woodland that includes pine and evergreen trees, mistletoe, holly and a conifer cone-scattered ground. Mist clings to cliffs above the river Wye and other than the bubble of water, the only sound to be heard is a deer crunching on branches or the flap of a red-breasted robin’s wings.
For visitors that hope to discover a truly magical destination this holiday season should look no further than the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, home to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
With a host wonderful hotels and pubs offering delicious Christmas dinners including the award-winning Tudor Farmhouse, top gastro-pub The Inn at Penallt and the Michelin-starred Whitebrook – the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean is the perfect place for a festive escape.
Top events this Christmas:
Gruffalo Christmas Celebrations – Dean Heritage Centre
Saturday 17th December – Saturday 24th December
Meet the Father Christmas and his elf in the cosy Victorian Cottage. Enjoy Christmas themed crafts, the woodland Gruffalo trail and have a photo taken with the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s child.
(60+, full-time students unemployed, disabled)
Children: (3-16 years) £6.00
Under 3: FREE
Two adults, two children (3-16): £25.00
Two adults, 3 children (3-16): £30.00
(additional children normal entry price)
Visit Santa & Little Red Riding Hood – Puzzlewood
Every weekend in December & 19th – 24th
Join in the festive fun at magical Puzzlewood by dressing up as Little Red Riding Hood or the Woodcutter. Write a letter to Santa, make Christmas tree decorations and take a walk with the elf through the forest to visit Grandma and Santa.
£10 (under twos go free with a paying adult)
Santa Specials – Dean Forest Railway
10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 21st and 24th December
Travel by steam train through the forest and spend time with Santa on board. Children receive age appropriate gifts and adults are also catered for with treats and on board entertainment.
Evie’s Aeroplane – Clearwell Caves
28th November to 3rd January
Meet Father Christmas and follow a magical tale of ‘Evie’s Aeroplane’ during a walk through these ancient caves. Visitors will also enjoy an utterly unique underground Christmas market. Late night openings every Friday.
Father Christmas climbs down the chimney! – Perrygrove Railway
Every weekend in December & 22nd – 24th
Experience Father Christmas coming down the chimney and enjoy listening to him tell festive stories. Children will all receive a present and parents can enjoy a winter drink and mince pie. Steam trains will of course be running and the treetop adventure will be open too.
Toddlers aged 1-2: £9
Christmas Treasure Hunt is £1.90
Après Ski at The Angel Hotel
Located in the courtyard, AA’s Welsh Hotel of the Year, The Angel Hotel’s pop-up bar brings the atmosphere of an Alpine Ski Lodge to the heart of Abergavenny. The Après Ski Bar is a cosy spot to celebrate winter with friends and family.
Full of festive charm, it offers a range of seasonal tipples and hearty snacks.
The bar will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout December:
Fridays 5.00pm to 10.00pm
Saturdays 12.00pm to 10.00pm
Sundays 12.00pm to 9.00pm
Abergavenny Christmas Food and Drink Fair
Sunday 11th December 2016
The festive edition of the famous Abergavenny Food Festival returns with everything you need to get into the festive spirit. Why not start things off with a tasting of festive cocktails from master mixologist, Dom Jacobs on Saturday evening?
Entry is just £5 per adult. You will find:
- Over 85 of the top seasonal producers
- Signed books by fantastic chefs on sale from Rossiter Books
- Expert Christmas recipe demonstrations
- Workshops for the kids (£1.50 per workshop, or £5 to do them all)
- Musical procession and festive light display and much more …
Carols in Tintern Abbey
Saturday 3 December 2016
The annual carol-lit service in the ruins of Tintern Abbey have become an institution. Flanked by the ancient walls under a canopy of stars, the service is a beautiful way to begin the festive season.
£5 entry in aid of Chepstow Rotary charities
Carols in the Castle – Goodrich
Friday 2 Dec from 7pm
Get into the festive spirit as a traditional choir delights you with traditional carols in the atmospheric setting of the castle chapel. Visit the tearoom for delicious mulled wine and mince pies.
Member (Adult) £7.50
Member (Child) £5.00
Child 5-15 years £6.00
Find out about all the Christmas events here: http://www.wyedeantourism.co.uk/whatson