Hidden Valley Yurts
Hidden Valley Yurts – exactly what it says on the tin. Invisible to, and inaccessible from, the outside world, these homely canvas abodes freckle the green face of a picturesque Monmouthshire valley overlooking a gurgling stream and shielded by trees. Secluded on the sprawling Lower Glyn Farm, the five yurts (three for seven people and two for five people) stretch along the top of a beautiful, south-facing meadow alongside the stream.
Step through one of the brightly coloured doors of these innovative homes and you’ll find they are light, cosy and warm. Lovingly decked out with beds, chairs, lights, rugs and wall-hangings each yurt is equipped with a wood-burning stove with kindling and wood for fuel. Inside the muffled confines of eight inches of sheep’s wool and felt, the yurts feel intensely private, entreating you to curl up and unwind, having spent the day wandering around the magical woodland, wildflower-peppered meadows and fields belonging to the farm’s 80 acres.
Facilities-wise, a large communal kitchen and bathroom area boasts the kind of veranda straight out of Gone With The Wind – it's just the spot for whiling away evenings admiring the sunset or playing a board game. Below the veranda there’s a boules pitch, campfire area, wood-burning pizza oven, safari style dining tent and chicken run where you may collect fresh eggs each day.
Within easy reach of Monmouth (Trefynwy), Tintern and other visitable spots along the picturesque River Wye, Hidden Valley is a well-located base for taking in the region's historic and cultural sites. A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this corner of Wales has also truly been blessed by Mother Nature – wildlife abounds here. Hidden Valley is home to many species of butterfly, including the uber-rare ‘Dingy Skipper’ (its name doing this little critter’s pretty, patterned wings a disservice) as well as bees, spiders and bats, so be sure to pack your bug boxes and spotters’ guides for a Spring or Summer Watch special. But once ensconced in this beauteous valley, secluded from the outside world, it’s hard to tear yourself away.
5 yurts: 3 x 7 person and 2 x 5 person. There’s a large kitchen and communal bathroom ‘block’ on wooden decking, with picnic tables and hammock, overlooking the valley. The kitchen has all you need and the bathroom has 2 showers and 2 loos. All water comes from a local spring and is flushed away onto a reed bed. There’s another kitchen area and two rustic compost loos not far off and a small kitchen between the first 2 yurts. The main kitchen has a breadmaker and built-in BBQ.
Yurts, eco friendly camping – yes. Caravans, dogs – no. Whole-site bookings for friends and families are welcome. They're pretty flexible and always happy to discuss accommodating groups.
Plenty of courses on offer through the site – build your own yurt or use horses for logging the natural way (01600 780143). The 19 mile Three Castle Walk between White Castle, Skenfrith and Grosmont is well worth doing. You can also rent bikes for scrambling through the Forest of Dean on Pedal Bike Away (01594 860065) or if you want a unique travel experience then why not drift over the Wye with gliding lessons or trial sessions by prior arrangement with the South Wales Gliding Club (01633 882862)
Food & Drink
Just a mile away (though it’s uphill all the way) a really warm welcome awaits you from John and Joy at The Carpenter’s Arms in Llanishen. But you’re spoiled for choice in this area, with gastro pubs the Raglan Arms (01291 690800) in Llandenny, AA Pub of the Year 2012 The Inn at Penallt (01600 772765) near Monmouth, The Hardwick (01873 854220) in Abergavenny and two with Michelin stars, The Walnut Tree (01873 852797) in Abergavenny and The Crown at Whitebrook (01600 860254).
Andy and Jackie at The Inn at Penallt (01600 772765) promise you a warm wlecome, sophisticated dining and unparalleled garden views. Try the Butty Bach ale – Welsh for 'Little Mate'!
OpenEaster until the end of September.
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