The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley had been on my list for years, but I'd never made it there for one reason or another, so I jumped at the chance to be able to spend a weekend there full of adventures! It was so easy to get to, just 2 hours from Southampton. You could also fly to Bristol Airport, s it's only a 1 hour drive from the city.
The road and rail links are superb, and the Forest of Dean is signposted prolifically once you reach Gloucestershire!
So, on a sunny Friday afternoon I made my way from Hampshire to my hotel near Coleford, ready for an adventure packed weekend!
The Speech House Hotel
It was the hunting lodge of Charles II and is now one of 3 Verderer's Courts in England. Verderers, usually four to each region of Royal Forest, were judicial officers, dealing with offences such as stealing venison, cutting trees down illegally or encroachment through private areas and buildings. The only other Verderer's Courts in England are Lyndhurst in The New Forest and the Royal Forest of Epping.
Breakfast and formal meals are served in the Verderer's Court Room at The Speech House, but you could also eat in the Orangery or Carolean Restaurant.
The breakfast was lovely, and you had so many options, from cereal to a full english...
These rooms each offer seven foot antique, unique four poster beds.
It's also the setting for the Forest Activities Festival, mentioned in my other post - here - on 23rd April 2017, so why not head there?!
Where to Eat?
And so, in no particular order, here were 3 places I could recommend to anyone visiting the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley!
Green & Jenks - Monmouth
They source all of their ingredients locally, meaning that everything is as fresh as possible, so we were very fortunate to head there on the Friday evening!
If you're in the area, they also host a regular 'Gin & Gelato' night - Um, where do I sign up?
In true blogger fashion, we proceeded to spend far too long taking photos of our food before actually eating it!
How cool is that!?*
*no pun intended
House of Bread
For lunch we had the options of soup, followed by both a standard and Mediterranean ploughmans, followed by cake.
For what is an adventure without cake?
The Farmer's Boy Inn
I went for the Forest of Dean Black Pudding, Mushroom & Tomato Stack, wrapped in bacon, served with autumn fruits and Hillside Ale Chutney. Then, Slow roasted Gloucester Old Spot pork belly with champ mash potato, honey glazed shallots, apple and sage sauce. Finally? Forest stewed apples with an oat & shortbread crumble top, served with clotted cream.
Forest of Dean Hog Roast Co.
It was a welcome end to a wonderful weekend in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley!