around & about
Our hand picked recommendations to meet your mood; our insider foodie tips, ideas for adventures in the wild and local sights are below. You'll find tips for every time of year no matter what you're interests, all below.
Penylan, meaning top-of-the-hill, is situated in the Parish of Llangattock-vibon-Avel and was originally part of the historic Hendre Estate, home of the famous Rolls family. Co-founder of Rolls-Royce; Charles Stewart Rolls was also celebrated as a racing driver, record breaker and aviator. In 1910 he became the first person to fly the English Channel both ways. You’ll find his gravestone in the churchyard at Llangattock next to the Manor house where he spent his childhood. Ask for our custom designed walks that can guide you from the cottages through our local history.
Rolls’ statue can be found in Agincourt Square in Monmouth together with the statue of Henry V who was born in Monmouth Castle.
Footpaths from the farm connect you to the famous Offa’s Dyke path. If you want to explore a little further then Abergavenny, the Wye Valley, the Forest of Dean, Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains are all within a twenty minute drive.
Monmouth, a ten minute drive away and our nearest town, is a Welsh border market town situated at the confluence of the Rivers Wye, Monnow and Trothy. Monmouth is consistently rated one of the top 10 happiest places to live in the UK, so we’re confident you’ll enjoy your time here. It has a medieval 13th century bridge over the River Monnow, unique in Britain as it is the only preserved bridge of its design remaining in the world.
things to do & see
Water sports on the Wye: "the public’s favourite river in England"
Once you have recharged your batteries there are plenty of local activities to explore including water sports on the River Wye, voted the public’s favourite river in England
Cycle the ‘Peregrine Trail’ alongside the Wye to Symonds Yat.
We offer secure bike storage, so you can relax and focus on planning your rides through the Forest of Dean’s extensive tracks or following the Peregrine Trail along the Wye to Symonds Yat.
The famous ‘Offa’s Dyke’ path and ‘Three Castles Walk’ are both two miles away. Head south to the river walks in the Wye Valley or north-east to the contrasting rugged Black Mountains & Brecon Beacons
A picnic on our 5 mile tailored walk of ‘The Rolls Circuit’
It starts from your front door and takes in the history and beauty of the area surrounding Penylan – you could well be lucky and see the occasional deer from the ancient woodland in the Hendre.
- Monmouth Museum & Historical Town Walk
get a real feel for the history of the area by taking in the town sights
- Visit the ‘Three Castles’ of Skenfrith, Grosmont & Whitecastle
all approximately 15 minutes away by car or enjoy all castles with an 18 mile walk
- Symonds Yat (9 miles)
has a host of activities to offer with river cruises, canoeing & cycling along the Wye
- Raglan Castle (9 miles)
Take in the remains of this impressive 15th century castle
- Abergavenny (9 miles)
with regular Tuesday markets. Afternoon tea at The Angel is a must and is one of the few hotels outside London to receive Tea Guild’s Award of Excellence!
- Tintern (10 miles)
in the heart of the Wye Valley with the first Cistercian abbey in Wales and where William Wordsworth gained inspiration. For the fit walk up to ‘Devil’s Pulpit’ where the views are stunning
- Chepstow (18 miles)
with it’s magnificent Castle perched high above the banks of the River Wye
- Royal Forest of Dean
the ‘Queen of Forests’ has something for everyone – fascinating heritage with spectacular and varied landscapes. Hire bicycles from Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre and see the forest first hand
- Hereford (15 miles)
famous Mappa Mundi, one of the oldest maps in the world is housed in the Cathedral
Head over the Black Mountains to the world famous book town of Hay-on-Wye which is famous for it’s annual Literary Festival. Take a stroll through the quaint streets
- Pony Trekking
is a popular activity in the Llanthony Valley and is a good way to view the valley
- The World Heritage Site at Blaenavon
take a trip 300 ft underground at Big Pit with a real miner
site of Britain’s three permanent Roman Legionary Fortresses
- Brecon Mountain Railway
Steam train which runs along local reservoirs and into the Brecon Beacons National Park
- Goytre Wharf on the Monmouth & Brecon canal
try your hand at cruising with daily boat hire available
- Enjoy horse racing days at Chepstow & Hereford Racecourses
- Monmouthshire has some stunning golf courses in beautiful countryside
including The Rolls on our doorstep, Monmouth, Raglan and Celtic Manor – venue of the 2010 Ryder Cup and many more
Monmouthshire is renowned as a foodie destination with a great choice from gastropubs to Michelin stars. Complete a perfect day with a visit to one of our many superb country restaurants and hostelries for which our area is renowned. You will be spoilt for choice! We would advise that you book early to avoid disappointment.
Warwicks Pub, Onen – 3 miles
Halfway between Monmouth and Abergavenny, Warwicks offers real ales and a friendly atmosphere
Stonemill Restaurant, Rockfield – 3 miles
Just down the road, dining is in a converted 16th century barn and was recently listed in the Michelin guide.
The Bell, Skenfrith – 5 miles
A fully restored former 17th century coaching inn on the banks of the River Monnow and in the pretty village of Skenfrith
Garway Moon, Garway – 7 miles
A welcoming 18th century country Inn with good food and overlooking Garway Common
1861 – 8 miles
An updated pub offering gourmet standard dining.
The Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid – 9 miles
Sits on the B4521, two miles east of Abergavenny and has recently been awarded a Michelin star
The Hunters Moon – 10 miles
A Traditional pub on the Offa‘s Dyke walk
The Beaufort, Raglan – 12 miles
An old coaching Inn and in the village of Raglan, The Beaufort offers excellent food
The Hardwick, Abergavenny – 12 miles
Owned and run by Stephen Terry, has been awarded Best Gastropub in the National Restaurant Awards 2010
The Whitebrook (formerly The Crown), Whitebrook – 12 miles
The Good Food Guide 2011 puts this Michelin starred local restaurant in its top 30 restaurants in the UK
Monmouth boasts a number of cosy cafes ideal for a leisurely break throughout the day. For the evening there are excellent restaurants such as the bistro Prego in Church Street, the Misbah Tandoori and Jewel Balti Indian restaurants and Pizza Express on the main street which is child friendly.
Ask us for tips on local walks depending on the time of year you visit. Below are some of our favourites and some links to more information. But the best thing to do is tell us what kind of length/pace walk you’re after and we will recommend something.
- Our neighbourhood: Ask for our custom guides.
- Wye Valley: Leisurely strolls with pub lunches around Symonds Yat or Tintern Abbey.
- Nearby morning/afternoon hikes: Galway Hill, The Skirrid, The Sugarloaf.
- Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains: Drive 20-30 minutes for more dramatic scenery on Hay Bluff, Capel y Ffin monastery and Llanthony Abbey with their steep ascents up the valley, Table Mountain in Crickhowell, or a little further to famous Pen y Fan (the highest point in the Brecons).
- Continue over the Black Mountains to the world famous book town of Hay-on-Wye, a popular destination for book lovers and famous for it’s annual literary festival.
Please do contact us for more ideas.
On the short walks from the farm if you listen carefully you may hear the song of the following birds: cuckoo, skylark, song thrush, house sparrow, mallard, dunnock, house martin, stock dove, swallow and whitethroat. These were identified during a visit to the farm in May 2021 by a volunteer from the RSPB.
Dave has been involved in several Environmental Stewardship programs to encourage biodiversity on the farm (including lapwings), and will be happy to show you some of the local seasonal visitors we have encouraged to the farm.
Going further afield, you can see Peregrine Falcons at Symonds Yat and elsewhere in the cliffs overlooking the Wye. On canoe trips down the Wye you will regularly see Kingfishers, Dippers, Grey Herons, Cormorants and Goosander. You can see Sand Martins between March and October. Find out more here.
Follow the links for the latest dates and information …
- Border Counties Steam & Vintage Show (Facebook link)
- Llantilio Crossenny Festival
- Hay Literary Festival
- Monmouth Regatta
- Abergavenny Steam Veteran & Vintage Rally
- The Big Black Mountains Challenge
- Hay Literary Festival (cont)
- The Celtic Manor Wales Open
- Raglan Festival
- Abergavenny Eisteddfod
- Pear & Perry Festival, Llantilio Crossenny
- Usk Open Gardens Weekend
- Llanthony Valley & District Show
- Brecon Jazz Festival
- Monmouthshire Show
- Monmouth Festival
- Chepstow Show
- Green Man Festival