Nothing beats a run in the forest. There are great fire track routes and off road routes for you to choose from and we are happy to advise on local routes and for the seriously fit – you can run from The House of Bread down to the River Wye and back up choosing the steep down or the steep back up – just ask us for details of where to go!
There are the Forest of Dean half marathons in March and September and take in the 13 miles on beautiful, ‘undulating’ off road courses. A great atmosphere and well organized by the Rotary Club! Obviously you need to pre-register but if you become a frequent flyer at The House of Bread then this could be a bi-annual event for you! Check out www.rotary-rfod.org.uk/events for details of these great races.
For those of you who have done these popular events elsewhere there is always the popular 5km timed Park Runs at many venues in the forest including: Lydney, Newent, Mallards Pike Lake and Coverham Enclosure Five Acres on a Saturday morning at 9.00am.
For those who have not done these events before but fancy giving it a go while you are here – you can pre-register and receive your barcode (which will give you your run time) at www.parkrun.org.uk/forestofdean You can also run as a guest and just turn up on the day.
This popular running club also organise many local runs such as The Kymin Dash and the host some of the Gwent League cross country and road race routes. Check out www.spiritofmonmouth.co.uk for their upcoming events which you might want to enter.
Another popular sport in the Forest of Dean is Canicross – running with your dog through the woods on a harness system. Visit Forest of Dean Canicross on Facebook – www.facebook.com/groups/423808634405243 to see what runs they have organised. They usually go out on Sunday mornings but other ad hoc runs are often advertised on their Facebook Page.
There are hundreds of great walks around this area and a number of great walking books that cover them, some of which we have at our cottages which you are welcome to borrow.
What we have also done (as we find so many people scratching their heads and looking for directions in our local woods) is put together a map of walks that you can do from our doorstep which last from half hour stroll to an all dayer – with a few pubs thrown in for good measure! This map will be in the folder of activities when you get to our cottages. If you would like a copy for your stay then just let us know.
The Wysis Way Thames to Offa’s Dyke path passes through Shortstanding within 5 mins walk of The House of Bread. This is a beautiful long distance path and so The House of Bread is a perfect overnight stop.
This well-known route also passes close to here. One good place to get to it is at the Kymin (great views) just this side of Monmouth.
Beechenhurst Lodge lies in the heart of the forest, and is also a great place to start your adventure.
Follow the trails through the woods including the Beechenhurst to Speech House Link Path, The Beechenhurst Trail, The Speculation Trail and take in the huge sculptures on The Sculpture Trail (short and long versions) and chill out afterwards at the cafe letting the kids have a go in the play area out the front. For more about the Sculpture Trail visit www.forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk.
Beechenhurst Lodge is on the Coleford to Cinderford road (the B4226) on the left just before you get to The Speech House Hotel. The No 30 bus from Coleford – Cinderford – Gloucester also passes Beechenhurst, the official stop is at the Cannop Crossroads.
You will also pass Beechenhurst Lodge if you are on the Family Cycle Trail from the Cannop Cycle Centre. There is also a climbing tower at Beechenhurst Lodge run by Forest of Dean Adventure (see the Adventure section for more details). You can find out more at www.forestryengland.uk and search for Beechenhurst Lodge.
There are many local places to help you keep to your fitness regime.
A unique experience if the weather is warm – check it out! Given as a present to the ‘inhabitants of Lydney and Aylburton’ by the Bathurst family in 1920, Bathurst Swimming Pool in Lydney (GL15 5DY) is a 38 metre outdoor pool in the Forest of Dean is run by volunteers and open for at least ten weeks during the summer months.
There is a good leisure centre in Monmouth offering swimming and a range of fitness classes and health and well-being treatments.
Visit www.monlife.co.uk/monactive/monmouth-leisure-centre for more details, or phone 01600 775135 for more details.
To keep yourself in perfect balance and health, there are a few local options.