Exercise & Wellbeing


Run Through The Trees

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!

Forest Of Dean Half Marathons

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.

Severn Bridge Half Marathon

This is in August and features the fabulous views from the Severn Bridge! Visit: www.sites.google.com/site/severnbridgehalfmarathon for more details.

Park Run

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.

Spirit Of Monmouth Running Club

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.


Lovely Woodland Walks

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.

Local Walks

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.

Other Good Places For A Walk Are:
  •  along the River Wye in either direction from Symonds Yat East
  • from the Speech House Hotel – take in the Cyril Hart Arboretum or Speech House Lake
  • Mallards Pike Lake – a great place for picnics as well and there is a little café van too
  • Nagshead Nature Reserve (just outside Parkend)
  • New Fancy View
  • Soudley Ponds

Wysis Way

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.

Offas Dyke Path

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

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.

Bathhurst Outdoor Pool – Lydney

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.

Weather permitting the pool is open from June daily 12 noon until 6pm. Other times are available – visit www.bathurstpool.co.uk or phone 01594 842625 for more details.

Monmouth Leisure Centre

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.

Ross-On-Wye Swimming Pool

There is a good swimming pool in Ross-on-Wye. Visit www.haloleisure.org.uk/centres/herefordshire/ross-swimming-pool or phone 01989 763487 for more details.


To keep yourself in perfect balance and health, there are a few local options.

Whitemead Park

If you book for a treatment at Whitemead Forest Park where you also get use of their facilities (pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room) if you spend a certain amount on treatments. Visit www.whitemead.co.uk or phone: 01594 560000.


Wildwood Yoga do a number of great classes around the Forest of Dean. Visit: www.wildwoodyoga.co.uk or email: kishe@wildwoodyoga.co.uk.

Massage, Mindfulness and Reiki

For a total de-stress take a look at Cosmic Teapot who offer massage, reiki and mindfulness walks in the forest. Visit: www.cosmicteapot.co.uk or email/call: cheryl@cosmicteapot.co.uk/07714 286489.