‘Hidden gem’ is a pretty over-used phrase these days, but it definitely applies to the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Not only are the acres of ancient forest and deep rushing rivers spectacularly beautiful, but the area is also full to the brim with places to explore and activities to try. First off though you’ll need a place to stay and some food – so here’s a handy round up to the best local spots.
Confession: for an outdoorsy person, I can be pretty lazy. I’m particularly bad in winter, when the freezing winds and incessant rain make it all too easy to find excuses not to go outside. Fortunately the lovely team at Kitshack recently gave me the opportunity to test out a Buff, which was the prod I needed to hit the trail again and see if this might finally crack my reluctance to run in anything less than 20 degree sunshine.
If you’re in search of tiny picturesque villages, miles of rambling over open heathland and more local folklore than you can shake a stick at, then Dartmoor is the place to go. I spent a week swimming in rivers, exploring the wild moors, and generally pretending I was in a gothic horror mystery novel. Spoiler alert: at no point was I eaten by a giant hound.
‘Let’s go on an 8 mile hike around Bath’ said Jenny.
‘It’ll be fun’ said Jenny.
Ok so it wasn’t as bad as all that, but my first time around the Bath Skyline walk did remind me just how damn hilly my home city can be, especially as it was a pretty hot ‘n humid day. Fortunately I’d been sent a shiny Hydroflask to try out – but would it keep my restorative smoothie nice and cold, or would I be left with a load of tepid gloop on my hands? (Possibly literally. I’m a very messy eater).
If something’s worth reviewing, it’s worth reviewing properly – right? At least that’s my excuse for the fact that I’ve spent the last 6 months thoroughly abusing my De la Vina Low boots from Teva.