Young couple Katy and Cian had their first holiday after lockdown in the Sugar Loaf with 4-month-old baby Dylan and their beagle Hazel.

They come from Croydon in south London and immediately enjoyed the peace and tranquillity that the Glyn Valley and this part of Monmouthshire provides.

Since COVID changed our lives in March 2020 I have been unable to offer shiatsu sessions to our guests, so it was a delight when Katy asked for a treatment during her stay.

She is a Child Psychologist in Peckham and with the challenges of being a new mum she was looking for some time focused on her needs. She certainly was chilled after the one-hour session.

“I feel a bit more connected to myself, more in tune. It was like an MOT for caring for yourself. It was a nice space for reflection and turning down the volume.”

Shiatsu is a wonderful therapy for relaxing. For those unfamiliar with shiatsu, it is akin to acupuncture but with finger and thumb pressure instead of needles with moves that feel like massage and physiotherapy in the mix as well.

I am delighted to be able to offer the service again now restrictions have been lifted. A big thank you to Katy for getting me started again.

Even with a very young baby the couple were able to get on a few walks including exploring Chepstow Park Woods above us in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Beauty.

They completed a lovely walk I recommend from Tintern and its renowned abbey to Brockweir on one side of the River Wye and back on the other side stopping at the old Tintern Railway Station for a cream tea.

Later they had a real steam train journey on the Dean Forest Railway at Lydney.

They also climbed the Skirrid which is a wonderfully accessible mountain about 35 minutes from us. It is a decent climb up the spine of the mountain through woods onto the ridge, but this intrepid couple walked around the side and up the very sharp incline to the top from the other end. Impressive with the extra weight of baby to add to the difficulty. Hazel the Beagle loved it.

On their last full day, they visited Usk Show which is the last agricultural show in the calendar round here. It escaped lockdown restrictions and was full of people enjoying a day out. It’s a proper show for the farming community and the countryside, and Cian enjoyed some local cider, while Hazel met some of the pack of local Basset hounds.

We are so pleased they had such a good time and thanks Katy for the great review: “Sugar loaf is a fantastic place to stay with high spec facilities and beautiful views. John was on hand to help us with recommendations for local places and a shiatsu massage for me. We loved it here and hope to come back.”

We hope they come back too.

Skirrid holiday cottage under construction

First break for Katy and Cian since lockdown with baby Dylan

Sugarloaf and Blorenge holiday cottages under construction

A woodland wonderland on our doorstep

Sugarloaf and Blorenge holiday cottages under construction

Up the Skirrid the steep way with baby Dylan 

Sugarloaf and Blorenge holiday cottages under construction

All smiles at the top. Beagle Hazel loved it.

Sugarloaf and Blorenge holiday cottages under construction

Hazel admires the sunset from the Sugar Loaf