Penhein, Llanvair Discoed, Nr. Chepstow, Monmouthshire NP16 6RB
Persian luxury in the heart of Monmouthshire.
The natural springs of the Ardabil Province in Northwest Iran bubble through the Sabalan Mountains and spout into crystal clear pools. Famed across the country for their medicinal qualities, the waters are frequented by ailing and healthy Iranians alike, bathing in the steamy waters and grinding wild flower seeds into powder. Such ancient understanding of the land dates back to a time when tribesmen traded knowledge around a glowing campfire, kept alive to this day by the Shahsavan people. Over 5000 Iranians still live a migratory life in the Ardabil Province, living in beautiful yet practical abodes derived from their Persian predecessors.
In the altogether more British setting of rural Monmouthshire, the Hearn family have stepped back along a branch of their family tree and brought a touch of their Iranian heritage to UK soil. Locally constructed but using traditional designs, Penhein Glamping offers you the chance to enjoy a night beneath the canvas of a Persian alachigh (pronounced “ala – cheeg”). But where the nomads of the Salabans endured extreme conditions, here you will find only comfort, warmth and a healthy dose of luxury.
The dome shaped structures (somewhere between a yurt and a tipi) have a central crown held in place by steam bent timbers that arch upward from the tiled floor. Inside, stylish, country-chic furniture gives a warm and cosy feel, with a double bed that can be split in two if necessary, plus two truckle beds, it's ideal for families. An oversized wooden headboard acts as a divide in the centre of the tent, partitioning the beds from a dining and cooking area, complete with a toasty log-burning stove, custom made coolbox and a kitchen unit with all the utensils you will need. Cold water that runs in the sink is pumped from the farm’s own natural spring, boosting the eco-credentials of this off-grid encampment.
The stylish look and functionality of each tent continues with an en-suite toilet with a proper flushing loo and a wooden clad shower block with fabulous tiles from the Monmouthshire company Mandarin Stone. Bathing comes in the form of either a fabulous roll-top bathtub or an almost tropical waterfall – luxurious monsoon showers with plenty of heat and power. If you’re unfortunate enough to get caught out in a more unplanned shower, there's a drying room onsite where rain soaked overcoats can be hung out for the night.
Despite lavishness that wouldn’t feel out of place in a boutique country hotel, Penhein Glamping are keen not to lose the sense of adventure that comes with a night beneath the stars. Tucked amid three acres of semi-ancient woodland and with a stream trickling through the bottom of the valley, this is still a place designed for exploration. Grab your wellies and dabble about in the water or follow the campsite’s nature trails that wind through the trees towards the further hundred acres of woodland that cover swathes of the traditional Welsh farm. Sheep and cows dot many of the surrounding fields and an adjacent wildflower meadow provides space for kicking around a football. For some of the best views around, take a hike up Grey Hill for a panorama of the South Wales Valleys.
The Owner Says
When it comes to camping, we know that small things can make a big difference. Which is why at Penhein we include not just the key ingredients, but also little luxuries and personal touches to make you feel at home in the Great Outdoors.
We’ve set up camp in the middle of the Monmouthshire hills: our big, beautiful tents are cosy and warm and well-equipped with all the essentials, our peaceful plot has magnificent views of the surrounding valley and fields, and there’s endless countryside to explore just a stone’s throw from the glampsite.Escape to nature by day and leave the world behind, returning in the evening for a hot shower in our luxurious shower block, a hearty, home-cooked dinner, and games in the communal tent before sleeping under the stars in comfort and style.
Glorious Glamping at Penhein
This was my first experience of glamping and it was wonderful. There was tremendous attention to detail across the whole site. The tents were really well kitted out with a kitchen area including a table, chairs, sink, running water, kitchen equipment and the sleeping area with comfy beds with duvets, linen and towels. The hamper was full of delicious local goodies. The shower block was finished to a high standard and the shower was hot and refreshing. It was such a treat to have the wood burning stove and en suite loo. I'm not used to such luxuries after years of basic camping. I went as part of a large group celebrating a friend's birthday and it was wonderful to be together in the communal tent and sit out at night by the open fire with wonderful views of the Severn estuary. We went on a lovely walk up Grey Hill, using the O.S map provided, and our climb was rewarded by stunning reviews.It was a very special atmosphere and I would definitely recommend it. The owner, James, was very welcoming and helpful, showing us how to light the paraffin lamps and wood burning stoves. Many thanks for a wonderful stay.