The Coach House Retreat, Wales
Stylish private wellbeing haven in a wild Welsh setting
Best for: Parent/s with children who want to relax, solo travellers, couples and friends getting away from the city.
Not for: Those without their own transport, or those who want structure and routine.
Tucked away down a little lane among stunning countryside, yet only a short drive from Newport, The Coach House retreat offers a bright, peaceful space where you can take time out to slow down. Experience private sessions of yoga and Buddhist mindfulness with experienced teacher and owner Olivia Clarke, reconnect with nature through an array of activities in the wild welsh hills, with river swimming, forest bathing and mountain walking on your doorstep, book a massage or just relax on the patio and drink in the stunning landscapes. This is also a great place to bring your novel or artwork to finish. Come alone or with your children, family or friends.
The bright, elegant cocoon of space that is the Coach House. Watching the sun go down over miles of wild countryside from the comfort and calm of this beautiful historical building captures the essence of moment-by-moment experience that is on offer here. Wonderful for stressed parents, children are welcome, and Olivia also teaches Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness.
Do not expect superking size beds – the coach house is a converted historic building and the upstairs rooms, although doubles, are cosy rather than cavernous.
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Book private sessions of yoga and mindfulness with owner Olivia and relax or create in between. There’s also an array of wellbeing activities that can be booked directly through other companies.
Olivia Clarke is a Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation teacher who blends the insights of her learning to create a balanced and integrated approach to living. She has been teaching since 1998 and has also trained in Shiatsu. She is a practitioner of the Buddha Dharma and is committed to deepening her practice as a life long student. She is also a registered teacher of The Yoga Academy and Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training scheme, and has done a number of trainings with Shiva Rea. She offers one-to-one or small group yoga and meditation sessions – discuss your needs with her. Olivia also teaches Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness.
There are many beautiful walks in the area for all levels of ability, as well as some lovely gardens such as Nant –Y-Bedd and Allt-y-Bella. Olivia can provide suggestions and details of these, and can put you in touch with local mountain guides if you want to upgrade your walk to a hike. Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku) is a must. Connect with nature and experience its restorative powers with local guide Carina Greenwood, who offers the chance to bathe in all your senses whilst walking in the forest.
Local company Run Wild offer wild swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking on the beautiful river Wye and Usk, as well as running and body conditioning.
This is a great place to bring your unfinished novel or artwork or to get into your own photography project. Take the space to yourself to create, and book yoga, mediation and massage to ease body and mind during the process.
Artisan bakers Dough and Daughters run courses and can be booked to provide bespoke private sessions at the Coach House.
Olivia can recommend a highly qualified local Shiatsu practitioner as well as other holistic therapists including Evangeline Di Michele for Tula Massage and Karan Carmen for nutritional advice.
There are two double bedrooms, both ensuite. The decor is stylish and simple, with white walls and bed linen contrasting with strikingly patterned headboards and lamps. Framed ink drawings add a personal feel. Both rooms are cozily carpeted and have built-in wooden wardrobes. Our ensuite had a bath and shower with a marble-topped vanity unit, and was sprinkled with pretty tiles decorated with a dragonfly motif. The theme is continued in the other bathroom, with butterfly-patterned tiles and a walk-in shower. There are fluffy towels, yummy Korres toiletries and fresh flowers on the bedside table. Other products used include Senspa, Organic Little Soap Company, Avalon Organics and Ecover. Cots can be provided for small children.
You can round off a mountain walk with a visit to the stunning Raglan Castle, which is only a couple of miles away. Then indulge yourself with a meal at the Michelin-starred Walnut Tree restaurant near Abergavenny.
When to Go
The Coach House is toasty warm in the Winter with underfloor heating, generous radiators and heated towels rails in the bathrooms, when you can hunker down for a quiet retreat. The Autumn and Spring in Wales are perfect for walking in the mountains, while Summer is ideal for walking, kayaking and wild swimming.
The Coach House includes a bespoke breakfast hamper on your arrival – it can include a variety of delicious breakfast goodies such as artisan bread, yoghurt, cereal, berries, smoked salmon, eggs, bacon, coffee and tea. There are plenty of vegan options and a juicing machine available for making fresh homemade juices. Other than breakfast the Coach House is self-catering – you can bring your own food, order a supermarket delivery or Olivia and John will stock your fridge on request.
If you want to eat out, there are some great pubs and restaurants only a short drive from the Coach House – try the Beaufort Brasserie in Raglan (8 minutes drive) for good quality pub food, or the Clytha Arms (a 10 min drive) for the Welsh equivalent of a French country restaurant. The Crown at Pantygelli is perfect for lunch or supper after hiking the Sugar Loaf, or head to to Bean and Bread in Abergavenny for vegan options.
The coach house sources its breakfast hampers locally and organically wherever possible, with local eggs, honey and delicious artisan bread. All waste is recycled. All cleaning products are eco-friendly.
The Coach House, Craig Road, Penyclawdd, Monmouthshire NP25 4BN