This post comes a little late due to an enforced break from the Internet as the cottage we stayed in over Christmas had very little phone reception – a shock to the system at first, but a welcomed relaxation after a while.
Christmas is a big deal in my family and I have only ever spent one festive period away from home, when I experienced a South American Noel in Argentina. This year we had a birthday party to go to in Wales on the 28th, so we decided to break the journey up by spending Christmas in a cottage in Newland, in the Forest of Dean.
Our home for the week was one of the 17th Century almshouses opposite the village church, which is known as the Cathedral of the Forest. As soon as we walked in it immediately felt cosy, with a log burner in the living room, airy bedrooms upstairs and even our own Christmas tree.
Newland is a small village, with just 64 homes in it. The Ostrich pub just over the road is popular with walkers, as well as the locals and the famous church was open for a Midnight Eucharist on Christmas Eve.
Although we had a few rainy days during our stay, we did manage to get out and about to explore some of the surrounding walks and villages.
I loved the Savoy cinema in the nearby town of Monmouth, the oldest theatre in Wales, and the gorgeous church in Clearwell, which was in easy walking distance.
But after a busy year it was also lovely to just be able to sit in front of the fire, reading a book, making a jigsaw and daydreaming about our plans for 2014…
I hope you all had a great Christmas too. What did you get up to?