Due to circumstances, my husband and I felt an overwhelming need to have a short break away from home that afforded us a pleasant environment with the opportunity to cycle in a large forest, staying in a nearby hotel. We had seen the Speech House Hotel whilst walking in the Forest of Dean some years ago and I liked it so much that I wanted to stay there at some stage.
Looking at their website I was delighted to see that they offered a special cycling package which included 2 nights B&B, one dinner for two persons and a days inclusive cycling for a competitive price. We decided to double up on the package and have 4 nights, rather than 2, staying there from 4th to 8th August.
On arrival, we were allocated a room on the second floor of the main house. Whilst having to negotiate two flights of steep stairs, the room made it all worthwhile. The lounge area window overlooked the forest and on one occasion, we spotted a herd of 13 wild boar who came right up to the edge of the forest allowing us to watch their interactions with each other in amusement. The bed was very comfortable which is an unaccustomed experience for us in most hotels as we both suffer from spinal problems which affect the quality of sleep. In this bed we slept soundly! Our only disquiet was that the floor of the room sloped meaning that the settee sloped forwards too. It couldn't be helped as the hotel was built in the 1600's and time does strange things to ancient floors. ;-)
Breakfasts were extremely generous, setting us up for the day. On the cycling days, our bikes were available at the hotel - having been delivered there for us by the cycle hire company. We set out on our days' cycling provided with our packed lunches of sandwich, packet of crisps, chocolate bar and bottle of water - ample food after such a huge breakfast. The forest is charming although on occasion, we had to dismount and push our bikes uphill...we much preferred the downhill trails! We arrived back after cycling for approximately 30miles and 5 hours on each of the days feeling absolutely exhausted albeit exhilarated by our achievements at surmounting the challenge it presented to this elderly couple. After a rest, shower and change of clothes we went down to dinner. Both restaurants provided good menus, but the dining experience in the Verderers restaurant was exquisite...we had the best, flavoursome meal we've ever had in any restaurant.
Everything about our stay impressed us, but the outstanding feature was the exemplary guest service. The staff were always smiling and friendly, remembering our names and went over and above the expectations that one normally requires.
We shall be returning in the not too distant future, hopefully bringing our daughter and her family with us to enjoy both the hotel and the Forest of Dean.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Formerly built in 1669, as a Hunting Lodge for Charles II the Speech House sits at the heart of the Royal Forest of Dean.The main house has 15 bedrooms including three antique four poster beds.The remainder of rooms are situated in the Courtyard and Cottage.The hotel is home to one of only two Verderers Courts in the UK and is used as the main restaurant for the hotel.The hotel offers a wide range of room type to suit all budgets, and is pet friendly in the Courtyard rooms, subject to availability.The Orangery is open to non residents for morning coffee,aftrernoon teas, and bar lunches and evening meals.Free Wi Fi is available to residents for 1 hour during their stay and then it is subject to a small charge.There are approximately 253 miles of walking and cycling trails on the doorstep of the hotel. Speechhouse is an ideal venue for touring the Wye Valley,Gloucestershire and the Southern Cotswolds and South Wales. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Speech Hotel Coleford
- The Speech House Hotel Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire - Coleford