Forest of Dean
Sourced from Wikivoyage. Text is available under the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.The Forest of Dean (Welsh: Fforest y Ddena) is ² of ancient woodland in the West Country region of England.
The southern part Forest of Dean district is one of the United Kingdom's most impressive forests, offering spectacular scenery throughout the year - whether it's bluebells in spring or the rich colours of oak in the autumn. The northern half around the town of Newent is more open countryside and also worth visiting. The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley is also a great area for outdoor activities including walking, cycling, canoeing or kayaking on the River Wye, climbing, caving, Nordic Walking are just some of the activities that can be found in the area something for all the family.
HistoryMining in the forest goes back before Roman times. Also, the Forest of Dean used to be the elite Hunting Forest for royalty.
LandscapeGreat scenery all around the main forest area comprising of lots of hills and trees.
Flora and faunaBluebells and daffodils in the Spring, rich colours in the autumn.
Towns and villages
From the South come in on the M4 and cross over the river Severn on the Severn Bridge (M48). From the north come down the M5.
Fees and permits
If you go for fishing then you will need a permit.
There is a train route from Chepstow to Lydney, and also the Dean Forest Railway which runs from Lydney to Parkend. Due to its semi-rural location there is a limited bus service in most parts of the area, and a car would be a much quicker means of transport. Gloucestershire Tourism provides a Royal Forest website which shows a touring route around the Forest of Dean, taking in all the major attractions.
The Speech House walk is well worth to see for sculptures deep inside the Forest. Clearwell Caves are ancient Iron mines estimated to be worked for over 8,000 years and is worth a look into. Lydney Park is worth a visit to see some Roman ruins. Great Western Railway Museum (Coleford) is excellent for steam buffs. The main feature is the landscape - some of the towns are very ordinary. May Hill towards the North provides panoramic views
Lots of scope for walking and off-road cycling. Quite a few marked trails.
phone: +44 1594 800908address: 20 Forest Road Milkwall ColefordOutdoor activities, guided canoeing, kayaking, trips on the River Wye from half day to 2 days and longer, BCU courses, raft building, geo-caching, Nordic walking for families, schools and youth groups, corporate and team building.
No city centre in the Forest of Dean, only Market towns and villages in this district so not a great place to go shopping if you are looking for the typical high street shops. However, if you enjoy the small individual shops with character, there are plenty to be found.
Lots of nice restaurants and also good quality pub meals.
Local ale is still made in the Forest of Dean for 'Real Ale' fans. The Freeminer brewery produce several different unique beers.
CampingThere are several camping sites in the area; best to check with the tourism board for the best facilities.
There is a chance of coming across wild boar in the area, keep your distance and do not get between mother and young.
The nearest cities are Bristol and Newport, both within 30 minutes drive. Gloucester is actually closer (about a 20 minutes drive), but it is a much smaller city.