Out & About
The Forest of Dean
When you walk through the Forest of Dean, small moments of wonder await you.
Along with the rich diversity of wildlife come glimpses into this forest’s industrial past. Boar snuffle near ruined stone miners’ shacks which blend into their landscape as subtly as the deer.
Collapsed tunnels and old mine-shafts now house ponds, sets and foxholes. Traces of old railways that took the coal and iron and oak and rock from these tenacious woods are now paths and tracks, but their old purpose still peers through. Scowles and old quarry workings dot these hills but bring new purchase for rarer plants and birds.
Whatever the time of year the Forest is rich with these moments of discovery, whether you find them walking the old railway lines, or scrambling up a pine-clad spoil-tip, or meandering past decaying furnaces and lime-kilns.
Puzzle Wood’s ancient trees, which appeared in the recent Star Wars films.
Clearwell Caves where multicoloured ochres are still extracted.
Hopewell Colliery run by free-miners who offer underground tours.
The Speech House built in 1682 , once the administrative centre for Forest Law and the
Cyril Hart Arboretum with over 400 specimen trees.
Littledean Jail with its bizarre and disturbing collection of exhibits.
PeddleABikeAway offering tracks and cycle hire for all ages and abilities.
Yat Rock with its stunning views across the Wye and swooping Peregrines.
Taurus Crafts in Lydney showcases local and international crafts with boutiques and cafe.
Dean Heritage Centre houses local artifacts from work and war with a cafe and educational nature trails for all ages.
St Briavels Castle, once the favourite haunt of King John and his hunting Court in their endless pursuit of boar and deer.
Gunns Mill furnace is one of the most complete surviving 17th century blast furnaces in the country.
St Anthony’s Well, an ancient spring whose name dates from the medieval period.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust run events and maintain several nature reserves in the area.