The Forest of Dean
Twelve great things to see and do in the Forest of Dean
1. Lydney Harbour
The historic harbour has recently undergone extensive renovation and is now a popular attraction Old and new sit comfortably alongside as remnants of its past combine with new, modern machinery. The area offers superb views across the River Severn, from where you can see Berkeley Power Station opposite and the two Severn Bridges further south. Look out for the intriguing stones along the banks showing compass bearings and views towards local landmarks.
2. Learn the Forest's fascinating history
Take a trip to the Dean Heritage Centre and discover the story of the Dean. From a royal hunting forest in the days of William the Conqueror, to the present day working forest, it is a fascinating story of iron, coal stone & timber. Learn about the ancient rights of the Freeminers and see the traditional cottage to experience life as it used to be in the Forest of Dean
3. Enjoy a deer safari
The Forestry Commission rangers organise deer safaris in February and October every year. These guided tours give you the chance to view the deer and learn more about these fascinating creatures that freely roam our woodlands. You may even spot a wild boar!
4. Get a bird's eye view
There are many beautiful viewpoints throughout the area. Symonds Yat Rock is probably one of the most well known, but there are plenty of others including New Fancy View, Devil's Pulpit, Wintours Leap, Blaize Bailey plus the highest point in the district - May Hill.
5. Visit the Cyril Hart Aboretum
There are just over 180 feature trees to discover in this wonderful arbortetum near Speech House. Several finely carved sculptures including a bench and sundial can be found amongst the trees, plus there is a roue especially designed for the visually impaired which includes a series of Braille signs.
6. Take a guided tour
Allow one of our Forest of Dean & Wye Valley registered tour guides to accompany you or your group to a variety of places of interest throughout the area. Each of the guides has specialist knowledge of the area - from history and heritage to flora & fauna. The guides will plan and accompany tours to suit your group, its fitness and interests. For further information contract Coleford Tourist Information Centre.
7. Watch the Severn Bore
The Severn Bore is one of Britain's few truly spectacular natural phenomena. This large surge wave can be seen in the estuary of the River Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world. They occur throughout the year, and are generally largest around the equinoxes.
8. Discover the Dymock Poets
Find ou more about the lives and work of the Dymock Poets, who lived in this small village prior to the outbreak of World War 1. To celebrate their lives and contributions to the world of literature, a permanent, free exhibition has been staged at St Mary's Church i Dymock.
9. Enjoy Chirstmas in the Forest
Christmas is a perfect time to visit the Forest of Dean and enjoy open fires, crisp morning walks and festive fun events for all the family. Many local attractions host Santa Specials, while the market towns put on superb Christmas craft and food fairs.
10. Enjoy a picnic
Stock up on some delicious local food and drink and head into the woods to one of the many Forestry Commission picnic sites. Located throughout the heart of the forest, these very picturesque sites provide the perfect setting for al fresco dining.
11. Visit a unique bee shelter
The stomework Bee Shelter situated in Hartpury churchyard, is considered to be a unique historical monument, with no comparable structures anywhere else worlwide. This most unusual "building" dates from the mid-19th century and can accommodate 28 boles on two levels. It was originally located in Nailsworth but was moved to the grounds of Hatpury House in 1968 and later relocated and restored by Hartpury Historic Buidings Trust to its original form.
12. Discover wild daffodils
Several of the fields around the villages of Kempley, Oxenhall and Dymock are carpeted with wild daffodils throughout spring and are designated areas of special interest. These glorious sights can be enjoyed by following the circular "Daffodil Way" footpath or by joining in on one of the organised guided walks through the woods.