The gorgeous Forest of Dean is a place of ancient wonder; rich in history whilst offering incredible natural beauty. Described by the co-producer of Harry Potter as “the most magical forest on the face of the earth” it will come as no surprise to all who visit that the area has starred in countless films, all seeking to capture the allure of this timeless forest. The Forest of Dean also holds huge geographical significance too as this is where England meets Wales, with the ever-meandering River Wye separating the two.
If you’re seeking Hollywood-worthy beauty with a little wilderness and plenty of history, then holiday with us at Broadmeadow.
From secret caves to enchanted forests, gorges to countryside and stately homes to castles, there’s plenty of things to do in the Forest of Dean, here’s our top suggested adventures;
1. Visit Symonds Yat
For panoramic, picturesque views head to Symonds Yat rock. Managed by Forestry England, the viewpoint here is unbeatable and there are several trails, circular walks and cycle routes on offer.
The peak of Symonds Yat was once the site of an ancient hillfort, providing an excellent vantage point for the inhabitants over 2,500 years ago! Today, the site is a certified ancient monument and it’s incredible to sit there pondering who may have been sitting in your place all those years ago.
Keep eyes out for Peregrine falcons, it’s one of the best places in England to see them!
Enjoy Movie Star Magic at Puzzlewood
Follow in the footsteps of film stars with a day at Puzzlewood, set in the heart of the Forest of Dean. Here you’ll find gnarled trees, enchanting landscapes, moss covered branches and other-wordly rock formations. Collect a wizards guide on admission to tick off various objects, items, places and faces as you explore.
These breathtaking woods are also home to badgers, deer, foxes, rabbits as well as bats and birds. It’s a fabulous day out for all the family.
Discover what lies beneath
The Forest of Dean holds many mysteries within its folds, both above and below ground. To uncover the world beneath your feet visit Clearwell Caves, a huge natural cave system with a fascinating mining heritage. Spectacularly beautiful, these caves have been mined for ochre pigments and iron ore for thousands of years.
Journeying through is like walking through history, with nine vast caverns and numerous winding passageways all ripe for exploring.
As with Puzzlewood, these ancient caves have served as the backdrop for films and tv series, seeing really is believing so make sure it’s on your list!
For the Welsh, Tintern Abbey is a national icon, proudly standing tall on the banks of the River Wye, nearly 500 years since it was dissolved under the reign of Henry VIII.
Founded by Cistercian monks in 1131, the abbey was originally built in timber with stone buildings added thanks to wealthy patrons. The roofless ruins are famous, having inspired numerous poets and painters, including Wordsworth.
Explore on foot
As would be expected, there are endless walks throughout the Forest of Dean and we highly recommend setting off on foot to take in the wonder of this outstandingly beautiful area.
From family trails to gentle river walks, hiking trails to strenuous treks up hillsides the possibilities are endless plus your four-legged friend can burn off some energy too!
There are several walking apps and maps available, do speak to our reception staff whilst you are with us or click on the link below to view more.
Take to the water
With the alluring river Wye flowing through, there seems to be water wherever you turn. One of the best ways to see this area is on the water, passing by the riverbanks, watching out for the flash of kingfishers.
There are plenty of places to hire canoes and kayaks as well as paddleboards with all equipment provided. All you need is a sense of adventure and a desire to take a trip on the wild side!
Said to be the grandest castle ever built by Welshmen, Raglan’s silhouette is unmistakeable, perched on a ridge amid rolling green countryside.
Built in the 15th Century from pale, yellow sandstone, Raglan Castle was the home of the young Henry Tudor, who went on to become Henry VII.
There is much to see here, including a piece of wooden Tudor panelling which was taken as loot after the castle fell during the Civil war. Today this stands proudly on display in the visitor centre having been rescued from a local cow shed in the 1950’s!
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Whilst this list is certainly not extensive, we hope it has inspired you with things to do in the Forest of Dean.
As always, please do share your memories and days out with us on social media, we love to see you all having a great time!