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Things to do in Forest of Dean

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Natural Feature
“The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region. The 110 square kilometres of mixed ancient woodland forms a rough triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to the west/northwest, Herefordshire to the North, the River Severn to the South and the city of Gloucestershire to the East. ”
  • 30 locals recommend
Historic Site
“The Abbey was founded in 1131 by Cistercian monks. Henry VIII destroyed it in the dissolution of the monasteries. Britains first brass was produced at Tintern. The valley and villages of Brockweir and Llandogo feature in the Netflix series Sex Education.”
  • 27 locals recommend
Castle
“This medieval castle is one of the finest and rarest of its kind. A little further to drive, but well worth a visit on a dry day. Lots to learn about the French aristocracy that built it and its ensuing years of fascinating history. Take good walking shoes/trainers so that you don't miss the towers, dungeon and moat. There is a nice cafe and picnic area at the entrance. English Heritage site”
  • 24 locals recommend
Cave
“A popular venue to travel 600 feet underground on a tour through an iron ore mine that was started by the Romans. In WW2 over 12,000 tons of ore a week was shipped by rail to Newport to be smelted as part of the war effort. At Christmas time, the mine is transformed into one huge Santas Grotto and is a real treat for children.”
  • 24 locals recommend
Other Great Outdoors
“A bit further a field but worth a visit especially with kids. Used for many fantasy film and tv locations. Inspired J R R Tolkien in creating middle earth. J K rowling has visited and the forbidden forest (Harry Potter) bears some similarities. 50 mins”
  • 28 locals recommend
Bike Shop
“A good place to go and hire bikes, or to park up with your own, and access the miles of cycling paths around the Forest of Dean. There is also access to more challenging mountain bike territory for the specialists.”
  • 29 locals recommend
Other Great Outdoors
“If you want to get your blood pumping a little more, then you’re in luck… Nestled deep within the Forest are some of the best high outdoor activities. Not a fan of heights....well grab life by the handlebars and prepare to be immersed in the dense wildlife as you whizz through the wood on two heavy duty all terrain wheels. Booking in advance is recommended and various different options and packages are on offer at both of their sites. The Mallards Pike site is more adult based than the Beechenhurst site.”
  • 21 locals recommend
Pub
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“Lovely beer in a fascinating situation on the bank of the River Wye. A good restaurant too. The red house above is one of the settings used by Netflix in the Sex Education series.”
  • 20 locals recommend
Scenic Viewpoint
“Beechenhurst lies in the heart of the forest, and is a great place to park up and start your adventure. Why not begin by discovering the Sculpture Trail. The 4.5 mile trail is one of the UK's first art trails and features 16 works created by artists commissioned to interpret the Forest environment and the history of its landscape. The sculptures are installed within the woodland, so seek out the blue ring posts that will help you to navigate the trail and the stained glass window is quite spectacular when timed with the lowering sun! ”
  • 20 locals recommend
Sculpture Garden
“From a beautiful stained glass window hanging in the forest, to interesting dens and sculptures celebrating the forest's past, the Sculpture Trail is a good walk along firm forest paths. Park at the Speech House Woodland for free parking. ”
  • 14 locals recommend
Store
“Favourite haunt of mine, can while away hours wandering around the micro artisan shops, garden nursery and cafe. Gets busy sometimes!”
  • 12 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
“Internationally renowned viewpoint with fantastic views over the Wye Valley. Why not combine it with something to eat or drink at The Saracen's Head Inn (Symonds Yat East) or go all out on an adventure packed day with an afternoon jaunt down the Wye either by canoe (Wyedean Canoe Centre) or river cruise (Kingfisher Cruises). There are also seven circular walks right from the door (see one of the cottages maps for more details).”
  • 11 locals recommend
Entertainment
“Stunning Castle, check website for visitor information, there is a Butterfly house too. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
Museum
“A lovely faciltiy in which to follow the histroy of the Forest of Dean from prehistoric times to the modern day.”
  • 12 locals recommend
Castle
“Berkeley castle is an interesting castle to visit for a historical tour, or to attend any of the investing events throughout the year. They have classic car shows, medieval reenactments, Shakespeare and Opera on the lawn and much more.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Forest
“Explore some ancient woodland great magical place for children young and old. Is also been used for filming some popular programmes and films. Such as Merlin and Starwars. More recently one of the Thrones from Game of Thrones was found there.”
  • 7 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Scenic Viewpoint
“Beechenhurst lies in the heart of the forest, and is a great place to park up and start your adventure. Why not begin by discovering the Sculpture Trail. The 4.5 mile trail is one of the UK's first art trails and features 16 works created by artists commissioned to interpret the Forest environment and the history of its landscape. The sculptures are installed within the woodland, so seek out the blue ring posts that will help you to navigate the trail and the stained glass window is quite spectacular when timed with the lowering sun! ”
  • 20 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Michelin star restaurant with 3 AA rosettes puts The Whitebrook amongst one the top restaurants in the country. Located just 4 miles away makes it the perfect stop for foodies or for those celebrating a special occasion. Booking recommended and serves food between: Lunch: 12pm-2pm Dinner: 7pm-9pm”
  • 9 locals recommend
Restaurant
“A few years ago it was awarded AA best pub in Wales, definitely worth a walk to!”
  • 7 locals recommend
Lodging
“Laid-back, cosy pub offering traditional, home cooked meals. Muddy boots & dogs welcome.”
  • 5 locals recommend
Bar
“***Bistro style locally sourced good food. Decking at the back of the pub good for outdoor eating in the summer. About 3 miles away.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Wonderful restored barn with a complete cider mill apple press in the centre. High quality food at average prices. Listed in the Michelin Guide but it won't break the bank. Ideal for that special occation.”
  • 5 locals recommend
Bar
“Great value, good food, great service. Very middle of the road prices for a good quantity of food. 15 minutes drive south from Meadow View on the A48 towards Chepstow.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Bar
  • 4 locals recommend

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