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The Best Walks in The Forest of Dean

There are numerous walks in the Forest of Dean that you can do that allow you to explore the enchanting woodlands, valleys, and historical sites. It is a beautiful and diverse area with a rich natural and cultural heritage.


Walks in The Forest of Dean

A network of winding paths, adorned with fallen twigs and patches of vibrant ferns, beckons you to venture deeper into this enchanting woodland realm. Towering oak and beech trees stand as sentinels, their gnarled branches intertwining like the threads of an ancient tapestry.

These are a few walks in the Forest of Dean that you will find interesting to do. I used to visit this area when I was living in Salisbury and Bath as it was not too far away, as well as other good places in the region.

It’s a lovely area.


Sculpture Trail

The Sculpture Trail is a popular route that features a variety of sculptures created by artists inspired by the forest. It’s a unique and artistic way to explore the natural beauty of the area.

It’s a captivating journey that seamlessly weaves art into the natural tapestry of the ancient woodlands. As you embark on this trail, you are greeted by an array of sculptures, each strategically placed to harmonize with the surrounding environment.

The woodland becomes a living gallery, showcasing the creativity of various artists who have harnessed the spirit of the forest to craft their masterpieces.

The trailhead is typically at Beechenhurst Lodge, near the Speech House. The trail is a circular route, and the length can vary depending on the specific path you choose to take. The main loop is around 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometres).

The trail takes you through diverse landscapes, including dense woodlands, open spaces, and alongside ponds. The terrain is generally well-maintained, but some sections may have uneven ground.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone seeking a tranquil escape, the Sculpture Trail in the Forest of Dean offers a unique and immersive experience.

This is easily one of the best walks to do in the Forest of Dean and is highly recommended.


Symonds Yat

Symonds Yat offers several walking trails that provide opportunities to explore stunning landscapes, enjoy views of the River Wye, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Forest of Dean.

Start Point: Symonds Yat East or West (you can choose based on your preference or location). Distance: Approximately 5 miles (8 kilometers) Duration: 2-3 hours (depending on pace and stops).

Symonds Yat East: Begin your walk from Symonds Yat East, where you can explore the riverside leisure park and enjoy the views of the River Wye.

Follow the riverbank path westward, enjoying the peaceful surroundings and the sounds of the river. This section of the trail may take you through wooded areas and open meadows.

Head towards Symonds Yat Rock, a prominent viewpoint with panoramic views of the River Wye and the surrounding countryside. The ascent to Symonds Yat Rock offers a bit of elevation, and you may encounter some rocky terrain.

Descend from Symonds Yat Rock and enter the Forest of Dean. Follow well-marked trails through the woodlands, and keep an eye out for local wildlife. The forested sections add a tranquil and scenic element to your walk.

As you continue your circular route, you’ll eventually arrive at Symonds Yat West. Explore this side of the river, perhaps taking a break at one of the local pubs or cafes.

Enjoy views of the River Wye from Symonds Yat West before crossing back to Symonds Yat East. The crossing can be done via the Biblins Suspension Bridge or the hand-operated ferry.

Head back to your starting point, completing the circular walk. Take in any additional sights or explore areas you may have missed on the first pass.


The River Wye runs through part of the Forest of Dean.

These first options mentioned are two of the best walks in the Forest of Dean and the ones that you should look into to start. There are quite a few walks to do and you can always add one walk into another in some parts.

These are a few more options if you want to do more walks in the area.


Wenchford and Blaize Bailey Circular

The Wenchford and Blaize Bailey Circular trail is a picturesque and invigorating route that winds through the captivating landscapes of the Forest of Dean.

Starting at the quaint village of Wenchford, where the air is filled with the gentle babble of the Cannop Brook, the path meanders through ancient woodlands, where sunlight filters through the lush canopy overhead, casting a warm glow on the fern-covered forest floor.

The trail unfolds like a story, revealing hidden gems such as age-old trees and vibrant flora that contribute to the rich tapestry of the landscape.

As you continue your journey, the trail leads you to the mesmerizing Blaize Bailey viewpoint. Here, the River Severn stretches before you, framed by cliffs and dense greenery. The viewpoint provides a perfect opportunity to pause, breathe in the crisp forest air, and appreciate the panoramic vistas that unfold in every direction.

Whether you’re seeking solitude, a family outing, or a chance to connect with nature, the Wenchford and Blaize Bailey Circular trail promises an unforgettable and rejuvenating experience in the heart of the Forest of Dean.


Cinderford Heritage Trail

The Cinderford Heritage Trail is a captivating journey through the history and culture of Cinderford, a town nestled in the heart of the Forest of Dean. As you embark on this trail, you’ll find yourself immersed in the rich tapestry of the town’s industrial past, cultural heritage, and natural beauty.

Starting in the town centre, the trail leads you to landmarks such as the Clock Tower, a historic focal point that stands as a testament to Cinderford’s bygone era. The architecture reflects the town’s industrial heritage.

Wandering through the streets, you encounter remnants of Cinderford’s industrial legacy, including old coal mines, tramways, and industrial buildings.

The trail takes you to the Dean Heritage Centre, a living museum that offers a deeper dive into the Forest of Dean’s industrial past. Here, exhibits and interactive displays bring to life the stories of the people who shaped the area, from coal miners to ironworkers.

As you follow the trail, you can explore areas of natural beauty, such as woodland paths or scenic viewpoints, providing a balance between the town’s industrial history and the natural wonders that surround it.

The Cinderford Heritage Trail is not just a walk through time but an opportunity to connect with the spirit of a community shaped by its industrial roots. It offers a glimpse into the resilience, creativity, and heritage of Cinderford, inviting you to appreciate the town’s evolution while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Forest of Dean.

This is one of the best walks in the Forest of Dean for some historical perspective on the area.



The Colliers Trail (Family Cycle Trail)

Ok, this isn’t one of the walks in the Forest of Dean but if you would prefer cycling instead then the Colliers Trail, previously known as the Family Cycle Trail, is a well-marked route suitable for all ages and abilities.

It’s a great way to explore the forest on two wheels and it follows old railway lines. It’s a great way to learn about the heritage of the area.

It’s a 9-mile route and takes around 1-2 hours to do depending on your pace and is a circular route on surfaced paths for bicycles that is best cycled in the clockwise direction.


The Forest of Dean

Remember to check local trail maps or visitor centres for up-to-date information on the walks in the Forest of Dean, as well as any seasonal closures or events.

The Forest of Dean offers a variety of landscapes and experiences for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts and I hope you have a great time walking there, as I have done.

For more walks in Britain have a look at the best walks in the Blackdown Hills.

And the best walks in Epping Forest near London.


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